By Dieter Brockmeyer*
The COVID-19 pandemic found us unprepared to face such a crisis. Nobody could have predicted anything even close to it. Although we probably should have since similar things have happened before. Logically, we knew it was only a matter of time before it would happen again.
The discussions around the question of if our response to the virus was adequate will continue for years to come. I doubt we will ever get a clear answer. However, the joint impact of the virus and the response is clear. It was like opening Pandora’s Box. By the way, Pandemia’s Box is the title of this journalist’s newly published book that examines, as the book’s subhead explains, “An approach Towards a Sustainable Future for the Planet via Wholistic Innovation,” where “wholistic” indicates evaluation across all sectors. One innovation implemented in one sector can create great benefits while we see the opposite effect in neighboring sectors.
With the pandemic our lives went to pieces. We lost our freedom, our jobs, in some cases even our lives. However, it also provided the chance for a “Great Reset,” which is also the title of World Economic Forum Founder Klaus Schwab’s 2020 book. But this is not a new idea. Every crisis brings opportunity.
When members sat down at the Diplomatic World Institute (DWI) shortly after its creation in June of 2019 in Brussels to talk about innovation, they quickly realized — even before COVID-19 — that a completely new definition of innovation was needed. DWI was created to analyze global prosperity and well-being.
Then the coronavirus pandemic made us change our lifestyles, sped up change, and made it obvious that our attitude towards how we handle our daily business and lives needed to adapt. The DWI accepted this challenge. And that was when the term “Wholistic Innovation” was born. One may also talk about cross-sector innovation because everything one does in one sector also has a (sometimes unintended) impact on other sectors. Innovation is not just new technology even though it remains the main driver of social change.
Experts are certain that we will soon be confronted with a period of fast-moving tech advancement as never seen before. Quantum computing will increase the speed of computers, simultaneously creating exponential growth of knowledge and yet unknown security issues. Blockchain technology will likely become the base for any transaction in business and private, which will influence us way beyond what we understand from crypto currencies today.
Laser technology was only the first outcome of the still young quantum physics sector. After quarks in quantum physics, we are now talking about strings and everything oscillating. This is a completely different concept and we do not know yet where it is going to take us.
Things won’t get easier in the future as handling all the challenges that will arise from the ongoing technical advancements will definitely be tough. This also means that our societies will remain under stress since change will become a permanent demand. The more important thing will be to create a global order for a level playing field. We must deal with the consequences and become aware of the connectivity of everything we do. That is the only way to deal with it and to avoid losing control.
*Dieter Brockmeyer is a Germany-based senior TV industry journalist and co-founder of the Diplomatic World Institute. He is also the author of Pandemia’s Box, which explains the institute’s concept of “Wholistic Innovation.”