One thing that the Corona crisis has brought to light is the connectivity of our world today, and the interdependence between different sectors in society, such as human health, politics, economy, and the environment. Around the world, the dominating policy response to the Corona pandemic has been to close down our societies. While necessary to save lives, this has had a devastating effect on the economy, as business leaders in most sectors have grown painfully aware of. How these issues link to the environment is less talked about (apart perhaps from the short-term green house gas emission reductions of the shut-down) but this link is important to understand, in order to figure out how to best move forward after the crisis.
Over the past decade or so, the WHO have warned about the increased frequency of zoonotic disease outbreaks. These diseases, which include COVID-19, but also zika, mers, sars, avian flu, swine flu and ebola, are transmitted to humans from animals. Outbreaks of these diseases are becoming more common as a consequence of the new ways in which humans interact with wild and tame animals in our contemporary societies where natural ecosystems are on the decline. Because of the ”hyperconnectedness” of the world today, localized outbreaks risk becoming global – pandemics – very rapidly. Just as increasing wildfires is a symptom of a changing climate, the rise of zoonotic diseases is a symptom of global ecosystem degradation and an industrial food production system plagued by serious problems. These phenomenon are reflections of the Anthropocene, the geological era of humans. The root cause, in both cases, relates to sustainability.
As companies now emerge from the Corona crisis, and begin to stake out the way forward, business leaders should ask the question: Does our company see the current global development trajectory as a given, where we must get used to pandemics, climate disasters and an increasingly polarized societal debate? Or rather, do we see ourselves as agents of change, in charge of our own future? The answer has important implications, shifting sustainability from a peripheral concern to the center of attention, and forcing us to think about how we can develop our business to target the root causes of the interlinked problems that we face today rather than continuing just treating the symptoms.
Welcome to join our webinar on building forward rather than building back in the aftermath of the Corona crisis.
At Prosperous Planet we see it as our mission to facilitate transformative journeys for of clients, helping them to discover how to develop their companies in a way that has a truly positive impact, on people and planet.