Imagining the future is now urgent business. Big takeaways that are now being implemented around the world. As part of my work as CEO of the Think To DO Institute, I was in a zoom meeting yesterday with over 300 think tank CEOs representing all continents and countries of all sizes regarding the response to this COVID19 situation. After data-sharing, ALL think tanks agreed that open, transparent solutions arrived at through collaboration are absolute to finding our way forward.
Think about large scale infrastructure change. Think about what projects will have the best return on investment.
Solidarity is crucial. How and when we go back to work will depend on our ability to connect, our ability to reduce inequities/inequalities, livelihood insecurities and our ability to manage civil unrest.
We must promote large-scale collaboration and large-scale solutions.
We must address future conflicts that will arise because of trust deterioration, livelihood insecurity and food insecurities.
We must address the new future reality on the short and medium term, not only on the long term.
So, what could be done to jump start the future of everyone in our country?
If locally as many as 50% of those of working age are going to be unemployed as a result of Covid 19, what is the large-scale infrastructure project that would best assist in retrenching and retraining the workforce with skills for the future?
If 100% of the students must now look at digital learning for their education, what % of students do not have access to digital learning tools? How can we level the “playing field”?
What is the large-scale infrastructure project that would best assist in providing digital learning platforms and tools to all students?
What if that large-scale project was providing free internet connections to every home within the next 6 months. What if that large-scale project was providing a free digital device, free digital learning platforms to every household (for the adults to learn new skills, for all the children to have access to learning).
Becoming a digital society by necessity can leap-frog the society into the future. IT will cost a lot, but the return on investment is greater. it’s up to all of us to urge our governments, policymakers, and engage in public-private partnerships with corporations to make bigger and bolder investments to cover the real cost of insuring our digital future.
Nation building costs a lot of money but making sure that every household can connect to the opportunities the Internet offers is worth it. The more we invest into empowering all who are vulnerable with the tools to contribute in our economic future, the better the return for everyone.
It is a bold proposition. Other countries are going to engage. Can we afford not to invest is such bold solutions? The Think To DO Institute is joining in this “think tank collaborative approach” to respond to COVID19 through shared best practices that create resilient people, resilient society, resilient knowledge and resilient leadership and take advantage of the opportunities that lie in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Bonnie Benesh is the CEO of the Think To DO Institute
The Think To DO Institute is an independent, apolitical think tank located in Curaçao, Dutch Caribbean. The T2DI has as its purpose to help Curaçao become a more resilient society by producing research that is based in best practice, and which delivers practical solutions to the barriers that hold the community back from becoming more resilient. Research evidence shows that Resilient Societies are created by attention to people, to organizations, to place, and to knowledge. Resilient Societies design, redesign organizations, institutions and systems to better absorb disruption, operate under a wide variety of conditions, and sift more fluently from one circumstance to the next. For more information about the Think To DO Institute, visit the website: www.thinktodoinstitute.com