Happy new year 2020 to all of you! May this new decade bring to you happiness, love, abundance and success in its broadest sense! All these things I wish for you from the bottom of my heart.
Personally speaking, I am entering the new 20ies full of hope, excitement and a deep knowing that things will turn out great. While still facing big challenges globally we have good reasons to be optimistic. There is uplifting statistical evidence that in many areas life actually gets better on our planet. For instance, never has the number of people living in extreme poverty been smaller in human history. More and more people have access to clean water, sanitation, food, medicine, and education. There is a drastic reduction in violence in the world including all areas including military conflict, terrorism and domestic violence. The renewable energy sector grows much faster than predicted due to very obvious advantages in cost efficiency and accessibility. In regards to the plastic crisis, we now have recycling methods for existing plastics while the number of material innovations to replace conventional plastic is growing steeply. There are drone-based reforestation solutions (e.g. Dendra Systems) and carbon capture technologies (e.g. Hypergiant Eos Bioreactor) to counter deforestation and climate change. It may be hard to imagine today, but very likely humanity will make great strides to become a net positive to nature within the next decade.
Why do I believe that things will turn out so golden? Because I realize that our human expectation is always linear. This is very common and absolutely normal. We were trained this way – to make plans to get from point A to point B, to predict the future based on linear regression and to keep walking the straight line of improvement. However, almost no process in real life is linear. Quite the opposite, almost all processes in nature and human society are based on the exponential function including things like the outbreak of pandemic diseases, fashion trends and the adaptation of new technology.
Daily, we are bombarded by horrible stories in the news across all media channels ranging from natural disasters and terrible acts of violence to climate change, international conflicts and many other terrible events. It comes as no surprise that many people feel anxious and depressed these days. Media exposure of the negative in the world for sure plays its role to shape the narrative and general sentiment in the global population. This is not to say that we do not have any work to do. Yes, we have to solve some big-ticket-items as summarized in the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). On the other hand, it would greatly help to celebrate ground-breaking solutions at equal levels in the media in order to spur excitement and the desire to hop on the bandwagon called positive exponential change. This would make being part of building the new world the new cool. We have 10 years left to fulfill the 17 SDGs. I believe that with the political, private and civil sector working hand in hand we will achieve most of these goals, if not all of them. Again, we are living in the era of accelerating exponential developments.
The private sector as the biggest life-shaping factor on planet Earth plays the biggest role in the battle for SDG success. For every company to adapt a bigger purpose and to make business more beautiful and healing will be crucial to meet the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. In a joint study by United Nations Global Compact and Accenture Strategy called “The decade to deliver – A call to business action” it becomes very clear that business has to get into the doing generating a positive net contribution to global society and mother Earth. It is a challenge and it is doable. Or like Nelson Mandela used to put it: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
I am an optimist by nature and I am strongly convinced that we will pull it off together!