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Putting People First




The Great Reset after COVID-19 must put people first

Amol Mehra

COVID-19 has exposed many underlying structural and institutional inequalities.

• Social movements are pushing for action on putting people first.

• Governments, business and the philanthropic sector must lead in creating a fairer world.

Much has been written in recent months around the challenges and responses to the pandemic of COVID-19. The debate originated with the relative preparedness of our healthcare and crisis systems to deal with unexpected disasters, but quickly morphed into a discussion of the underlying structural and institutional inequities that have been revealed. These conditions – poverty, marginalization and social exclusion – are not themselves products of the coronavirus, but magnify its impact.

This highlights an aspect of our current market system, where those that are marginalized face the highest risk precisely due to the nature and consequences of their exclusion. Farm workers, factory workers, migrant workers and platform workers toil with minimal or no protections, including access to healthcare. The Brookings Institution has explored the differential impacts of the pandemic on class divides in America, noting the wide gaps by income class in both the risk being posed by infection and levels of response. The World Bank has also released a thorough study on south Asia, noting the impact of the pandemic will hit hard on low-income people, especially informal workers in the hospitality, retail trade and transport sectors who have limited or no access to healthcare or social safety nets. Even further, the study reveals that a protracted crisis may threaten food security, particularly for the most vulnerable.

This is the core of the challenge, and moreover the opportunity, that the COVID-19 crisis presents. Ventilators, masks and other personal protective equipment are urgently needed, but alongside these efforts, deep structural reforms predicated on putting “people and the planet” at centre stage and supported by social movements are the necessary building blocks for transformation.

For governments, this translates into the full spectrum of interventions, from macroeconomic policy and bailouts, to public procurement criteria and processes. Each area where governments can set, condition, incentivize or buy in the market must be examined, and reforms must be promoted that build environmental and labour standards at their core. At the same time, social protection schemes must be built and supported to address economic and social risks exacerbated by the crisis. Work is underway with organisations like GIZ in Bangladesh, building worker advocacy for employment injury insurance as factories reopen with minimum protections in place. The need for more such efforts is glaringly apparent in countries where reliance on export markets has increased risks of poverty and inequality due to their disruption.

Businesses are also beginning to understand that the focus on short-term profit maximization is no longer tenable. The recent Edelman Trust Barometer notes that only 38% of people believe that business is doing well or very well at putting people before profits. Businesses must therefore work to address and be accountable to the broad range of impacts that their operations have across stakeholder groups and the environment. Doing so must be a condition of doing business, not simply a competitive factor between business. This may soon become reality with European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, announcing in April 2020 that he will introduce legislation on mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence for companies as part of the Commission’s 2021 work plan and the European Green Deal.

Philanthropy too has a unique opportunity to contribute to this effort. We must remember that policy, without people, has no power. Therefore, philanthropic resources should support communities, workers and social movements more than ever to drive demand for reforms and ensure their implementation. Donor collaboratives, including Funders Organized for Rights in the Global Economy (FORGE), bringing together the Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Laudes Foundation and others, are moving in this direction and collaborating to address short-term needs and build long-term solutions towards a rights-based economy.

These efforts and more are showing early potential in building an inclusive, just economy. The World Economic Forum has recently launched “The Great Reset” – an initiative to build a more fair, sustainable and resilient future that addresses the underlying structural and institutional inequities that have been revealed. As this initiative scales and the global community responds to the pandemic and economic consequences it has wrought, we must continue to seize the opportunity to transform our systems. Prioritizing “people and the planet” and supporting communities, workers and social movements can ensure we do just this.

The Indian author Arundhati Roy writes: “Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.” Our fight against this global pandemic must also be, as Roy suggests, a fight for another world.


  1. People need to be ready to stand up and accept responsibility, seek to improve and be able to meet their obligations firstly to their family and to their community. The individual needs to contribute to the whole. Expecting to sit and receive is not a runner.

    I do not accept the graph showing which self promoters have supposedly done a great job in managing the pandemic. That puts the whole article into doubt for me. I do not expect anything usefu lfrom local or central government. The great reset is no use if it does not trim those institutions down to what is essential. The Global poohbaas and their inherent costs are not required by me either.



  2. Putting people first. Yeah/nah. Cindy and her marxist mates should educate themselves on the real results of communism.

    China’s Xi breaks silence, sends message to Biden; Beijing claims all poor counties ‘out of poverty’

    All of the 800 poorest counties in China were lifted from poverty according to Beijing. Could this be possible during a pandemic, and after severe flooding?



    • you say
      ‘Cindy and her marxist mates should educate themselves on the real results of communism.’

      You simply cannot fit 2 litres of information into a 600 ml brain cavity.

      They cannot absorb more information, let alone process it.
      This is why most of their ministers have been failures.
      In the case of Scrappy 3/4 scottish lad Kelvin Davis the cavity is less than 100 ml.

      At best the likes of Arden has reached absolute information processing ability.
      This is why she was chosen for the task as are others like Obummer, T May, Trudeau, and former AU Labor leader bill Shorten.
      These people have large egos and this prevents them asking and questioning to ‘learn more’
      They don’t want to admit they do not know.
      Ergo, they remain ignorant. They do not jhave ability to organically process more information like say Bob Hawke.

      They make good puppets as they get ‘praise from the press’ as part of the whole corrupt ecosystem.



  3. The whole idea of ‘resetting’ something assumes that it is broken or faulty.

    I postulate that the Great Reset is not just a bunch of confused lefties wanking on about a silly idea. It’s much deeper and more dangerous than that. It is nothing more less than a (so far very successful) strategy to seize control of the whole world’s economic, political and social structure. We MUST resist this.

    Some might lay the blame on China, but TBH I don’t think they are the ones responsible for this. After all, China still needs to export its manufactured goods to the world and it’s not very clever to destroy your customers’ ability to buy, is it?

    There’s something else going on here. The internet is full of accusations and conspiracy theories and it’s hard to tell the wheat from the chaff. But nobody has yet mentioned what to me is obvious. Artificial Intelligence.

    If you look at all this illogical fear and panic which has literally gripped the whole world – global warming, overpopulation, the Chinese virus etc – you’ll see that the common element is so-called computer ‘modelling’ – none of which has any basis in real fact. We’re being manipulated on a grand scale and even worse, these fears are being magnified and spread like a mind virus online through our social media.

    OK. I’m fucking crazy, right? Well, just ask yourself how you can receive ads etc on your phone related to things you read on FB and searches you have made on Google?

    We are systematically being fed lies that there are too many people alive, that humans are destroying the planet, that our most useful inventions (plastics, the internal combustion engine, processed food etc) are evil and now we are all going to die unless we close down our society!

    Wake up. We are quite literally under attack.



    • Fully agree Eurokiwi. Excellent post. Higher and higher wages for unskilled and entry level jobs with the resultant explosion of unemployment.

      Don’t know if you are in Europe or have returned to the newest South Pacific communist country, but welcome to YSB.



    • “OK. I’m fucking crazy, right? ”

      In one word –NO !!

      I agree with your comment about China. Not them –it is the same people who see their “project” called the EU going down the tubes. They are desperately trying to recover something from the impending ashes. But like the Democrat cheating in the US elections, they are getting more sophisticated about how they are going about it.

      So again I agree we have ” to wake up as we are under attack” and we have to resist in any way we can.



    • Agreed EK.
      The source of the bad cold, aka the SARS Cov 2, or Covid 19 or whatever name this pretty average flu strain is, is not of great moment.

      People get rarked up and buy the sizzle by hating on China and calling it the WuFlu or CCP virus.
      This all plays into the hands of the operators.
      The best way to win over any entity – getting control of the local sports club, a local council, a country etc is to divide and rule. Been done for over 4000 years. It often works.

      This is being done here. The bought and paid for non-independent media filth are a key part of the delivery system.
      If you look at a lot of armaments used in the Middle East in the last 30 years often the chemicals come from Germany and the Delivery systems come from France. It is the combination that kills.
      Media filth are the delivery system. They are just as much part of the destruction as the payload.

      It does not matter where this relatively average influenza strain has come from.
      It is how it is being used as a tool to manipulate and RESET that people should focus on.
      Sadly most people are lazy so do not question or follow the hype.

      Ask yourself this:-
      When the cattle are loaded onto the cattle truck to go to the freezing works, do you really think they know what lies ahead in the next 48 hours?
      Same with the lambs (o slaughter)
      This is the world today.
      People (sheeple) are waddling onto the slaughter trucks of their future (with their nose buried in a screen thinking they are ‘connected in’) while yelling out
      ‘Four legs good… ‘
      But hey, by obeying the Govt we will be SAFE, Right?
      They operate in our best interests.
      Rangi on TV1 told me so and they hold the Govt to account !!

      If this is your first post here, EK, welcome aboard.
      I’m happy to see more.



  4. A good counter to the rubbish being imposed.

    This is mainly on the effect in the UK. and Ireland.

    “How is This a Thing? 26th of November 2020”
    20 mins 48 secs : “Computing Forever”

    On the Covid issue, how people are being manipulated, for the long term lock downs, the yo-yo play, to accept this is the new normal.
    How the vaccines as scientists say, probably have to be yearly, and still social distance and masking etc..

    Points out, that this has to be resisted, as hard fought liberty and freedoms are slowly being closed down and how the authorities have no intention of giving any of that back.
    Controlling with this political use of fear mongering.

    Welcome Eurokiwi,
    We need to show the ideas, how to value freedom, liberty, the concept of reason to find the truth, and as you say “Wake up” Think on these things.



  5. Forget about China. Our problem is a few hundred metres from where I’m sitting.

    Remember the Dear Leader was the one who blamed China for our housing and economic woes. Anti China and anti Russia are the memes of the alt left.



  6. This is all part of the Triple Bottom line that has had currency in the last 15 years- that I have heard of.

    “The triple bottom line (or otherwise noted as TBL or 3BL) is an accounting framework with three parts: social, environmental (or ecological) and financial. Some organizations have adopted the TBL framework to evaluate their performance in a broader perspective to create greater business value”

    “All businesses must make money. But triple bottom line companies realize that they can do more. This idea has only recently gained traction in the corporate world, but now that it has, the triple bottom line is driving the decision-making of the world’s top brands.
    What Is the Triple Bottom Line?
    Traditionally, business leaders concerned themselves with their bottom lines—or, the monetary profits their businesses made. Today, more leaders have begun to think sustainably. The triple bottom line theory expands the traditional accounting framework to include two other performance areas: the social and environmental impacts of their company. These three bottom lines are often referred to as the three P’s: people, planet, and profit.”

    So, Sustainability.
    There is it right there. In plain sight.
    Cultural Marxism.

    The above is saying you must work ‘for the collective’ and not for self interest.
    It is straight out communism, repacked in a touchy-feely way that appeals to the soft-in-the-heads.

    For those who are offended by this analysis, go somewhere else and/or take a fricking knee!



    • Those laws, rules, regulations, etc to shore up the triple bottom line, are great for the established “crony capitalism” the ones stamped as “approved”.

      Then the bureaucratic technocracy government, regional, district, and NGO, but funded by tax payer, rate payer, money so the clip board warriors, with forms of tick boxes, with 4 year degrees can rule, in Lysenko fashion.



    • I’m a life long lefty unionist and radical environmentalist. I’m okay with the concept.

      What I’m not okay with is the implementation and the putting of ideology ahead of results and outcomes.

      The USSR was awesome in theory. As is Marxism. Okay for a thought exercise, but leave it in the class room.

      Results matter. Marxist doctrine has been disastrous for people and the environment.



        • It’s always different.

          On the face of it I’m one of them. Difference is, I simply want an uplift in people’s circumstances. I’m not a fan of punishing the wealthy. I actually want their buy in. I’m a pluralist who wants real world results.

          Dragging the top down to the bottom is equality, but makes things worse for everyone. As one example.



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