The New Normal
At the end of the current crisis, there will be opportunity to reflect and learn, already there is a lot of speculation about how society might change as a result. Amongst the suffering and pain there has been remarkable adaptation, innovation and selflessness shown, we have reaffirmed our compassion and sense of community.
Alongside isolation, we have adapted to using virtual connections as never before it likely this acceleration of this will not not reverse with big implications for our future working patterns and travel. However, we must not forget in the there are many for which these opportunities are not available amongst our most disconnected, socially excluded and vulnerable and we want to avoid another form of isolation from technology and opportunity.
We have recognised the true value of those providing services for what and who they are (rather than material worth) to our communities, particularly in health and social care, but also housing services, cleaners, postal services and others who are the fabric of our society. The care and compassion of our services sector has been inspiring, but we know models of care are unsustainable in their current form and have been undervalued socially and monetarily.
If anyone doubted the capacity for civic action, the volunteering effort to support the vulnerable has been remarkable and while there are of course issues of crisis, the actions of individuals, charities and communities has shown that we remain a connected society.
The way out of the current situation is not clear yet, and its too early and feels disrespectful to look too far forward in the midst of the pain of individual and collective loss. However, how far do we return to the status quo?
There will be a huge economic impact and cost, there will be strong imperatives to return to preexisting models of growth, which have been extremely resilient to change and generally served at least our economic growth well, that we can’t easily be abandoned. But, with what we’ve learned in the current crisis, along with our more collective sense of sustainable futures, how do we re-orientate to re-balance our priorities, how do we take our learning and collective action to support a stronger civic society?
As social value practitioners, we need to more than ever work with our our partners to bring social impact to the fore of corporate strategy, to blend economic and social return , to revalue individual and collective contribution and focus on sustainable outcomes. We need to model the behaviours that we want to see.
We need to simplify our messages to support clear action and work with our partners across the broader sustainability, public health and well being sectors, so we are not competing for attention but reinforcing clear messages to organisations needing guidance and support to build from the current crisis. We need clear and compelling messages to politicians, that help their difficult decisions when prioritising resources.
We will return to a new norm following this crisis, we should engage with the debate to support a national effort to re balance our society.
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