Nothing reveals the inequality in the world more vividly than a crisis. More often than not, those who needed help the most before the crisis tend to be the most impacted — both during and in the aftermath.
Before the pandemic, 35.2 million Americans, nearly one-third of them children, lived in households with food insecurity. Now, due to COVID-19 and the resulting economic impact, 50 million Americans, and one in four children, are now food insecure.
Unfortunately, these trends are not uniquely American. For the first time, economic inequality will likely increase in almost every single country all at once.
As Oxfam has recently reported, “the 1000 richest people on the planet recouped their COVID-19 losses within just nine months, but it could take more than a decade for the world’s poorest to recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic.”
And the story doesn’t stop there.
As we just celebrated another International Women’s Day, another set of stark statistics came out. One in 4 women are considering stepping out or stepping back from the workplace. The dual burden of having to take care of family while remote working is not only casting a negative impact on the mental health of working parents, it is threatening to roll back progress that women have made in the workplace on equality.
But inequality is not inevitable. It is a man-made problem that can be solved.
While change doesn’t really happen on its own, sometimes all it takes is a spark. And if you pay close attention, you will notice that tiny little sparks are all around us. From David Reiling, Sunrise Banks to Amy Millman, Springboard Enterprises and Jimmy Chen, Propel, founders and community leaders shared with us their journeys to go Beyond Good. All these stories share something in common: that of purpose, and of hope — a conviction that fighting for the wellbeing of humanity and equality in our communities is something worth fighting for.
During such times of uncertainty, we have a unique opportunity to turn empathy and compassion into lessons of hope. We have a chance to take our collective lessons of isolation – including new norms of remote work and distance learning — to create more genuine connectivity to the needs of each other.
The burden lies within each one of us. We must make a personal commitment to be more aware of our bias, of the barriers and unscalable ladders that face the people around us, as well as our actions to improve the lives of others less fortunate.
There is no return to normal, only that which is next. And the onus is on all of us, to create a better future together — one that lasts far beyond us.
Join us at the upcoming FinTechTalents North America on March 24th, as we dive into our book with our friends, Curt Queyrouze, Patrick Rivenbark, and Leda Glyptis.
The future will always hold some uncertainty, that’s the nature of days not yet written. While we embrace each day knowing that there will be another tomorrow, our views on hope and optimism can change with life events, those larger forces impacting our global society.
We started writing Beyond Good in a very different world, a world before the COVID-19 pandemic. There were many challenging moments; but also bittersweet ones. One thing that pulled us through, beyond the support of our family and of each other, was that of our tribe. Kindred spirits of change, so many have become part of each of our lives, part of our community of friends and colleagues.
Thank you for reading. And we look forward to writing the next chapter together — towards a more inclusive and equitable society for all.
By Theodora Lau and Bradley Leimer.
Unconventional Ventures helps drive innovation to improve systematic financial wellness. We connect founders to funders, provide mentorship to entrepreneurs, strategic advisory services to a broad set of corporates, and broaden opportunities for diversity within the ecosystem. Our belief is that anyone with great ideas should have a chance to succeed and every voice should be heard. Visit unconventionalventures.com to learn how you can partner with us.
Beyond Good is a call to arms for business leaders to recognise how they can do well by doing good. Business for good, which is the philosophy that you can pursue profits while delivering on sustainable and societal development goals, is already delivering big changes. With exclusive interviews with experts from the B-Corp world, policy makers and executives, this book also showcases how companies like Microsoft, Flourish Ventures, Ant Financial, Sunrise Bank and Paypal are doing their bit to make our world better — and you can too.