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COVID Has Created a Global Climate Experiment

The NEXT Normal

Release Date: 09/14/2021

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In this episode of The NEXT Normal, we wrap up season one with a focus on where the pandemic created bright spots. What conversations happened because of our young people? What impact did they have? How are we now facing gaps in our education systems? Our co-hosts share the positive lessons they’ve learned through the pandemic and through this series.

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In this episode of The NEXT Normal, we look at the big picture of energy and environmental considerations post-pandemic with a focus on the opportunity ahead of us. What has shifted in the minds of the consumer? What are we missing? Where should we be looking next? Who is obligated to respond?

Urban planner, Dave Hardy is President at Hardy Stevenson and Associates sets up the episode by stating how COVID has created a global climate science experiment.

Dave [00:04:23] “Who would have thought, 18 months ago that we could say, well, what would happen to climate if we took all the cars off the road, if we removed the airplanes from the air, if half the Western workforce worked from home for 18 months? And the results that I can see from the climate scientists I follow is that there's been a global fall in carbon emissions of 21% below 2005 levels. And the ozone layer is starting to repair.”

Ujwal Arkalgud is CEO and co-founder at Motivbase. As a cultural anthropologist he says the research is showing another positive that has come out of the pandemic. The distinction between good technology and bad technology and how it’s slowly becoming clearer in the mind of the consumer. The old “boogeyman” narratives are on their way out.

Ujwal [00:08:03] “I'll give you one example, the realization that we can now use technology to effectively reduce our reliance on certain types of fossil fuel, especially nuclear technology, as an example, is seen in a slightly different light now because the meanings around it, as long as we talk about technological innovation, the meanings around it are very positive.”

Lisa Taylor, President of Challenge Factory, says we all need to be in the sustainability game including career development and workforce strategy firms and that there are two dynamics that are pushing companies to make changes; market opportunities and the desire to highlight sustainability as a core value through certifications such as B Corp.

Lisa [00:15:01] “... Core to how they operate, [companies] think about these things and they demonstrate the impact that they're having. And I think that as we look at the number of companies like ours, that are pursuing B Corp certification, or whether it's other levels of certification and qualifications, it's also transforming the work that gets done inside of the companies.”

Decision Partners President, Sarah Thorne says they’ve recently completed development of engagement framework for the Army Corps of Engineers to involve people in a way that is purposeful and meaningful to them so that they contribute to solutions that address climate change.

Sarah [00:19:09] “We are what we measure and what we're seeing is that corporate social responsibility is actually being replaced with more comprehensive Environmental, Social, and Governance, ESG it's called, measures. And these are really, really important because they're elevating the social measures, including stakeholder and community engagement, dialogue, co-creation. They're elevating those to the same levels as financial and climate change reporting.”

Next week we’ll wrap up season one of the series with an energized conversation amongst our co-hosts on the topic of Education, Youth and Creative Empowerment. Collectively setting up the future for generations to come and confidently taking steps towards The NEXT Normal.

Have comments questions or ideas for our hosts? Feel free to drop us an email at hello at StoryStudioNetwork dot com.

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