Let’s Come Together On Sustainability Right Now

Thoughts on the importance of community during a crisis.

What does community mean to you?

Maybe it brings friends and family to mind. It might remind you of your neighbors, congregation, or colleagues.

We don’t often think about the community at work behind the scenes of something like the lights turning on in our homes. There are teams of people behind every piece of our nation’s infrastructure. Even with a virus halting the world, they continue working, making it possible for us to have what we consider to be essential.

Despite the effort of our vital infrastructure communities, the coronavirus pandemic is revealing potential weaknesses in our current way of doing things. Trash collection services are overwhelmed, our electrical grid management is hanging on by a thread, and natural disasters present unfortunate dilemmas for local governments. These are just a few examples that come to mind.

In some cases, the people at work in these systems are putting their health, and ultimately their lives at risk. This is why it’s important to recognize that sustainability isn’t only about the environment. It’s also about people.

Between the Nexus PMG team and guests on Bigger Than Us, I have the honor of interviewing and working with a wonderful community focused on making our infrastructure and the world better and more sustainable. They come from diverse backgrounds, but I’ve noticed one common thread between them: their “why.”

When asked what their motivation is, their answer is often some version of feeling it is their responsibility to preserve the environment for future generations. This doesn’t only mean it will benefit future generations. It also means fostering positive environments for people now.

My work with these problem-solvers is not on pause during this pandemic. What I’m observing is that the issues coming up are inspiring people who aren’t afraid to ask the important question.

What does a better world look like, and how can we build it?

Friction from the coronavirus is also bringing another common thread to the surface. Beyond the philosophical “why,” there’s a very practical reason to be shifting toward sustainable solutions: resiliency.

Our antiquated systems are under pressure, and we’re not yet on the other side of this pandemic. The silver lining is that we can observe and learn from the current situation and develop solutions that safeguard jobs while helping us better prepare for long-term dedication to protecting the environment.

This is why I believe that this societal downtime is a unique opportunity to come together and prepare for a more resilient future. In the sustainable and renewable sectors, we can collect our ideas and resources and shift our thinking toward not only a circular economy, but a circular community. When we seize this opportunity, progress is inevitable.

Thanks for reading! I invite you to be a part of the Nexus PMG mission to build a better world by tuning into the Bigger Than Us podcast. Twice weekly, you’ll hear from people with ideas that are shaping the future of our planet, and ultimately, our existence. 

Raj Daniels