It’s hard to find any positive sides in the pandemic. Covid-19 has brought death and suffering and made life difficult for a large part of the world’s population. Still, I would like to see a bright side in this generational experience that we have come to share across continents, borders and cultures. To me, the pandemic has fundamentally proven that we can do things we could never have imagined. We just need to put our mind to it.
In many countries, people have more or less voluntarily changed their behaviours to an extent that would have been difficult to foresee. Many countries have introduced legislation to tackle the virus and support affected groups in record time. Effective vaccines have been developed within months from the outbreak of an entirely new disease.
Our communities have witnessed incredible acts of kindness and co-operation. Many companies have successfully adapted to the radical changes in markets and customer behaviours.
Even law firms have adapted to completely new situations. We have e.g. run international arbitration proceedings and large M&A-transactions without ever meeting our counterparts or even our own team members in person.
There is so much we can do when we put our mind to it.
President Martti Ahtisaari, founder of CMI, a leading peace broker organisation and one of our main pro bono partners, famously said in his Nobel lecture upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, that all conflicts are caused by humans and that they can all be resolved by humans.
Another main pro bono partner of ours, WWF Finland, just adopted its strategy for the next ten years. It is based on the realization that the next decade will be decisive in determining our future on this planet.
We are all threatened by man-made conflicts and man-made ecological threats. The story of Sir David Attenborough’s life told in his film ‘A Life on Our Planet’ reveals how quickly we humans have managed to disrupt the ecosystems of the world.
David Attenborough, just like Martti Ahtisaari, is an optimist. He says that we can still save our planet for future generations. It is just a question of will.
“To me, the pandemic
proven that we can do
things we could never
– Jan Ollila, Senior Partner, Head of M&A & Private Equity
Before Covid-19, I had a hard time believing that we could ever make the radical changes required to achieve world peace, stop the loss of biodiversity, stop climate change and save our planet.
But the pandemic has shown that we can make radical changes in our behaviour and that we can change the world.
If we want to – if we put our mind to it, and – when it comes to saving our planet, if we do not wait too long.