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COVID, Climate, and the Clean Economy

Posted by Andrew Winston, Guest Columnist

May 13, 2020 11:53:05 AM

I hope everyone is doing as well as they can in these hard times. Like all of you, I’ve spent the last 7 weeks at home with family, trying to stay safe…and so far we have. With so much thinking time, I’ve been trying to figure out What it All Means. Not sure it’s possible yet since the world looks so different every week or two. But as a writer, I have to try to make some sense of it. So I took a shot at writing down some reflections in the first few days of the lock down on march 16th (when there were only 86 deaths in the United States vs. the 64,000 as I write this now).

Since then, I haven’t written any articles (I’m now focusing on a new book, but that’s another story), but MIT Sloan Management Review asked me to give a talk/webinar as well. We titled it “COVID-19, Climate, and the Clean Economy,” I offer some thoughts about what business (and all of us) might think about in this moment. The first half provides some context about the gigatrends in the world that remain, even as we fight this crisis (like climate change). But then I offer 7 “reflections”…

  1. Prepare for the Exponential
  2. Listen to Experts
  3. Understand and Respect Planetary Boundaries
  4. Believe that We’re all Connected
  5. Rethink Resilience & Supply Chains
  6. Choose our Path Wisely
  7. Focus, Always, on People

Most of these are somewhat self-explanatory. The last point is what I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. We are in a time of human crisis and so much suffering. All our institutions need to put people first. Companies may need to cut back, but they can protect employees as long as possible. And the governments of the world should be focusing stimulus much more on individuals than on big companies.

I hope you all are staying home and safe.

Please check out the video for more details.

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