The above words are taken from “Anthem,” a song by the late Leonard Cohen. The premise is that there are flaws everywhere. Despite the shortcomings, there is nevertheless optimism. In the aftermath of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the flaws in our economic, social, political, leadership, and environmental institutions have undoubtedly become visible. Many individuals who might not have seen those cracks before to the coronavirus’s emergence may now be forced to acknowledge that the system as a whole requires a radical transformation rather than restoring or grafting at the edges.
To deal with collapse, the system must be changed. When systems that are manifestly broken are in crisis, when is the optimum time to try to do something? The system is being transformed, which implies that its core components are changing. Furthermore, it is implausible to think that once the crisis is resolved, everything will just go back to “normal.” There will have been significant systemic changes in the interim.
Then consider the light that could enter. Don’t waste a good crisis, as former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel advised. Even if it is devastating, this epidemic offers a significant chance for the kind of regime change favoured by proponents of the “new economy,” wealthy sustainability/experts, and indigenous peoples’ beliefs about how closely related humans are to the natural world, among many others.
The chance, the light that might be able to enter, is to create a more just, wealthy, and equitable world for everyone.
People have a choice as citizens and scientists. They may watch as post-crisis recovery takes place in an effort to (attempt to) fix dysfunctional systems. Alternately, they can work together to change the system in a significant way for a successful future for all. These initiatives include the creation of a welfare economy, a change to GDP measurements that place an emphasis on community worth without impinging on individual dignity, or “actual progress” as opposed to merely economic activity for good or evil.
The possibility of things getting back to normal, even if people wanted them to, is slim due to complexity and wickedness. Nothing in our education or research may be taken for granted.
Many academic staff members and their students will gain navigational skills for using online courses. Once the crisis is over, it’s doubtful that this learning will be forgotten. Of course, it is debatable whether this schooling is more or less successful, but after the crisis passes, many individuals are sure to notice changes in teaching methods. For starters, there is probably going to be increasing acceptance of online learning by educators, students, and their institutions.
It is now necessary to reconsider many of the presumptions we once held or accepted about how the economy and business operate. A “new economy” and a new agenda were already being driven in large part by crises related to inequality, climate change, and sustainability.
Real-world issues frequently have “cracked” walls that appear impregnable to the ivory tower, whether we like it or not. These gaps are likely to encourage more of us to work with actors in environments we need or want to investigate to address real-world concerns thoroughly, creatively, and cooperatively. Cross/interdisciplinary, integrative, collaborative approaches that deal with people who may have been deemed “topics” are necessary for solving real-world problems.