The Corona economy: Futuristic and systems thinking and hard decisions required!
Futuristic Thinking predicts what has not been realized or better still creates what has not yet been actualized! ...
By Patrick Katagata Jr.,
Solutions sought to remedy catastrophes have, interestingly, unintended consequences.
Let me state, right away, that the best way to problem-solving is by first understanding how interactive, interrelated or interdependent the challenges at hand are too similar elements in respective ecosystems!
Anything short of that is perilous! Common in organisational management, Systems Thinking denotes a [process-by-process] holistic approach to analysis that focuses on how a system’s constituent parts [or elements] interrelate [interact, depend upon or affect each other], and how systems work over time, within a context of larger systems, [and reinforces, in this case, problem-solving in complex scenarios].
Futuristic Thinking predicts what has not been realized or better still creates what has not yet been actualized!
Covid-19 cruelly plunged us into an abyss of anxiety, desperation, and confusion, requiring clearly dichotomizing necessity versus safety.
When compounded by the desperate quest for survival or recovery, some important aspects of our existence and progress are overlooked and/or wantonly disregarded—and manifold life and livelihood crippling errors abound.
Lest the already bad situation exacerbates, any considerations prior to taking decisions around Covid-19, ought to be prudently preceded by systemically—and where necessary, futuristically processing and duly answering such crucial questions as hereunder listed, to meaningfully inform any [hard] decisions:
- Are our considerations guided by necessity or safety or both?
- How might today’s decisions affect the future of our economy and/or general citizenry?
- Between necessity and safety, what takes precedence? Of the two, whose assurance would it be reckless to proceed without?
- If any hard decisions are to be taken, what are our considerations? How ready are we for any consequences thereof?
- How interrelated, interactive or interdependent is the challenge in question with our economy or society’s ecosystem?
- Are there any further concerns such as these worth considering before our final decisions lest we blunder?
Some decisions regarding the Covid-19 onslaught in Uganda, were definitely noble—notably: the two Lockdowns and accompanying SOPs etc.
Yet others, unless intentionally selfish, are obviously oblivious of immediate and far-reaching consequences on the ecosystem of highly interdependent human survival reality. For instance, let us examine the cascading socio-economic doom [the] continued education institutions’ closure—for nearly two years, disposes us to:
- Professional Workforce deficit. Claims that children from well-to-do families are studying unbothered in International schools within and abroad notwithstanding, there shall come a time in future when this closure will affect the economy both in terms of professional workforce and accruing pecuniary dividends. Will the handful children of the rich effectively fill the vacuum?
- E-learning favours, again, only well-to-do children and urban dwellers. Majority of the wretched rural in UPE and USE Schools can hardly afford Smart gadgets and facilities to which e-learning is tagged—their future nothing short of bleak!
- Many teachers and workers in most private institutions and organizations either had their salaries significantly cut or lost their jobs while their government counterparts continued to earn their salaries and retained their jobs even during Lockdowns. Interestingly, all shop from the same markets at same prices etc. hence the grievously widening economic gap;
- Almost all loan-ravaged private business enterprises and individuals that hitherto supplied education institutions with scholastic materials; equipment, fuel, and food, etc., were insufferably pinched!
Similarly, many lives/businesses survive on continually closed bars! Covid-19, like HIV, is here to stay—and we must, therefore, learn to live with it. In the 1980s—early 1990s when highly stigmatized HIV-induced AIDS plagued Uganda, people, in panic, hastily took decisions some so completely unnecessary that survivors today, in retrospect, regret. Forty years later neither HIV Vaccine nor Cure has come through—we only have “death delayers”. What cannot be cured must be endured. Our national planners/decision-makers are capable of being wise—may these few words, therefore, suffice!
The writer is a former MP aspirant for Buhweju County