bridging corona hero

How do we build from the Corona crisis?

The historian Peter Hennessy has said that we will look back and divide history into ‘BC’ - Before Corona - and ‘AC’ - After Corona. We are currently living in ‘DC’ - During Corona.

Sustainability First has kicked off a new work programme on 'Bridging corona to a sustainable future.' As we go through the crisis into recovery, the aim of this programme is to reconcile the focus on GDP with the need to secure economic, social and environmental wellbeing in the round to ensure the sustainability of essential services and critical national infrastructure – such as energy, water and communications.
We will:

  • Work with others to build a coalition for sustainability now - to ensure that recovery is smart, fair and green.
  • Help support strategic thinking in policy, regulatory and company activity – so that decisions are focused on the most significant distributional impacts and priorities within and between generations; and consider when radical approaches should be followed – rather than nudge.
  • Test new and innovative ways to give people a sense of agency ‘During Corona’ – developing positive visions of what we can all do for the world ‘After Corona’ - to help bring about the change in mindset and cultural shift needed for a more sustainable future.
  • Help ensure economic support strategies ‘During Corona’ are conditional - as far as possible, on joined up people centred and pro-green approaches so that sustainability becomes the new normal in procurement and planning.
  • Learn from the corona crisis - collect evidence of real-world approaches to disruption and reliability that may be helpful and relevant for addressing the climate crisis and the resilience of the natural world.

The corona virus crisis is a global human tragedy. However, as our Letter to the Financial Times of 16th March 2020 highlights, it is also a spur; a spur to galvanise policy makers, regulators and companies to work together – and with their stakeholders - for the wider common good.



Sustainability First Art and Essay Prize

Focusing on the theme of ‘Building from the corona crisis to a sustainable future’.  Read more.
If you are interested in sponsoring this prize, please do get in touch.


Personal perspectives

Over the coming weeks, we will be featuring blogs and other outputs on how to reconcile economic, social and environmental wellbeing in the crisis and beyond in areas such as vulnerability and regulation.

Personal Perspective: Jo de Montgros, Founding partner of renewable energy consultancy Everoze and Destination 0.

Personal Perspective: Rose O’Neill, Principal Specialist for People and the Environment, Natural England.

Personal perspective: Tim O’ Riordan, Emeritus Professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia

Video  - Loss of trust and listening circles

Video - Vulnerability

Video - Sustainability and Covid

Personal perspective: Richard Adams, Trustee, Sustainability First
Personal perspective: Phil Barton, Chair, Sustainability First


Discussion Paper: After Covid 19: Six positive changes (but only if we start now), Professor Ted Cantle (CBE)




If you would like to join us in this work, please do get in touch.