Tomorrow will be a great time
In Mandarin, the word crisis brings together two ideograms: Wei – danger, and Ji – opportunity. The danger, anxiety-provoking, reminds us of our almost animalistic primary condition: survival. Opportunity is a hope, which mobilizes our richest and most accomplished human qualities: our intelligence, our conscience and our creativity; our human soul. Very often, dark chapters in our history have been succeeded by wonderful pages, although written in ink with tears on white shrouds. Because human resilience can be compared to a fertile muse and ignoring even the first words of this new act, our natural instinct will be to avoid past evils, rubbed out with so much pain. Tomorrow will exist.
And tomorrow can be a great time,
which could represent a break with the organization of our society, as we have structured it for decades.
Sitting bull would have said: “When the last drop of water is polluted, the last animal hunted and the last tree cut, the white man will understand that money cannot be eaten. “
So we could write today: “when half of humanity is confined by a society incapable of welcoming and caring for all of its sick people, then we will understand that the singular focus on the growth of Gross Domestic Product alone, is not in fact progress in itself”.
If the economy and finance remain tools, it is clear that they have become an end in themselves. Intentionally, major characteristics of progress or well-being for humanity have been sacrificed on the altar for financial profit and wealth generation. Health, medical research, education, our natural resources, etc have become secondary. In a few weeks or months even, the world will mourn the last victims of this pandemic but who can imagine going back to life where we left it before the crisis started. It will probably be less a matter of expounding the extent of our health care deficiencies than of filling them quickly, whatever the cost. Equally the preservation of the hitherto sacrosanct GDP will be replaced with the pursuance of new goals; promoting new societal structures and new mediums. New human enterprises will bring with them a new form of economy. Certainly a fairer one.
Tomorrow must be a great time,
which should restore a more harmonious link between our societies and our unique & irreplaceable environment. Once again, nature reminds us of its order: just like the fires in Australia, this pandemic is above all the product of an ecological imbalance: deforestation, the bringing together of wild fauna and Man, … until the containment of a bat and a pangolin. In other words, we can no longer ignore the urgency of adopting a way of life that is more deeply respectful of the living and of the planet. If medical research and adequate health provision will enable us to face other viruses in the near future, a better-preserved global environment remains undoubtedly the most direct means to treat the evil at its origin. And with it, many other evils, perhaps even more threatening. We are not above nature, we depend on it. Today, ignoring borders, this health crisis is a violent wake-up call which could precipitate our essential awakening.
Tomorrow is already a great time.
With all the restraint imposed by the mourning of so many human beings, tomorrow already seems to be on the march. For years, many entrepreneurs have adapted or even transformed the traditional economy by adding socio-environmental goals to financial objectives. You may have heard of social enterprises, B · Corp, Profit for Not Profit,…. These new kind of companies promote the idea that progress is not measured by GDP only, but by progress made in matters of health, the environment, inclusion, culture, the fight against inequalities, etc. Some of these social enterprises, finance charitable programs run by exceptional NGO from their profits. If, at first glance, such projects sometimes do not seem to have any short-term financial value, they are part of the longer term and contribute, in one way or another, to the progress of humanity.
After all, in retrospect, which investment banker would not have chosen to invest his monthly bonus in financing the preservation of bat habitats in West China?
In addition, these new economic players are already shaping new forms of organization, new products, etc. new solutions that are already establishing new economic paradigms and building up a new storytelling for the world. Their development is also accelerated with the emergence of new sources of impact investing, which favour both financial and socio-environmental objectives. Despite the current crisis, this dynamic should not stop. On the contrary, if we rely on the opinion of impact funding players such as Kanopé, it should even accelerate.
From the danger of considering this crisis as a parellel to the opportunity to shape new forms of thinking and acting, no one can predict the future: if we now seem to be sailing towards an unknown future, we can reasonably conclude that understanding the causes behind this crisis is our best bet.
From democratic vote to consumerist expression, from citizens actions to altruism, from business to investment, everyone will be able to play their part and with collective unity upon this collective momentum, tomorrow will be a great time.