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A Convenient Label

by Su Aziz

It’s no longer the time to take the path of least resistance and inactivity will be a killer to any economy. Su Aziz deliberates on a vital tool for economic resilience. This was an article features in In Focus magazine issue 5.

The opening line from the first chapter of the book Resilient School Leaders by Patterson and Kelleher sticks resolutely in my head. Resilience, it reads, ‘is a convenient label to describe things that bounce back.’ The authors define resilience as, ‘using your energy productively to emerge from adversity stronger than ever’.

Most people would have experienced some sort of broken heart or a major disappointment by the time they’re a teenager. It’s a rite of passage. However, teenagers are quick to recover from hurt and disappointments – as quickly as they swipe up while cruising social media platforms on their phones. They’re built that way because at that age, it’s way easier to bounce back. At that stage in life, humans possess a higher level of resilience than when they’re older.

Patterson and Kelleher’s rationale definitely applies to the characteristic needed to weather a stormy period in one’s life, or for a country, a mercurial economic climate.

While a human’s tools for resilience include self-respect, social skills and optimism, an economy may need something a little more, well, concrete. Logically, it’ll be wise to use tools readily available to build up economic resilience. Technology could be an essential tool in this respect. Humans innovate through technology fuelled by science and this in turn enables economic recovery. Thus, facilitating technology to shape the future of an economy can only be beneficial.

Besides, there’s no denying how technology is seeping into every crevice of life, be it work or play. There has been no industry that hasn’t been disrupted by technology and the outcome has been more good than bad. Let’s count the ways: agtech that has increased fresh produce tenfolds, 5G – that’s about to be overtaken by 6G even before it has made a proper global debut – has made remote brain surgery possible and very soon, the visually impaired as well as those who can’t drive will be able to own self-driving cars.

The future’s here and we’re basically living it. It’s where electrical appliances in your kitchen talk to you, human-like robots greet you at the front desk of a hotel and kids are exceedingly tech-savvy with the world wide web as their playground. Acclimatise to the times. Because, what other choice do we have now? Resistance is a fruitless exercise. So, embrace technology, let it lead us to the path of resilient economic development.

Now is the time to turn adversity into opportunities and that’s what being resilient is all about – manoeuvring around challenges and adapting to when the going gets tough. It’s survival of the fittest. Resilience, especially powered by technology, is most definitely a convenient label during this current, unpredictable, economic times.


Main photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash.

20 Jan 2020
Last modified: 20 Jan 2020
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