• Summary

  • NORMAL: Characterized by what is considered usual, Typical Routine Expected It sounds safe and staid. But our NORMAL, usual, typical, expected, routine – turned Chaotic, dislocated, disorderly and out of control when COVID 19 hit us. The pandemic sent the world reeling, forcing us to shut down economies, forcing us to recalibrate our NORMAL, forcing us to confront the WHAT’S NEXT? What’s next for jobs, for education, for families and our health and well-being. This podcast ponders how we will live in this COVID era. What’s on the horizon? What should we expect? Where are the opportunities? Our hosts, Lisa Taylor, President at Challenge Factory, Dave Hardy, President, Hardy Stevenson and Associates Limited, Sarah Thorne, President and CEO, Decision Partners and Ujwal Arkalgud, Chief Anthropologist & CEO, MotivBase explore "what’s next" in the NEXT NORMAL.
    2021 Dave Trafford
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  • How COVID-19 stressed and tested our our resilience

    Jul 28 2021

    In this episode of The NEXT Normal, we address “adaptive capacity”. It was stressed and tested during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic and it highlighted our collective need and ability to be resilient.

    Sarah Thorne, President and CEO at  Decision Partners, leads the discussion in this show.

    [00:03:38] “What have we learned so far about our own adaptive capacity, that of our families and people we have relationships with. And what are we learning about adaptive capacity in our communities and in society?”


    Dave Hardy, President of Hardy Steveson and Associates, isn’t convinced we’ve adapted well because we haven’t learned well from past experiences that tested out resilience.


    [00:05:00] “We're actually  missing the fundamentals and we continue to do so. I looked at the, ice storm back in 2013 and the huge power outage in 2003. We still haven't learned our lessons from that in terms of making sure we are stronger and more resilient.”


    Motivbase CEO and Cultural Anthropologist Ujwal Arkalgud says our experience during the pandemic has forced a major shift in our understanding of resiliency to be included in our discussion about equity.


    [00:09:30] “There is an increased recognition of the fact that thre’s an equity problem in how resilient we can be as people and in the expectations that we tend to impose on other people, without realizing that their experiences, their background, their own infrastructure may prevent them from actually being resilient, from actually adapting the way  one might be able to.”


    On one hand, we’ve all become more aware of the cultural challenges we face because of the pandemic. On the other hand, Challenge Factory President Lisa Taylor says we run the risk of the general public and policy makers being overwhelmed by the depth of the problem, to the point where we feel incapable of seeing real solutions.


    [00:12:18] “I think we saw that in spades with the outrage that started to happen when the realization happened, that there wasn't paid sick days or ways for these vulnerable workers, to be able to take time off, to go get vaccinated and to recover from the vaccination and the outcry that happened over the days and weeks leading up to the modified policy that started to come in was outrageous. I mean, it was really, it's such a high level, never before had we really seen such focus on what it means to be in a precarious employment situation and what the real implications are, not just to those workers, but to everyone and why this is an issue that everyone needs to get behind.”

    Have comments questions or ideas for our hosts? Feel free to drop us an email at hello at StoryStudioNetwork dot com.

    If you enjoyed this episode be sure to SHARE it, RATE it, and SUBSCRIBE to the show!




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    25 mins
  • Planning healthy cities in the COVID era

    Jul 20 2021

    In this episode of THE NEXT NORMAL, we reimagine our cities and our physical environments. What immediate and long-term needs has the pandemic exposed in our communities and what opportunities do we have for inspiration and innovation that lay ahead?

    Dave Hardy, President and CEO of Hardy Stevenson and Associates, is an urban planner who is looking at the short-term and long-term needs of communities and cities. He talks about the health divides created by the push and pull of the pandemic.

    [03:50] Dave Hardy- "COVID has shown us that healthy cities mean we have to come to grips with the health divide in the cities. We, Pre-COVID, thought healthy cities were walkable. Now we're saying, ‘Well, hold on’. We have hospitals that are over capacity. We have seniors’ homes that have been vastly neglected that have to be rethought. So COVID is pushing us to think about that. It's also pushing us to think about where we’re being pushed into a digital world. Our families are being pushed together. We have food insecurity that has been eliminated or illuminated.”

    Lisa Taylor specializes in the #FutureOfWork. Lisa is the President of Challenge Factory. She illustrates three categories of community members that must be in the spotlight for planning healthy cities.

    [08:45] Lisa- “So when we get to health and wellness and when we look at what it means to build a healthy city, we really need to be looking across the board at many different categories, and really look at how do we build our cities so that they're good for the youngest members of our society, for the oldest members of our society and for the most vulnerable.”

    Ujwal Arkalgud is a Cultural Anthropologist, CEO and co-founder of Motivbase. Ujwal says the consumer sees past the excuses provided by government and corporations now more than ever. The community members are fuelled for change and are the drivers for healthy city conversations.

    [07:09] Ujwal- “And I think what's interesting about that is for the first time the consumer’s saying I'm tired of relying on the government to do this stuff. So I'm asking the question to private entities, ‘What are you going to do? How are you going to innovate?’ Now's the time.”

    Sarah Thorne is President and CEO of Decision Partners. She points out that we’ve become more aware and appreciative of the people and programs in our communities and how they’ve helped us.

    [10:20] Sarah- “I think there's a new respect but there's also a new recognition that the way that we've been living isn't sustainable. And we need to build more integrated and resilient communities. "

    In the next episode, Sarah brings us back to the questions of being adaptive and resilient. As we continue to explore THE NEXT NORMAL, we’ll highlight adaptive capacity and the point that everybody benefits from the resilience perspective. The things that we would think of as contributing to resilience might surprise us.

    Have comments questions or ideas for our hosts? Feel free to drop us an email at hello at StoryStudioNetwork dot com.

    If you enjoyed this episode be sure to SHARE it, RATE it, and SUBSCRIBE to the show!

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    24 mins
  • The Future of Work in the COVID era

    Jul 13 2021

    In this episode of the NEXT NORMAL, we return to work and explore how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the workplace- redefining the what, how, where, and why as we focus on the future of work.

    Lisa Taylor is the President of Challenge Factory and specializes in the #FutureOfWork. Lisa says re-opening strategies aren’t one-size-fits-all and it’s okay to have new needs as we re-imagine work.

    [04:08] Lisa- “From a practical perspective, even individual employees don't want the options to be endless. They want to know what's the framework? What’s the way that we're going to do this? We hear it over and over again to our politicians, but also to our employers, what's the plan?”

    Dave Hardy, President and CEO of Hardy Stevenson and Associates, is an urban planner who is cognizant of the fact not everyone is going back to the workplace, many never left.

    [12:08] Dave Hardy- "There are a lot of professions and jobs that have never stopped working. They've had to adapt. I’m thinking skilled labourers, bankers, retail, service sector. They don't work from home. But it's interesting, we have a lot to learn from them.”

    Ujwal Arkalgud is a Cultural Anthropologist, CEO and co-founder of Motivbase. He and his team have noticed that our pandemic experience has shifted our meaning of productivity.

    [18:54] Ujwal- “It's still a small percentage of the workforce that has changed what productivity really means to them in their minds. But, even if it's a small percentage, it's significant enough that it's actually impacted work environments.”

    Sarah Thorne, President and CEO of Decision Partners, acknowledges the acceleration of managerial challenges and implications around career change and voluntary turnover.

    [20:52] Sarah- “I would just say, watch the women. I've had this conversation with at least four women in the past two weeks who have decided that they've done what they needed to do. They are going to step back. They are going to refocus. They're thinking about their values and what's really important to them at this point in their life."

    In the next episode, Dave Hardy will bridge how we accommodate the future of work in our immediate environments through urban planning of our homes and cities to facilitate and accelerate needed changes.

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    24 mins

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