News and Insights

Adaptive Solutions for Food, Health, and Prosperity in a Disrupted World

January 23, 2023

The cover for the 2023 Global Action Report features towers in a city with largely blank windows. The ambiguity of the image seems a fitting metaphor for the COVID pandemic lockdowns, isolation, and disruptions from which we continue to emerge, as well as a haunting suggestion for what still lies ahead.

For over two years, the entire world shut down. The change was so marked that seismologists report that the vibration of the earth’s surface measurably declined from the cessation of human activity; the skies were clear of planes and vapor trails; streets were eerily empty and quiet. People across the world locked themselves in; afraid of contact with others, and perhaps drawn closer to family and private thought than before. The change was profound.

In the midst of this silence, simmering issues of equity erupted across the world. In the silence and the pause, those who had suffered injustice, those who had not benefitted from globalization and technology, those most vulnerable to the pandemic’s impact on food, health, and economic security found voice and a new hearing. This too was and is profound.

Just as recovery and renewal was beginning from these events, a ground war in Europe and new challenges to the global order added new levels of disruption. How do we comprehend and respond responsibly to these two profound events?