Adapting to Social, Political and Financial Change – Transformational change as a prerequisite for a sustainable future

Adapting to Social, Political and Financial Change

The world is facing multiple crises as revealed in climate change, a global pandemic, loss of ecosystems and biological species, and rapidly growing inequality. Human actions have driven earth systems close to permanent and reflective change.  A series of global challenges – such as the invasion of Russia in Ukraine, the natural hazards and severe weather events like the catastrophic earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, the floods in Brazil, the international fires, the supply chain disruptions and soaring food and energy prices – global growth is forecast to slow from 6% in 2021 to 3.2% in 2022 and 2.7% in 2023.  

This instability undermines real incomes, triggering a global cost-of-living crisis, particularly for vulnerable groups. Moreover, the rise in interest rates could further exacerbate an already dire situation and trigger a recession and a surge in unemployment, with signs of corporate layoffs making headlines. These diverse challenges will lead to a discontinuity in everyday life and business, worldwide. In effect, these developments and their unexpected consequences for society, companies and politics will be transformative.

The notion of ‘transformations towards sustainability’ takes an increasingly central position in global sustainability research and policy discourse in recent years. Governance and politics are central to understanding and analysing transformations towards sustainability. However, despite receiving growing attention in recent years, the governance and politics aspects of transformations remain arguably under-developed in the global sustainability literature. A variety of conceptual approaches have been developed to understand and analyse societal transition or transformation processes, including: socio-technical transitions, social-ecological systems, sustainability pathways, and transformative adaptation.

Almost every day, we are discovering that old certainties have become out-dated and previously successful business and organisation models have no future. The adaptation in the transformational change and the trends of the new era concerning social, political and financial cultural changes is more than crucial. All the frontrunners need to understand the amount of work required to make it happen. The great leaders (of any kind) should continually make calls of judgement about their capacity to make necessary changes and evaluate how connected their eco-system is to the transformation.

As the Ancient Greek philosopher, Plutarch said: Nothing depends on luck, but all on good judgment and diligence! For transformational change to be truly successful and be used as the key to a sustainable future, it requires each and every one of us to take our own journey of transformation, to let go, to conceptualise a new future for ourselves for our organisation and for our local community. Change leadership is about creating the conditions where they can do that, guiding, encouraging and reassuring them as they make that journey.

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