Environmental Management & Sustainability
A few weeks back, I wrote a blog post about the start of my GOTO (Global Opportunities and Threats Oxford) experience. I ended that post stating I was keen on improving my systems thinking skills for approaching wicked problems. Today, we are living a wicked problem in real time.
It took me a long time to start writing this second post. Every day over the last few weeks brought its share of seemingly paradigm-shifting news, challenging what we all previously considered as important. Who would have thought that in the couple of months since my last post we would now be worrying about whether it is safe to go shopping for basic necessities?
This is not another post about how the COVID-19 pandemic is creating unprecedented financial and social uncertainty, or tips on how to survive in isolation. This post is about hope, and the perhaps naive belief that we are witnessing the dawn of a new era. In conversations with friends and classmates, in opinion pieces here and there, I see hope raising its head and asking: what if this was finally it – the catalyzing turning point that we need to curb climate change and create a more resilient and equitable world?
Fresh out of GOTO and still with my systems-thinking cap on, I find myself looking for connections, feedback loops, and leverage points. I want to find answers to this crisis so that we can learn from this pandemic, so that it did not happen in vain. The truth is, however, that these answers are not here yet and won’t be for months.
So what have I learned in the meantime? Here are three lessons I took from this experience so far, which I believe can help us in our reflections for the future we want to build:
Earth Day was a few days ago, raising with it the looming threat of climate change. Here we have it – the opportunity to make radical changes to our ways of living and working is right here, right now. From the individual level, to the organizational level to the national level. It is happening now.
The question is: will we have the courage to seize this opportunity to co-create a more fair and prosperous future?
I certainly hope so.Back to top of article