The People Have Spoken!

A huge thanks to the people who responded to our simple question last week i.e “What is the change you want to see in the world?”

To have 58 people (and counting) reply to this was both humbling and inspiring – we had at least one or two people from almost every group we have worked with since Play CoLab started in August 2016. Thank you for continuing to be part of the conversation on contemporary leadership which is so needed in a world that is being disrupted in such a devastating way.

We are publishing below the full list of responses (with names removed) because it makes such beautiful and interesting reading. The commonality is staggering and also extremely encouraging given that most of you do not actually know each other!

So what are the changes you, as “one powerful, transformative, interconnected entity”, would like to see in the world? It would appear:

  • A shift toward “humanity” in leadership
  • A continued sense of collaboration for the collective good
  • A prioritising of a healthier planet
  • A greater sense of equity – closing the gap between the haves and the have nots  
  • A new definition of progress and success
  • A “less is more” approach to consumption

In other words, post-Lockdown, rather than simply rebooting for more of the same, there was an overwhelming sense that it was time to re-generate and re-imagine for the future.

We could sum it up with three values:

Empathy, Equity, and Earth 

So it would follow that our one question for you this week is this: if this collective vision was to be the eventual legacy of Covid-19 – how might you play as a leader?  

Maybe for some of you it has taken this experience to really “get” the work of Play CoLab and why we are so hellbent on raising the consciousness of leaders. And one of the dichotomies is this: it is clear that so many of you are wanting to create a different kind of world and yet, the previous or current regime is one in which you have also prospered. So, in enquiring how you might play, consider also how you might use your privilege to lead.

In essence, we are continuing the invitation for you to play in the “Purposeful and Visionary” space where, unencumbered by what you might frame up as the “realities of today” or the “current system”,  you use your imagination to create what the world might look like. And, importantly, you imagine who you might choose to BE in it.

Know that when we do move out of lockdown en masse, it will be easy to be pulled back into a fear-based framing of the world which will see people, perhaps yourself included, resorting to the reactive behaviours that you know so well. Holding a hopeful vision while attending to the less than hopeful matters of today, requires some practice.

It starts with being curious – curious about your own reactions as well as that of others. By continuing to do your own “work” and remaining curious, you will find any roadblocks become less torturous. Hence, a reminder of the simple question to ask yourself “in the moment” as you examine your response to a situation – am I being pulled by fear or inspired by purpose (love)?

Then it requires a bit more courage –  Practice “leaning in” to a conversation not so you are noticed (ego), but so the issues you stand for are noticed (purpose).

And then it takes a continual use of imagination – If you are to play at being part of a sustainable solution rather than someone who inadvertently reinstates an enduring problem, it will be your imagination that is needed. 

Consider this musing about the world 100 years ago from one of the most celebrated rational, scientific thinkers of the 20th century, Albert Einstein: 

At times I feel certain I am right while not knowing the reason. When the eclipse of 1919 confirmed my intuition, I was not in the least surprised. In fact, I would have been astonished had it turned out otherwise. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.

Finally, consider this – to be a leader in a world anchored by the tenets of Equity, Empathy and a deep reverence to Earth, it might initially feel like you are going out on a limb (you and your crazy imaginings!…..). Remember that most people operate from the Reactive space where they get their sense of identity from the existing external world, and have not yet fully experienced the liberation and sense of possibility that comes from being truly Self-authored. If you do feel like the lone wolf at times, go back and read the responses to our question below. You will see – we are all in this together.

Thank you again for being part of our Play CoLab community.

Here when you need us.
Sandy, Jenny and all at Play CoLab

What is the change you want to see in the world? 
I’d like to see the humanity aspect of this crisis continue, the working together for a much greater cause and seeing many examples of this recently has impacted me in a deep way. 
For the last six weeks we have been encouraged to be kind to one another, and to some degree it has been evident. However, if we are going to have any chance of stimulating our economy and creating a more equitable society, we need to evolve further and learn to collaborate with one another. By doing so, we may see a closing of the gap between the “haves and have nots”.
I would like for a change of heart from the many people privileged with wealth, status and education. I would like them to be happy to give their vote to someone that really needs it.  
I would hope they may have had time to reflect and see that it is possible to have a fulfilling and meaningful life, without sacrificing the luxury of democracy.
We need to realise that competition and a winner take all mentality will ultimately lead to a lack of freedom for all. That trickle down is complete bullshit and that a just distribution of wealth will ultimately protect our rights and freedoms.
Empathy and strength being seen and accepted in the same context
Climate Change “A healthier planet”, under these extreme measures we have been forced to stop and the results speak for themselves. A global pandemic may have shown the way to curb climate change. There are a number of things we can live without so now is the time to make permanent changes, plan and take action before we land straight back where we where pre-covid. 
Child hunger eliminated
A greater collective willingness to look after our planet. And actually do something about it
Rejuvenation – our activity is part of an ecosystem and it’s deliberate design rejuvenates the ecosystem it’s a part of…this covers work, environment, social and community wellbeing, etc 
My fear is that the “gap” between “rich and poor”, the haves and have nots” will only radically exacerbate as a result of Covid-19 and what might follow is greater health and economic hardship resulting in social issues like we have never seen before. Whilst not advocating greater socialism (but perhaps I am!) we need our leaders to navigate through this sensibly, deal with health initially, deal with recovery of the economy, business and employment and at THE SAME TIME, acknowledge there is a recovery cost required for the “working and unemployed poor”. Perhaps Labour were already enlightened and are on the mark with the balanced well-being budget. So the change I ask myself? Perhaps greater fairness, Covid 19 should help to remove the stigma of financial hardship, whether we like it or not, the state has a greater role to play, but with it a greater responsibility to include the political spectrum and to provide the fish initially but the fishing pole soon after!
For the world to stay connected with the silence, the space, the magic of our planet regenerating under lockdown – how could we continue our connection to the planet and teh impact we have.
A shift to a more complete human measurement of prosperity at an individual and state level, as opposed to the strong financial measurements that dominate today.
Empathy and strength being seen and accepted in the same context
Active hope. 
A focus on humanity rather than money and what it means to be human. We have seen a live demonstration of the collective power we have and can all contribute to, so I’d like to see an end to complacency and ‘walking past’ inequalities, inhumanities , corporate bullying, Governments not listening. Let’s stop supporting business that exploit people let’s demand better outcomes for the many rather than the few. Let’s change unsustainable systems – its our world let’s take it back together. 
A much greater sense of and appreciation for the “collective good” as opposed to the individual’s success – applied across multiple sectors
Specifically NZ : 
More public debate and specific decision about industry that impacts our environment such as: 
Covid-19 has produced a space and opportunity for us to consider the future of tourism, globally as well as locally, I would like to see a public discussion regarding tourism – what kinds of tourism we want to support in NZ, and what environmental damage we risk and can therefore mitigate. E.g. should there be areas of NZ that are considered sacred, or given ‘personhood’ to protect them, how much tourism do we think is sustainable, and share the facts, as politicised as possible. 
Secondly, Health Inequality generally, but especially for Maori in NZ – lets continue this conversation and monitor the outcome – especially now as Dr Bloomfield has gained such social and political capital I’d like to see him use it to change the institutional racism – he admitted to in July 19. 
Countries to measure themselves by gross national happiness (not merely economic productivity)
Wow. Big question – that we live with our environment in mind; that we repair it, nurture it and are as one with it.
Child hunger eliminated
universal basic income
More public service and less private gain
I would like to see us all live, and consume, more intentionally. I think the last 6 weeks has challenged us all to rethink what is necessary in our lives, and i hope that it keeps challenging us all to be more focused and intentional going forward. 
A shift to a world of quality over quantity where we celebrate the highest version of ourselves, not the lowest common denominator 
More honesty
A world full of people with high resilience who can adapt to change – this wont be the last big disruptor in our lifetimes.
I want to see a continuation of being kind to each other and to our environment. That means having a more even distribution of wealth, that means assisting others when you can, that means cleaning up your backyard and beyond. That means choosing to buy products or services that are kind to us and to the environment. 
Awareness and perspective. Be aware of your ego and how it impacts your reactions and actions. Add some perspective of what you believe to be true by being curious and aware of the experiences of others.
Redifining human community – with covid we have seen how dependent and interdependent of each other and of our actions. We have seen neighbours looking after each other , younger generations shopping for the elderly and essential workers keeping us all healthy and fed. How can we keep this level and feeling of community and support post covid 
I wish to see leadership where we challenge the ego driven, capitalist version on success we were raised with and prioritise conscious, brave actions to change the trajectory of humanity for good. 
To keep learning we have more time to do whats important rather than racing to things that aren’t so important.
less materialism. value things like time, growing food, caring and genuine connection
Less rush, more kindness and greater reflection. COVID has forced us to slow down and that’s been a good thing.
Presence to receive moments of grace 
A human and earth centred change away from corporate/capitalism/time-on-the-clock sort of drivers.
A shift to give people more time in their lives – to spend with whānau, community, themselves, to slow down
A respect for invigorating human wellness and a driver in all business, govt and community to see this prioritised
More empathy everywhere. That 9-5, Monday to Friday in an office is the exception not the rule.
Better conversations about what matters in the longer-term for us as a nation and as part of the global community – where should we focus attention for long enough to make a difference?
Have an economic system that looks after people and the planet, whilst creating equity for all.
My observation for what it is worth is this. History will judge the leaders of the 2020 world during this Pandemic crisis as being, on the whole, greedy,self interested and totally unable to collaborate with each other. No-one was interested in helping China. When it broke out in Italy no-one, not even the other European countries were interested in helping. Everyone it seems has sought to deal with it in their own way and even now it’s a contest to see who has dealt with it best and who can be the strongest coming out of it.
The change I would like to see coming out of Covid 19 would be a redefining of success away from wealth and prosperity. Success needs to be defined as being time rich to spend with your family. Time rich to chat and get to know your neighbors. Time rich to read, to fish, to cook, to celebrate. Time rich to visit the elderly, the sick. Time rich to help out at the foodbank or the community centre. Time rich to be present when others just want to talk. You need to work to provide and you need to work for your self esteem but you need time to actually contribute and make a difference in your community. 
More conscious living – caring about local, minimising household waste, not buying stuff (clothes etc) for the sake of it, living more simply and slowly. 
A couple of things spring to mind:
For a short while COVID-19 has forced us to rethink how we consume. I want us to reflect on the good that has come from this and start changing the way we use the world’s limited resources.
This experience has also made me realise that we don’t really understand how to build and maintain meaningful human connections without being together. Travelling less can vastly lessen our environmental impact, but we need to find better technologies to help people connect and collaborate in a deep way.
Happier, higher-performing teams.
Government funds to come with strict ESG metrics to take us toward the Paris Accord goals and UN sustainable goals. 
Less focus on material things – more appreciation of what’s important, health, friends, family, community
Working towards flexible, distributed teams together removing borders and barriers that enable us to be more productive, creative, included and caring . 
Definitely more long term thinking, immediate action and global consensus on climate change. 
More careful use of resources, natural and human – a slowing of the diabolical pace of consuming with little or no thought and use of clever tech, common sense and trust that allows people to lead more balanced and fulfilled lives. 
More kindness towards each other irrespective of race, religion, colour, country of origin etc.
A real focus on sustainability, biomimicry and sharing of resources – a different definition of progress with new and exciting models that deliver exponential abundance including for the planet we inhabit and share. 
A more generous world – whether this is greater connection with and support of people around us, more imaginative engagement with the world or simply greater awareness and understanding of the impact of our actions on the environment and others and taking just a step to make it a better place to live.
A future that is a more egalitarian world where media truly informs and helps banish fear born of ignorance rather than creating it.
I want the impossible…..I want the truth to mean something.
I would like to see a restructuring of the global system so that wealth and success is not measured by the size of a persons or nations bank account and GDP but measured by the health and wellbeing of its citizens, its culture and that of Nature. That people, companies, societies and countries are only ever seen as successful when they are contributing to holistic prosperity.

Economically – We move from an exploitative to a regenerative system

•We put a value on Nature – she is not a savings account we can continuous to draw from and not contribute too.
•Companies/Governments/individuals commit to regenerative practices – beyond sustainable – literally reversing history. Adopting a cradle to cradle ethos, traceability and transparency
• Play-It-Forward investing : Investors only ever buy shares in companies who are committed to holistic prosperity. The idea of simply buying shares to make a heap of money is seen as shameful. (Just imagine the behavioural change in company actions – what would happen to weapons manufacturing, the energy sector, chemical production, big Pharma – fast fashion – to name a few)
• That we seriously considered a universal wage
• As individuals we adopt the notion of a sense of ‘enoughness’ – this does not mean we are not ambitious or aspire to be and do better but we appreciate what we have and what is important. We are purpose driven not ‘get stuff’ driven.

Environmentally – There is no Planet B – Earth is our home

• We commit to and work in harmony with Nature across all industries and all sectors of society to ensure together we survive and thrive – nurturing the wellbeing of the home and that of so many other incredible beings.
• Through new regenerative practices – as above – we reverse the harm we have already done

Socially – where to begin! here are just a few things…

• Equity and diversity – we open our arms to both, cherish the beauty of difference.
• Invest in a proactive and preventative Health system. And we pay people within it and at every level what they are worth 
• Invest in Eduction – finding a way to help every child shine by nurturing their uniqueness and special talents – broadening the spectrum of valued abilities beyond that of academic and sports. That we pay people in the sector properly for doing the crucial work of teaching new generations.
• Invest, celebrate and love the arts and culture – the soul of society. We thrive when it grows.
• Invest in science and innovation – The world depends on it!
• We acknowledge and take care of our most vulnerable citizens
• Restructure our justice system. Reduce the number of prisons and increase the number of rehabilitation centres and expert/workers (of course there are bad people but there are a lot of people who are lost, raised badly and simply need help to understand who they are so they can transition, see the value in themselves and with support return to the community and become active citizens. Prisons don’t break the cycle). 
• A commitment to a cradle to cradle regenerative way of life — embedded in the psyche of all of us. For this to be second nature.
• We build on our new found sense of community and currencies of kindness, connectivity, creativity and transformative change
… basically invest in everything other than consumption and exploitation! Relish a new sense of Enoughness – embrace Holistic prosperity!
Sorry – a bit long and could go on and on!
A new definition of productivity
A more holistic perspective to money – how it can be used to connect us as a community rather than just grow individual wealth. 
A more creative approach to problem solving, that’s less driven by financial motivations, less constrained by fear of failure and more about ‘playing’ to find and try surprising new solutions that work. 
For humanity to realise that its relentless pursuit of economic growth and wealth beyond much more than the basics is deeply flawed and that we must abandon that focus and begin to live in harmony with the ecology of the Earth.
The change I’d liked to see in the world after COVID, is that women over a certain age are accepted for their age and valued for their contribution in business and broader society. After 45 no-one talks to us really, except for grey haired stereo-typical advertising and editorial. No-one excepts the changes we face like menopause, which is a taboo subject. We are expected to sit in meetings having hot flushes hoping that no-one will notice. We are expected to last on broken menopausal sleep at night, but deal with everything with a perfect smile the next day. We have to conform to 20/30 year old clothing even though our bodies have changed into a completely different shape. We reach for the ‘cover 100% grey’ hair dye more frequently, just in-case people spot the tell-tale hair-line. The list goes on and so does the pressure. I have seen brilliant senior women across the business I work for, fold after 50/55. Many have said things like ‘I want to spend more time with the kids/ garden/travel etc’ or I want to ‘explore different things’. But I know that some of those women left because they knew their time was running out and the compromise they would have to make (constantly trying to look young or working over the odds to show their value), was frankly not worth it. I just think of the impact that’s had on the business, not having those incredible woman. And yes, senior women go on to sit on boards etc but in my limited experience the impact I’ve seen them make is minimal. Men don’t get such a defined shelf life in business or society – so why do we have to? I don’t want to go a potter in my garden at 55 and start a crafting table. I want more use more brain and do amazing stuff (still figuring out what the hell that is ) but I also want to be me… a 48 (about to be 49) year old women (menopause and all).
Political system change as there are many policies that are setup to keep people reliant on the system with approaches often focused on band aiding situations (temporary fix) rather than creating resilient communities. 
More focus on growth mindsets so we are more resilient to change when it occurs. 
An embracing of softness and shift away from scarcity mindsets and greed, i.e, an increase in generosity and compassion, and normalisation of vulnerability. An amplification of marginalised/indigenous voices. A closing of the gap between the ‘old’ and forgotten and the young. 


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