This year's MAP conference theme, A Whole New World: Reigniting the Stalled Global Economy, is really most relevant and well-timed. I’ve felt for some while that the unprecedented times we’re living in have been begging for a new narrative and a new paradigm for how we live, work, do business, and even how we measure success and progress.
At just 1°Celsius of global warming, we can see the geologic-scale changes happening to our planet. These are already evident in record-breaking temperatures and natural catastrophes happening every year now --- a path that is sure to turn the Earth into an unlivable planet within the lifetimes of our children if we are unable to limit the trajectory of global warming to 1.5°Celsius by 2100.
Our way of life and patterns of production and mass consumption now use 1.75 Earths annually. That’s 75% more than the Earth can replenish each year. This mindless pursuit of growth has left all the main life support systems of our planet in decline --- from our oceans, forests, air, soils, biodiversity and freshwater resources.
While the way we do business has brought tremendous and amazing progress, creativity, and innovation, it has also left too many behind. Billions of people still do not have decent access to energy, clean drinking water, toilets, food, healthcare, education, housing, income and work, political voice, social and gender equity, or even peace and justice.
The populism that’s sweeping the world is a symptom of the growing disenchantment with business, politics, and life as usual. In today’s world, it’s a disenchantment that’s moving at exponential warp speed through the power of social media, weaponized or otherwise.
The natural, social, and political forces being unleashed in the coming decade will likely make it the most challenging and most disruptive business has ever seen. The COVID-19 pandemic is just a mere “fire-drill” for what’s coming and demonstrates the scale at which things need to change. We are living in a time of great paradigm shifts, and businesses that seek to thrive in this era must be able to reignite, reimagine, and redesign themselves for this new world.
There is an urgency for all of us to go beyond sustainability that just “ticks the box” or merely aims to do less harm. Businesses need to transform into regenerative forces that align our profit engines with the need for healing toward a better world and a safer planet. Collectively, we have the creativity and innovative energy needed to solve the world’s greatest problems. The role of business can be central and key to all these if it rises to the challenge of a new narrative and paradigm. Unlocking these will be the foundation to some of the greatest business opportunities in the coming century.
So today, as we discuss and think about how to reignite the stalled global economy, I hope we don’t just try to bring back what we’ve so painfully lost these last few months but instead reimagine and recreate a whole new world as it urgently needs to be.
Congratulations to the Management Association of the Philippines and our best wishes for a successful conference!
18th MAP International CEO Web Conference
15 September 2020