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Trajectories from COVID-19

Holding a mirror to 2020

Holding a mirror to 2020: what have you seen, heard and experienced?

It’s been around 12 months since COVID-19 first emerged and nine months since the first global lockdown tipped us all into discontinuity. 
Ecological thinker, Joanna Macy, has likened this experience to ‘entering a bardo’ – a space between known worlds where there is no map. It is disorienting and frightening – but also a space of potential transformation. The gift it gives is ‘mirror wisdom’ – the opportunity to see everything reflected just as it is. The parallels to the pandemic are clear: COVID-19 has paused previous normality and held up a mirror to our world and societies. A great deal that was hidden has been starkly revealed, in a continuous stream of extraordinary events. 
Every level of our lives continues to be affected. So many structures that seemed solid have shifted while others have proved more resilient than expected. Some certainties have been swept away – but not all of them are going quietly. Some new patterns are becoming more apparent. 
There is undoubtedly yet more uncertainty to come but as the curtain falls on 2020, now is the time to look deeply in the mirror, reflecting on what we have seen, what has shifted, what is strengthening or weakening, what we have learned or unlearned. 
What have you seen shifting? What have you learned? What have you unlearned? What does this reflection tell you about the year ahead?
Share your thoughts in comments and join us in spotting a collective landscape of shifting patterns.
Here are learnings we captured on a Miro board in a session with Forum for the Future’s UK & Europe team.


Join the conversation

  • Maria Powazka says:

    I’ve certainly unlearned taking for granted freedom of movement and ability to travel. These liberties influenced my decision to emigrate to the UK 6 years ago and I’m finding myself revisiting my life plans in view of this shift.

  • Oleg Velker says:

    I’ve learned that most of the people and organisations who present themselves as being leaders in our post-Covid transition towards Net Zero Carbon aren’t open to new innovative solutions when it comes to Urban Mobility.
    They are brainwashed with some solutions that either do not work anymore in real life (Buses), or are not suitable for the sprawl and climate in the UK (Bicycles), or involves colossal collateral damages to the environment and waste of public money (Electric cars). And they cannot accept that there can be other more efficient, more comprehensive and more environmentally friendly solutions.
    No wonder that emissions from Transportation have risen even during the lockdown.
    When I tell them that emissions from urban transport can be solved easier, faster, healthier, and with less environmental destruction and resource depletion, they either choose not to reply to my messages at all or that “This is currently not an area we are doing any active work” as Mr. Jonathon Porritt replied today.
    None of them even asked: “What would that solution be?”
    I’m happy to debate any of the statements above if someone really cares about the future of this Planet.

    • Louise Armstrong says:

      Thanks for sharing this Oleg. It really illustrates that it can be hard for us all to us change our assumptions and perspectives about what change is needed. Even when it can seem obvious to some.
      Interested in your experience of whats helped you to change your thinking and opinions in the past? Does that give us any insights to what might support people to think about alternative mobility solutions.

  • Ivana Gazibara says:

    I feel that in some ways I have unlearned how to socialise. I find when I have the occasional brief opportunity to socialise with people, it is harder somehow than it used to be, there is less I have to say because my life has reduced so much over the past year. And that scares me a bit, how quickly that has happened. And makes me worry about the state of mental health of young children who didn’t even have a chance to get properly socialised before Covid hit. What must this feel like for them?

  • Ron Pallack says:

    I have learned that this country is composed of at least 74 million people who will support an overt racist and bigot as a “leader.”

    They voted for a person that was less equipped mentally and intellectually to do the job than any other president ever.

    They voted for a person that does not read.

    They voted for a person that reads at a 5th grade level..max.

    By ALL measurements and analysis he is a mentally ill socio/psycopath. Even his niece who is a mental health professional has diagnosed this.

    What this says about this society I am still trying to figure out. But I do know that about half of the people I may not know and meet may be a racist/bigot supporter. Hence my trust in the American dream or ideal I used to think existed…doesn’t.

    I have also learned that voting and who are your leaders is not just important, but crucial.

    I have also learned that the constitution needs a complete revision. The president has to many powers and is essentially above the law.

    Pardoning powers need to be changed.

    All public officials MUST release their income tax data.

    The electoral college needs to be abolished.

    If these things are not changed, the fascists will win next time a smarter Trump comes along.

    • Louise Armstrong says:

      Thanks for sharing Ron.
A reminder that systemic racism is real and a powerful force to overcome collectively. It is a challenge as it is so pervasive, but individual action and awareness is often the starting place.
A reminder that our governance and democratic system really need attention and to be evolved to suit the needs of us all today. We identified this in our Future of Sustainability report.
      And a reminder that there is so much division and polarity that is being stocked.

  • Jordan McKay says:

    Since COVID hit, I have seen a shifting business discourse. From seldom hearing words like empathy, love, fear, or anxiety I have heard unlikely business voices in meetings, during conferences, and on podcasts frequently using such language. I hope this more human, vulnerable, and open discourse continues, as it seems crucial to surmounting the great challenges we face.

  • Prince says:

    thanks sir, to give about the notion about but covid is harmful in futuer time that give a give deift phycsical and mindly that week our basic concept for feild that anyone in this time want complete all things who incomplete do to covid time
    we want donot forget that things

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