Ever since the industrial revolution, economic development in large parts of the world has been heading in one direction, towards a “throwaway society”. Economic growth has revolved around a “take, make, use and waste” model: we take resources out of the ground, make products and discard them as waste when they are no longer needed.
I’ve talked a great deal this last week about the Majid Al Futtaim advanced analytics that detail the recovery of the UAE’s retail economy. But even as the top-line findings continue to make headlines, there is still much to be gleaned from the finer details.
There is no doubt that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Yet despite the vast amount of information experts are producing on this subject, embodied carbon reduction is a vital topic that commands less column inches and is achieving minimal progress outside a few advanced international companies. If we fail to acknowledge the risks associated with embodied carbon, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia could find itself reactively addressing rapidly changing industry guidelines. While the need to address this issue is low at the moment in comparison to operational carbon, if it’s not addressed, the embodied carbon challenge becomes greater and greater. The issue is also magnified by the figures being produced by numerous leading international bodies, many of which paint a remarkably sombre picture if action is delayed.
Today’s world has considerably more data and more means to interrogate that data than ever before. While the data advancements made in recent years are well reported, the coronavirus pandemic has revealed that we are not yet realising the full potential of the data that exists.
The power of collective action is evident in the global response to coronavirus. However, while countries harnessed technology across sectors – health, education and research – the pandemic exposed the fragility of the global economy.
Corporate learning and development (L&D) has undergone a digital revolution in recent months − and a much needed one. As companies have pivoted, creating new virtual programmes for thousands of colleagues, it has become clear these shifts will have profound, ongoing implications for the way we think about learning, both, as learners and as learning professionals. Getting this right will propel organisations into the world of ‘Learning for the Digital Age’.
The coronavirus pandemic has been a dark and difficult time for us all: our communities, our people and our companies have been hurt economically and socially as the velocity of physical movement, interaction and commerce has slowed.
In spite of this, I believe we are living through a moment of great opportunity, a time when we can rebuild our world in a way that will have a lasting and positive impact.
It’s time to up our game when it comes to sustainable living in the Middle East.