The world is reeling under the COVID-19 crisis. The coronavirus seems to call the shots and demand how we live as humanity, invoking its mandate for people, society, businesses and all species. Something unexpected (and very interesting) is emerging out of this adversity, however. Since the outbreak began, industries, business leaders, humanitarians, and world bodies have scrambled, trying to detect a hidden pattern in the outbreak’s spread while we have become both captivated and captive. That “something unexpected” is a larger design of nature, forcing us to grow and evolve — maybe we were getting too comfortable. Now, collectively, we are faced with challenge, struggle and for many, fear. Individuals, groups, organizations, cities, economies and the entire population of the world are facing challenges we could not have imagined. This is unprecedented — a true first. How we respond is our choice. And since we all have a stake in this pandemic, it is essential that we give it deep deliberation and address it together.
COVID-19 is certainly a wake-up call for humanity. It is a time for each of us to think and create solutions that will lead to a greener planet, better connectivity through technology, more compassion in individuals and a more innovative approach toward customer-centricity. The stall on travel worldwide will certainly lead to a greener footprint in the short-term. We may see a gradual breakaway from the consumerist and capitalist economic model and the emergence of a balanced economic model, which keeps all stakeholders in mind. With businesses shifting to virtual and work-from-home models, enterprises will now reimagine the way operations are conducted. This may lead to more productivity, reduced operating costs, improved work-life balance and commitment among teams.
We may even witness a shift of economic power to a new set of countries across the globe. Many nations, previously ill-equipped to play a major role in the world, are being thrust into technology, medicine, and healthcare in order to respond to this crisis. This may create new economic opportunities for them that affect the entire world. This massive global pause is surely inspiring new ideas that will be at the core of next-gen growth. And while AI and digital technology will lead to practical uses for improved health and quality of life for people, we must put a huge emphasis on the wellness of our planet. Humans will bond more as a community — as is already taking place around the world — even while practicing social distancing. Collaboration, compassion, and creativity will drive humans. I also see this pause on the unending rush of life as an opportunity to reflect on what is truly important to us and learn how we can create a purpose-driven existence. In our most utopian aspirations, this purpose-driven thinking will trigger a heightened human consciousness, leading to a harmonious existence for one and all.
Adversity is never without a flip side, and isn’t the flip side appealing? Let us pause, think, connect the dots, and recognize our opportunities to grow, both individually and together.