During the Covid-19 virus crisis, the dominant message across the globe is: the behavior of individuals’ affects the well-being of society. We must therefore isolate, minimize social contact and practice social distancing. This as we know is effective in reducing the virus spread but it is impacting on our economy. Both the virus spread and economic consequences are being dealt with by people far better placed than myself to raise concerns and find solutions. I can only applaud them for what they are doing to manage this unprecedented situation.  But I do have a concern! One that will have long term affects.

I believe that long after we have contained the Covid-19 virus and repaired our economy both locally and globally we will still be struggling to understand why things are not ‘back to normal’. The new landscape will not be as dramatic or as bad as our current experiences but we will be struggling as a society to understand the social behaviors and attitudes that will inevitably emerge. Like society’s current lack of understanding with regard to ‘millennial’ behaviors, or voting trends.

We are now witnessing intense digital engagement as basic survival moves online; sourcing food, employment, education, entertainment, communication, and relationship maintenance. This level of engagement with technology is not entirely voluntary, elected or planed. Yes some people, businesses and institutes are prepared and able to seamlessly move to this high level of technology engagement but most are not! Most people, businesses and institutes are struggling to seamlessly adapt and integrate physical environment activities and behaviors to and through the digital environment. They are doing the best they can under the circumstances but I fear that this sudden imposition of technology use is unleashing an even bigger problem, particularly for the educational institutes.

St Andrews College has incorporated the second Order Cybernetic program that I developed from my research within a larger cybernetic approach managing the Covid crisis. I believe that these proposals will give the students a distinct advantage not only to retain social connectivity and high academic results but also with the reintegration as we come out of the Covid Crisis. I believe, these students will have:

  • A better understanding of their own behaviors within the Physical environment
  • A better understanding of their own behaviors within the Digital environment
  • A better understanding of how to manage the duality of environment – which is unprecedented for humans
  • A better understanding of how to harness this duality to achieve their unique goals for personal success

My program and proposals for Covid adaptation is not a ‘one size fits all solution’ rather it harnesses the power of the digital age to tailor solutions that combine unique individuals in networked collaboration
this is the power of digital networked technology at its best!