Monday, 4 January 2021

Happy 2021! To a Safer and More Just World

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I was thinking of forgoing writing an end-of-year post considering just how peculiar 2020 was. In spite of the collective anguish and anxiety we suffered, we have learnt many things. Two key insights worth noting are:

1.The reality of just how interconnected the world really is, a nod to the 'global village' metaphor some of us have grown used to. A problem in one locale can easily become a planetary one. We've been captivated by the COVID-19 pandemic, but let's not forget equally devastating but slowly grinding issues like climate change and environmental pollution are also there.

2. That individual, structural, and systemic inequalities (of opportunities) continue to hinder personal advancement and true sustainable development. Think of black lives matter, PPE shortages, unequal access to vaccines, etc.

Doing things the usual ways will not help us. We need to commit more to interdisciplinary and multilateral approaches to solving the big issues. We also need greater transparency and openess to engender public trust and participation. We have seen just how fragile even the systems we admire in certain countries can be.

There's a real need to boost and support local capacity for problem-solving. As individuals and communities, we must embrace resilience as a way of life. This requires being mentally prepared, agile, and resourceful, to thrive in both good and not-so-good times.

Happy and Prosperous 2021!

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