Significant negotiation is taking place on which restart buttons we should be pressing. Restart buttons that determine how we safely re-engage in our local and global societies following the lock-down. This is a challenge for everyone, as we all deal with the question “what is the right thing to do?”.
My “right things to do” are driven by a forward looking positive stance, and to facilitate this the paper Zukunftsinstitut White Paper: “The Corona Effect – Four Future Scenarios” (1) has attracted my attention. This paper, along with other thought provoking future thinking (2), are helping me shape my own thinking on desired future social communities and environments – both locally and globally.
The white paper sets out four scenarios based on the extent to which two co-existing variables could proliferate. The two variables in the white paper are: success of relationships and level of connectivity to a global world. Using these variables to build a 2×2 matrix, four quadrants are visualized in the white paper that can be used to characterize the different social interactions that could emerge in the future.
The following quote from the paper grabbed my attention, and immediately motivated me to further develop my own thoughts and actions from the moment I first read it:
“The scenarios help us to formulate a new future together. Because everything we do and decide today will have an effect for years to come. Our future is being decided now.”
Although this last sentence “Our future is being decided now”, has always been true, it takes on a whole new level of significance in today’s circumstances. We now have the opportunity to press a number of restart buttons, and it is up to us collectively to ensure that the right buttons (for now) start getting pressed.
Considering the key aspects of the potential scenarios described in the paper enables me to think through my own personal behavior. My behavior should then focus on influencing the scenario(s) I want to encourage. This helps provide clarity on my own personal next steps as we all move through the coming months together. Of the scenarios offered, my hopes and beliefs are most naturally drawn to the fourth scenario – top right in the four quadrant image.
“Adaptation: The resilient society”.
This top right scenario describes a future society which values collaboration in order to build successful relationships. A future society that, while striving for effective local solutions, acknowledges the need to connect globally and encourage keeping a holistic perspective. It describes a society that welcomes the perpetual readiness to adapt in order to remain resilient.
So what’s next?
For me personally this raises the following questions:
- What principles and values best represent such a new adaptive, resilient society?
- Who can I engage with to keep this conversation and positive thinking alive?
- How can I adapt my behavior to stimulate this type of positive environment?
- When can this behavior be most effectively lived?
Working through these questions will bring successes as well as failures. The successes will provide welcome opportunity to celebrate, the failures necessary opportunities to learn. Either way, my intention is to use the time for reflection that writing these blogs provide to further adapt my actions and enable a positively minded, adaptive and resilient society.
Photo by Glenn Lamming