The world I’ve always wanted to live in looks something like this. A world where there is minimal waste. One where we value things for a myriad of uses and not just buy things; where we realise that profit and positive impact can find a happier co-existence. That’s my world.

Anyone remember “hand me downs”? If you don’t or you’ve never been on the receiving end of one here’s how it goes.

Say you’re the middle girl of three, your elder sibling has “grown out of'' her lovely yellow dress and since it can probably now fit you then it’s now yours. You get to wear it until it no longer fits and is probably more suitable for your younger sister.

Of course during this time the dress is kept in pristine condition with care and attention during washes, minor alterations for each child and maybe even a re-dying to return the colour to its former glory.

Meanwhile, when that dress and others become unwearable by any of the children, the fabric can always be used to make a quilt or some other item that will be useful in the home. Nothing, or very little, goes to waste. [Don’t get me wrong I know many children didn’t enjoy this but there are ways to “amp up” a hand me down 😜]

That’s pretty much the concept of the circular economy. Nothing, or very little, goes to waste.

Remember, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”? Simple right? Well, maybe not so much in our current world where there’s an item for everything.

But here’s what we can do. We can buy with multiple uses in mind. Think, “when this item can no longer fulfil the purpose I’m buying it for now, what else can it do, how else can it be used?”

I’m curious, is this something you already do? Have you seen the circular economy operate in your personal life? Are you open to buying in a way that ensures that little or nothing goes to waste? Or is that too much to think about? I’d love to hear your views.

If you want to read more about the more technical aspects of the circular economy start here or here.

You may not be a boss, a manager, or an owner or you may be. You may not be leading a project or a programme, an organisation or a country, but you may be.

Whether you aren’t or you are you’ve worn the shoes of a leader.

Can I prove it? Yes, I can!

Here are a few synonyms for the word “lead”

Escort, steer, pilot, marshall, shepherd, guide, conduct, show

If you’ve ever used any of those verbs for something you’ve had to do, guess what, you’ve had experience with leadership. And you will again.

Sooner or later someone will look to you for guidance, even on the smallest things.

Now, wouldn’t you like to be good at leading? Don’t think about the grand level for now, think about those little things.

Wouldn’t you want to have the confidence to accept your leadership in the moment and help to steer things in the right direction?

Before you get there you’ll have to accept that someone else is depending on you. It’s imperative that you recognise your value in that instant.

To take on the task of leadership isn’t to be bossy or to know everything. It’s to draw on the experience that the other person is already confident that you have.

Them leaning on you represents their trust that you can guide. And If they can believe it, what's stopping you?

Step up to the task because if you think you’re not a leader, think again. Prepare yourself to be a good one.

It’s imminent. In 2020 there are some big decisions we have to make in the Caribbean.

2020 has been an epic year. The COVID-19 pandemic suddenly caused human beings everywhere to focus on one thing it seems. It became everyone’s problem.

It’s rare that any single struggle or catastrophe becomes everyone’s problem. Usually, a bunch of us get to sit back and watch it on the news, donate to show our support, or send up pity prayers for “those poor people”.

This time is more surreal. With coronavirus, we’ve watched the experience that we’ve all had to share.

Then in the U.S., a series of violent and more subtle racist-driven crimes have erupted a movement. Again, it seems a global phenomenon.

And right here in the Caribbean, we have big decisions to make amidst all this change.

I’m not just talking about improving healthcare, timing the reopening of borders, re-imagining tourism, mainstreaming remote work, or simplifying requirements for e-commerce vending.

I’m not just talking about introducing financial education at every level, prioritising regional cooperation for economic benefit, or introducing a regional digital currency.

I’m talking about bigger decisions that include all of those things and more. I’m talking about decisions to change a philosophy of dependency and a shift to interdependency.

I’m talking about acknowledging that our own island status quo and economic norms aren’t working. They still rest on an old plantation economic system.

I’m talking about how greater numbers of our populations must become owners of something valuable and not just renters, leasers, labour, and borrowers.

Can we NOT race back to normal pleaassee!!!

Since change is already upon us. Let’s look it in the eye, let’s grapple with it. Let’s make some “protocols” to ride the wave of change to new territory.

In the Caribbean, let’s have our own tough conversations about race and privilege, and let’s educate for innovation and wealth creation not for herd mentality and debt creation.

Caribbean people let’s do anything BUT normal.

Change is here. Let’s step out of our hum-drum routines and act to create more change for greater things, for better ways to live.

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