As we begin to look forward to the world that emerges out of this crisis, there are three types of changes to consider. Each will need to be approached in a different way, using different tools and techniques.
Firstly, the novel changes, the things that are new to us now that we want to keep hold of beyond the crisis. Those things that our January selves would never have expected to see but that, despite all that’s around us, we’re actually quite grateful for, and might even want to grow or spread in the new world.
These changes need identifying, describing, and codifying so that we can notice them, recall how they came about, and record what made them great. They need nurturing, to grow, scale, spread into new areas. And they need celebrating, to recognise the change we’ve made.
Secondly, the evolving changes, things that have changed but that we’re not happy with yet. Things that we now understand to be malleable when perhaps they didn’t seem to be before. But crucially, we want to keep changing or adapting them – we don’t want them to settle down to be the way they currently are.
These changes need acknowledging as imperfect progress. They need bold new experiments to trial new adaptations and learn from them in different places and in different ways. And they need openly critiquing, honestly reflecting and bravely redoing until we find a better version.
Thirdly, the visionary changes, those that we now know we want to do differently but can’t yet. Things that our new way of living has made us re-evaluate and increased our need or desire to do them in the future. But they just aren’t possible yet, perhaps for physical, emotional or financial reasons.
These changes need imagining, designing and planning so that ideas of something different can be articulated and shared. They need communicating, mobilising and advocating for, to ensure they can come into being when the moment is right.
We are all living in very different circumstances, even as our lives are characterised by some stark similarities. So, for each person the things in each category will be different. But I’ve crowdsourced some examples to give a flavour. Do share your own.