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6 Green Shoots In The Chaos of COVID-19

26 Mar 2020
Where is all the good news? Surely, there are rays of hope amidst all of this Corona-Crisis? Let us brighten your day a little.

There are so many positive and impactful news articles around us that are getting lost in the chaos of COVID-19. It might seem hard to find the humane and inspiring news in the light of this pandemic, which makes it tough for us to see light at the end of the Corona-tunnel. We are being bombarded with numbers and new quarantine measures 24/7 and that is why I want to unearth some of the good news from around the world. News that make me hopeful, provide me trust in the recovery journey and help me focus on the green shoots of innovation and humanity, and maybe even a post-COVID-19 world that is a bit better than the one we left behind.

Yes, we need to prepare for the worst of times and focus on our health, wellbeing, business survival and safety while the coronavirus is upon us. There is still a long way to go, and taking decisive and considered action now is crucial. We have a long odyssey ahead of us, but as we deliberately move forward and prepare for the worst of times, let us also be hopeful for the least dystopian scenario. I want to do everything in my power to spread data-driven hope, optimism, and avant-garde ideas - to make this challenging recovery process less frightening for all of us - to the extent that it can be while we are facing this deadly virus. We are all in this together, and if we work together and try to bring out the best in every person and every resource we will get out at the end stronger and more connected than ever before. 

Yes, we might be forced into quarantine and social distancing, but we should not emotionally disconnect our humanity, empathy and social selves from our common wo/man. 

Futurist Anders Sorman-Nilsson COVID.001Let us take a deep breath, look past this pandemic and panic, shift our focus beyond viruses, toilet paper, hand sanitiser and chaos, and focus on the good for a couple of minutes. 

Have a read and get lost in these 6 Green Shoot articles which highlight some positive signal in a world beset by pandemic noise. 

  1. NYC Restaurants have a renewed sense of purpose
    A small Italian restaurant, owned by Luca Di Pietro, has so far with the help from his website Feed The Frontlines, donated over 460 meals to several different hospitals across New York. He is providing an analogue experience for these front line heores in the face of the inevitable challenges COVID-19 are bringing to the restaurant industry. Ask yourself:
    What can you do (while safely distancing) to help those who need the "human touch" (either in the digital or analogue worlds)?
  2. Young Americans mobilise to help at-risk neighbours 
    Invisible Hands is a service where young, able-bodied volunteers can connect with those who are most vulnerable during the health crisis. They amassed 1 300 volunteers over 72 hours that wanted to help to deliver groceries and medicine to older New Yorkers and other vulnerable people. Kind of like Uber but for charity.
  3. The 17-Year-Old COVID-19 watchdog
    Avi Schiffmann, a teenager from Mercer Island outside of Seattle, started a website in late December, before anyone other than the Chinese Government knew about the Coronavirus. As he noticed that it was difficult to gather straight facts about COVID-19, he wanted to make a website where it was easy to find data-driven insight. The website is now being used by millions of people from every country on Earth.  How can we draw inspiration from Avi Schiffmann and his innovative website to make smarter decisions about our business' / families' futures? 
    Screen Shot 2020-03-26 at 17.16.49
  4. Small Counter-Trend Italian Town Cuts Coronavirus Cases to Zero
    Citizens of Vo' Euganeo, just 50km from Venice in Italy, were all tested for COVID-19 in late February. No matter if they had symptoms or not, everyone that tested positive was immediately quarantined to stem the spread of the disease. Two weeks later the infection rate dropped by 12 times from three per cent of the population to just 0.25 per cent.

  5. Lessons from South-Korea on how to slow the spread of COVID-19 and #flattenthecurve
    South-Korea continues to lead the way in containing the spread of the Coronavirus. During the worst periods in February, Korean officials were recording more than 900 a day infected by COVID-19. But as of March 19, South-Korea has a case rate in relative decline. This because of mass, indiscriminate testing, followed by strict contact tracing and quarantine for anyone the carrier has come into contact with augmented with GPS tracking and citizen apps.  What can we learn from high tech South-Korea now that we can use in our own countries and also take with us into the future when it comes to risk mitigation and innovation? 

  6. Air pollution and CO2 fall rapidly
    The exponential virus has caused a dip in global greenhouse gasses. The reason for this is because of the temporary stop in industrial activity in China, falling demand for oil and a decline in air travel. China alone has seen a drop in emissions - 25% lower than the same period in 2019.  How can we learn from this paradigm shift in consumption and identify ideas that we can take with us into a post-COVID-19 world to fight climate change further?

Let us keep disseminating the good news. By spreading data-driven optimism and heartening stories of creativity within quarantine and good news among us, the time in isolation and quarantine might not be as hard or as lonely. Stories like the above might but a smile on peoples' faces, and you might (virtually) brighten up the day for someone on the other side of the earth, or equally impactful - in your own neighbourhood. 

Watch my On-demand Corona Strategy Webinar

If you would like to take proactive steps on how to cope with COVID-19, watch my On-Demand Corona Strategy Webinar from March 24, 2020 - a webinar where I teach you Scenario Planning and how we can use this thinking model to tackle business obstacles COVID-19 brings. 

Futurist Anders Sörman-Nilsson Scenario Planning for Coronavirus #flattenthecurv

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