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The Transformational Moment

Bob Sandford   |    June 2020

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The risk at this moment is that our society will lapse into some different but still functionally unaltered version of what we had before the pandemic, which would be a disaster leading only to the next disasters. The world won’t be and shouldn’t be the same again. Our interests should reside in not re-creating the world we had, but the world we want.

Contrary to what some are saying, not everything has to change to correct the flaws in our society that the pandemic has put into relief. Many human qualities, such as the capacity for compassion, cooperation, and altruism serve us well always.

But to create a better world, we have to see this moment – the ‘Great Pause’ – as a transformational moment for all life on Earth. To that end, a number of thinkers from across a range of disciplines have created a collaboration to determine for ourselves – each in our own words – what we collectively think must be improved and when. We have titled this initiative The Transformational Moment: Global Reset and the Future of Hope.

The initial premise of this project is that – while it will be critical to rebuild our societal structure once this pandemic passes – we should be using this hiatus to thoughtfully consider how we can restructure in ways that perpetuate our gains in carbon emissions reductions while at the same time making other critically needed changes to our economies and lifestyle expectations. These changes must not only make us less vulnerable to pandemics in the future, but also bolster meaningful, persistent action to achieve the goals of the UN’s 2030 Transforming Our World global sustainable development agenda in time to ensure we never come this close to crossing the threshold of societal collapse again.

There will be many transformational moments spread over time across a broad range of sectors, and we need to identify and track as many of these as we can. To do so, it quickly became clear that we needed to assemble a diverse group of thoughtful people with the goal of identifying when an optimal range of transformational moments might align, and then to determine how best to act on those moments locally, nationally and globally when that alignment occurs. We have done that. An astonishing array of extraordinarily competent people have taken up the invitation.

Participants bring expertise from a range of areas, including transformation of energy, economy and finance; technological innovation; poverty alleviation, global equality and human rights; and planning for the post-pandemic social order. The topics covered in this collaboration also embrace nature’s rights and environmental ethics in a post-pandemic reality, faith and religion, and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.


If The Transformational Moment: Global Reset and the Future of Hope is of interest to you, please contact FLOW member Bob Sandford at

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