When we planned this issue of Signal360 a few months ago, the world was in a different place. Since we decided to focus April’s issue on Sustainability, to coincide with global Earth Day celebrations, the Covid-19 crisis has consumed all of our lives, and is still cresting around the world. Covid-19 has put everything in a new light. Each day we are glued to the news, managing the impact on our lives, and focusing on keeping our families, friends, and communities healthy and afloat. At some point in what we hope will be the near future, we’ll begin the hard work to create a path to a “new normal.”
One lesson from the current global crisis is that the world is smaller than we may have thought. We have one world to share – and it’s deeply interconnected. Sustainability starts from the same premise: how can we together meet our needs without compromising the needs of future generations. While the warning signs are sometimes dire, there is good reason to be optimistic – we can and we are finding ways to collaborate across the world.
Balancing the needs of people, businesses, and our planet is less about trade-offs and more about opportunities. Today’s crisis inevitably will inspire great moments of human ingenuity and innovation. This will also benefit our collective efforts to create a more sustainable world.
The stories in this issue are examples of sustainability innovation, from large global companies such as Delta and Danone, to small startups around the world. Scientists at the UK’s Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew are working with industry to find real-world biodiversity solutions. Companies like Terracycle are building new, profitable businesses that address significant challenges such as plastic waste and recycling. P&G products increasingly use natural ingredients that are both better for the environment and deliver superior performance. All are a tribute to human ingenuity, illustrating that a force for good can also be good for business and for growth.
Being a force for good also applies to the world today. The recent Twitch StreamAid event, in partnership with P&G, Gillette and Verizon, collected $2.7 million for the Covid-19 WHO Solidarity Response Fund, powered by the United Nations Foundation. We interviewed Walker Jacobs (Twitch Chief Revenue Officer) about how this program came together in record time.
We hope you find inspiration and optimism in this month’s Signal360 issue. Stay connected, let us know your thoughts, and stay healthy out there!
Stan Joosten & John Battelle, Editors-In-Chief, Signal360 / Co-founders, Signal P&G
About the photograph: The image we used for this article was taken on December 24, 1968, by Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders as part of the first manned spacecraft to orbit the moon. Listed in NASA’s Apollo Image Atlas as image AS08-14-2383, popularly named Earthrise, it has become one of the classic images that defined the era of space travel. The image was featured in Life’s 100 Photographs that Changed The World, highlighted by wilderness photographer Galen Rowell as “the most influential environmental photograph ever taken.” In a 2008 book, “Earthrise: How Man First Saw the Earth,” author Robert Poole suggested that the photo launched the beginning of the environmental movement. Exactly fifty years later astronaut William Anders reflected on the historic mission and the significance of Earthrise, “We set out to explore the moon and instead discovered the Earth.”