As September draws to a close, I am conscious that a month has already gone by since Earth Overshoot day. Time for better decisions – #betterdecisions! Reflecting on and alluding to a quote in the RSA summer 2020 journal I have coined the phrase ‘time for #betterdecisions’ and propose that COVID -19 simply intensifies this need:
The COVID-19 pandemic has run a neon highlighter through structural weaknesses already present in our society and economy, adding urgency and saliency to other concerns about our future
It was actually the twenty first of August when the official ‘Earth Overshoot’ day for 2020 occurred. Earth Overshoot day is like a line in the sand when our global demand for nature’s resources in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate.
In the spirit of transformation and on the same day an article was written by The World Economic Forum expressing three reasons to be optimistic regardless of this position of overshoot.
Firstly, some countries are leaning on nature to Build Back Better. Secondly nature is climbing up the business agenda and thirdly businesses are calling for collective action on governments to raise ambition level for nature and climate. Yes, time for #betterdecisions!
It is times like these that a global pandemic (like COVID-19) can bring opportunities to transform. In a recent McKinsley & Company interactive this experience was referred to as The quickening being a short explanation for the feeling of whiplash of jumping ten years forward in under 90 days.
There has been a lot of COVID-19 whiplashes for all:
The Australian Transformation and Turnaround Association AusTTA has also felt this moment of whiplash and around March 2020 AusTTA began the journey of better defining what transformation means to a forming (almost start up like) association. To this end a Transformation Narrative has been crafted encouraging all to comment. Similarly, many sector partners have also placed their forward moving preferences within a transformation narrative.
Charity: The Not for Profit sector having formed an united ‘Charities Crisis Cabinet’ and identified that due to its size – employing around 1.3 million staff (10% of all Australian workers), engaging over 3.5 million volunteers and contributing to 8% of GDP– it collectively has much to offer transformation.
- Knowledge: In the pre federal budget submission ten recommendations have been offered as key drivers for social and economic recovery. In addition, the Centre for Social Impact and Social Ventures Australia have joined forces to create a knowledge bank of the role Australian charities can play in transforming recovery across the ecosystem.
- Business: In representing the ecosystem across the business sector the Global Compact Network has written to government encouraging them to use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework for policies to strengthen the economy and ensure ‘a better future for all”. The letter reflects a growing awareness of the significant benefits associated with aligning future policy frameworks with the SDGs.The three clear recommendations were set around the transformation of economic, social and environmental connections across all sectors.
- Philantrophy: As an important player within the ecosystem Philantrophy Australia has proposed policy priorities for post COVID-19 that transform and implement two urgent actions to address the immediate and ongoing impact of the pandemic. The first action is to establish a specialised charity loan fund in partnership with philantrophy and the second action is to implement a temporary increased charitable gift reduction.
The AusTTA Transformation Narrative white paper reflects how the topic of transformation has resonated in all of the above sector examples, crossing sectors and assisting in blurring the boundaries of the ecosystem – in the most positive way.
No matter how you are coping with COVID and ‘the quickening’ I encourage you to check in how your #betterdecisions are embracing the principles of systems thinking:
- Diversity of thinking
- Building and maintaining a shared understanding around transformation
- Understanding the whole not just the parts
- Making connections between the user and the ecosystem
- Embracing experimentation
Most importantly as you make #betterdecisions look after yourself and stay safe