Beyond the crisis: Building back better

Published 09 Apr 2020

By Jessica Hyne

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It’s abundantly clear we are operating in a new context. In the first quarter of this year we have seen a strain on our environmental, our health and economic systems at levels that haven’t been seen by Australians alive today. 

In managing this new emergency, we have not lost sight of the emergency that is climate change.  How we rebuild after this crisis has the potential to be a great risk, or an enormous opportunity. While the temptation may be to restore things as close as possible to ‘as they were’ before this crisis, the stimulus required to rebuild the economy has the potential to catalyse transformational change and set Australia on a path towards a healthier, more resilient, more inclusive economy and society. 

As a learning organisation, we are actively engaged in a conversation about what a post-COVID world could look like. We are tapping into our global networks and local partner expertise to find examples of, lessons from, and new ideas about building back better, and working across systems for catalytic impact. 

 Decarbonisation requires governments and businesses to unleash capital, for innovators and entrepreneurs to find and commercialise new solutions, for academia to push forward and validate the science, technology and policy and for organisations such as ours to help it all work in concert for on-the-ground climate action. The response we’re seeing around the world to the novel coronavirus proves that collectively we have the capability to rebuild our social and economic systems to make them better, more resilient and more sustainable. 

On a more practical note, we are using this time of instability and uncertainty to rethink our own business-as-usual. Our adaptive approach to how we manage our portfolio of projects and programs mean that most of our projects remain on track; many were already predominately online, and others are building out online delivery models. While this model of work can be difficult to adjust to and taxing to manage, ultimately we are confident that this will build our capabilities to find creative solutions to roadblocks, and the flexibly and adaptively run complex projects in post-COVID conditions. 

  

 

 

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