…“our new normal will…see young people take up leadership for planetary healing and systemic transformation”. These are the words of Kavya Arora, a young member of Forum for Responsible Building (FRB), who believes in a new normal that would be “built around the values of compassion, harmony and care for the planet and its inhabitants”. Kavya’s words encapsulate sentiments of other members of FRB who have contributed to FES’s latest e-book The New Normal: Within me, around me - a compilation of conversations and reflections on ways to bring back balance between nature and humans, environment and economy, development and sustainability.
The book talks about concepts, innovations and self-to-society transformation ideas that could be taken up to positively impact our lived realities. Each thought, unique in its presentation, expresses a desire to change the status quo, change the way we live and interact with nature and co-habitants. The contributions range from design interventions ideas such as restoring / remodelling / repairing of existing infrastructure instead of building new one as well entrusting community with designing and planning for their needs to acknowledging food as an important bridge between different communities. There are pieces that ponder over ingrained inequalities in the society that got pronounced during the pandemic, significance of democracy in current times, recognizing oneself as part of the problem and then rethinking ways in which this could begin to change.
All the pieces tie to the basic principle of ideating, co-creating and planning for sustainable and inclusive ways of co-habitation, reducing extractive practices and preserving the environment and its resources. The book provides a way out of the current state of things and ends with a hope that this new normal will change the world for the better.
Download your copy here The New Normal: Within me, around me
Mandvi Kulshreshtha is Program Adviser of the Economy of Tomorrow project at the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung India office in New Delhi.