It is six months into our annus horribilis and we are holding our breaths for what comes next.
To be frank, we did not enter 2020 well. Australia was on fire and the spotlight was firmly on climate change. Over in the East, a mysterious virus was starting to fester in Wuhan. And in the West, Trump was continuing his march of lunacy.
Despite this, as the clock ticked over to 1st January, there was still a sense of optimism about the new decade. Where we have landed since, and what we have witnessed this past week, does not auger well for the remaining six months of this year.
ON THE MATTER OF DOMINATION
The current wave of anti-racism protests around the world have shown that it is time, once and for all, to agree that colonial power structures have caused the destruction of indigenous cultures, resulted in centuries of slavery, mistreatment and misery, and have led to deep societal divides in most nations of the world.
Do you truthfully believe that you are more important than somebody else? The idea of what it means to be powerful needs to be addressed, because at the moment, power is being abused in our homes, in our corporations, in our streets and in our governments.
ON THE MATTER OF INTROSPECTION
We must face inwards and examine our own individual behaviours, thoughts and actions, and how we have contributed to the current ills of our society.
Do you believe that because of the colour of your skin, you deserve to get more than somebody else?
Do you feel you are more powerful because your skin is a particular colour?
Do you feel that shouting abuse, discriminating, mocking, or committing violence against another human being is ever acceptable?
Do you believe that your religion is right, and all others are wrong?
Do you believe that as a man you are more deserving than a woman when it comes to personal safety, career opportunities and money.
Do you feel that the way you love someone is more deserving than the way somebody else chooses to love?
Do you believe that as top of the food chain, you are entitled to inflict unspeakable torture and cruelty on a living animal?
Do you believe that you have a right to destroy nature?
ON THE MATTER OF COMPETITIVENESS
When we compete, we are forced into the mindset of winning and losing, success and failure. This inevitably spirals back to “I’m better than you because I won!” And so, we arrive back at power, dominance, entitlement, subjugation.
Can we honestly say that our culture of competitiveness has served us better than a culture of collaboration would have? I personally do not believe that competition spurs innovation faster than collaboration does.
Technology is the ultimate equaliser, driving rapid change and offering new ways to mobilise, deliver support and explore opportunities.
It is time for leaders and innovators to find each other online and start forming effective collaborative networks to solve the pressing issues of the world. You are all out there – I know many of your personally. Stop competing. Stop working in silos, and start opening up your knowledge and your networks to each other.
…AND WHAT OF OUR 2020 VISION?
Oh, I think we are seeing things more clearly than we have in years.
We are mid-way through 2020 and are facing an uncertain future.
Absolutely nobody can predict when COVID-19 will end or what the world will look like over the coming 6-12 months.
When nobody, from world leaders to health experts to business leaders knows what will happen, all the rules and structures that we have lived and worked by, up to now, can be dramatically shifted in a new direction.
If 2020 has put anything into sharp focus, it is that we need better humans leading our governments, our institutions, and our industries.
We need educational programs that imbue the values of respect, kindness, compassion and love across all levels of society. We need to give more of our time and our expertise to those less fortunate. We need to work together to lift communities out of poverty.
It is time for the good people of the world to step out of this chaos into leadership and carve out a totally new tomorrow for humanity and our environment.
The unpredictability is the opportunity. This is the perfect moment in time to forge ahead and make things better.