By Phil Dillard
Our reaction to COVID-19 has created the largest global crisis in at least one hundred years. Whether people believe the magnitude of the health threat, whether they agree with the political response, whether they blame the media, certain countries, people being old, people being irresponsible or anything else, it doesn't matter—we are where we are. We are in a situation where every human on the planet is viscerally impacted by the same crisis at the same time...and for three reasons we will never be the same:
This shared experience makes people inexplicably understand that we are all connected on the planet. The actions (or inactions) of one group matter to the rest and we can all learn from each other.
We have to think about economics, trade and capitalism differently. There is no free lunch, and it is not a zero-sum game. Different regimes run different systems, and they are forced to co-exist. As such, one regime cannot demand another play by its rules. What's more, hidden costs may not be obvious to the casual observer, but they exist and matter. If we’re smart, we'll never look at "intangibles" on the balance sheet the same way again.
The chaos, and our response to it, has forced billions of people to stop and think about the status of the world, of their part in it, and what they want the legacy of this time to be. People and governments around the world have done things in the blink of an eye, that they'd probably never even considered, much less thought possible. This will make people think very differently about what we actually can do if we are given the right motivation to do it.
I believe that this is an incredible opportunity—for a convergence of thought, for a re-alignment of values, for a commitment to healthier practices, empathy to the less fortunate, and a move to equity and mutual respect. We have a clear mandate to challenge our systems to be better and to improve the social contract with capitalism through modern social enterprise. If we don't learn and change from this experience, what more will it take? What more can we take?