Out with the old and in with the new, the saying goes. Feels upbeat – and why not? New! It conjures up ideas of a fresh start, and that is something people and planet need in every sense.
Right now, all the talk is of unprecedented times, the new normal. Totally understandable. But as the world attempts to deal with the clear and present dangers of COVID-19, it must also come to terms with the bigger challenges that lie behind the growing symptoms. Broken systems that, if left unchecked, will destroy the ecosystems that life relies on.
Climate crisis, climate disruption, starvation, water shortages, poverty, inequality, conflict. All unsustainable realities. But there is still a chance to act. We can make the legacy of the lockdown a moment in history future generations come to look at as the time the world stood back from the brink.
Key to this, is nurturing an open and global culture that is defined by its inclusivity. Because the we’re in this together schtick is so badly misused, and for those in the worst situations must sound like the baddest of bad jokes. Parts of the world are suffering horrendously, others aren’t, same goes for different groups within countries – rich and poor.
To move forward, we can’t all hang out and decide on one path – and our interests are many. But we can agree we want a planet future generations can actually inhabit.
In America they have a constitution. The world needs a new constitution, where the first amendment is we must not bear arms against ourselves. Because governments and businesses have been doing just that, through their policies and strategies, for way too long.
Harnessing a new collective spirit that rejects self-destruction at all costs is vital. And if we unleash multiple innovations capable of working simultaneously to accelerate the transition to a sustainable and fair world for all, we can achieve it.
To play its part, the World Economic Forum is going to hold a twin summit in January 2021 under the theme: The Great Reset. Combining in-person and virtual platforms, it will bring business and political leaders together with younger citizens to kickstart a new era of collective action for a sustainable world.
“We only have one planet and we know that climate change could be the next global disaster with even more dramatic consequences for humankind. We have to decarbonize the economy in the short window still remaining and bring our thinking and behaviour once more into harmony with nature,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.
A virtual series on the run up to the event, called The Great Reset Dialogues, led by WEF and HRH The Prince of Wales will explore every issue relating to what comes next.
“In order to secure our future and to prosper, we need to evolve our economic model and put people and planet at the heart of global value creation. If there is one critical lesson to learn from this crisis, it is that we need to put nature at the heart of how we operate. We simply can’t waste more time,” HRH the Prince of Wales said.
Think of these as the last days of a dying regime. It means things look ugly but the darkest hour is just before the dawn.
“A Great Reset is necessary to build a new social contract that honours the dignity of every human being,” added Schwab. “The global health crisis has laid bare the unsustainability of our old system in terms of social cohesion, the lack of equal opportunities and inclusiveness. Nor can we turn our backs on the evils of racism and discrimination. We need to build into this new social contract our intergenerational responsibility to ensure that we live up to the expectations of young people.”
Read more about The Great Reset.
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