I have just returned from Rotterdam where, despite the Coronavirus crisis, the 2020 StocExpo event was held. No, it was not cancelled, although perhaps it should have been. I was invited to chair the conference and did so, but found myself talking to many empty seats. Just before, several oil, gas and storage companies had decreed that their personnel were forbidden to travel or attend meetings or conferences. This of course had its impact not only on the conference, but very much on the stand holders who had invested thousands as usual to welcome friends and customers.
In short, StocExpo, a usually happy and happening event, was damaged by fear and ‘VUCA’ - volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. This abbreviation was first used in 1987 but in my view is overlooked or ignored by our political and industrial leaders who believe they can control nature by meddling with her. Decades of hubris made people believe they can exist outside of nature and were given a free hand to create products by synthesising chemicals into new products, the effects of which would harm nature, the environment and mankind itself.
Perhaps you believe the story of bats and other animals that somehow mingled and generated the virus. You must ask the question: why is the populace of the world not informed about what is going on in defence research laboratories where scientists are creating bio weapons? Again, transparency is key here; the sharing of all information. We can observe the kneejerk reactions of politicians who are closing down trade, transport and manufacturing all over the world.
I believe that a new approach to potential crises is needed, by which I mean preventive policies. At this time we see reactive policies, but these are too little and too late. I received a call from someone who had seen my interview on the Law of Requisite Variety, also known as Ashby’s Law. This law says that only variety can absorb variety. If I apply this logic it means that in order to be able to absorb this virus crisis, we would have needed to build enough variety, meaning the capabilities, capacity, tools, knowledge and skills to deal with it.
Obviously, our leaders do not think in such a way, because they think they can interfere with nature and get away with it. No more. We now face a global pandemic which, because of wrong decision making, will spin more out of control. People can’t control nature, politicians never build requisite variety and allow biolabs, chemical industry or other organisations develop stuff that harms social cohesion, the environment and life.
This reactive way of governance can and should be changed. The science and knowledge of how to do this is available. We just have to stop, think, observe and plan. Best is not to be afraid and to see this Coronayirus as a friend who will be assisting us to redesign society in a sustainable and viable system which supports life. I could to be of help doing that.
This is the latest in a series of articles by Arend van Campen, founder of TankTerminalTraining. More information on the company’s activities can be found at www.tankterminaltraining.com. Those interested in responding personally can contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.[post_title] => Learning by Training: VUCA and Corona [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => learning-by-training-vuca-and-corona [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-03-16 10:24:54 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-03-16 10:24:54 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://hcblive.com/?p=18189 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )