🇬🇧 We have to take our time. It’s urgent.

The plane we are on is taking off and we are building it at the same time.

On the Sustainable Brands Paris team, we still (and always) believe that companies will save us… Okay, there’s work to be done, we know that. But with (aware) humans in control, and our vital need for usefulness (to participate) and society (to live together) this should be obvious. Because, if the current shelter-in-place situation is (deeply) revolutionizing our everyday lives, one thing is certain: two key values will come out the winners – people and… time. 

It’s urgent that we take our time. Obviously.

We have no choice.

Never has the term “take a pause” been so close to “take pause”.

So let’s do both.

The crisis we are experiencing accentuates everything. The good and the bad. And on every level: individual, corporate, territorial, political, and international.

It is an indicator of deficiencies as well as nuggets. We can all witness the creative spirit that is flourishing on social media and the super-efficient organization of telework.

This abrupt shutdown is a tsunami that is sweeping everything and everyone in its path.  Will it wipe the slate clean? It is imperative that we radically revise the way our social and economic system operates. Reinvent. Just about everything. At last.

It’s urgent that we take our time. Concretely.

Be agile to be more efficient

You may not be aware that we were in the starting blocks for announcing the return of SB Paris* on October 8-9-10, 2020. Even though the date is still a ways off, we have decided to push the event back to the first quarter of 2021. If European business players’ (true) commitment has begun, it is still complicated. We have postponed our gathering for obvious economic and logistic reasons, but especially so that we/you can take our/your time. The time to see what the world afterwards will look like. We want to contribute better. To see what new challenges emerge that brands and business players will have to face. To assure ourselves/you/them that our support will be effective.

It’s urgent that we take our time. Consciously.

When the desire to live is strengthened by the desire to be useful

Here we are today in the midst of a crash test: how is my company, my brand’s existence vital to society? Beyond my own vulnerability – how can I get through this? – I am wondering about my usefulness (as an individual or company) – how can I help?

Since we are neither doctors nor producers or retailers of basic necessities, and since we refuse to fill our lockdown time by jumping on the first initiative and/or opportunity that pops up, our team had long video debates to ultimately decide to take a step back. We feel this is the best way to secure efficient help when it is needed.

This regenerative pause directly echoes the whole purpose of SB Paris.

To provoke /support/consolidate the leverage that (true) corporate mutation can be. What drives us (cf. the tone and discussions at SB Paris 2019) is having the chance to activate this potential shift that is so essential and useful to society.

While SB Paris remains a gathering, it must more than ever be about concrete action and shared experience.

Pixelis took the lead on this project two years ago to build an efficient platform that federates a wide diversity of players large and small, famous or unknown, already in movement or gearing up. The objective: to release new possibilities and be an active co-founder of the society (economic, social and political) of tomorrow.

From our perspective, the current situation is an actual real-life laboratory! So let’s practice what we preach: let’s listen, scrutinize, compel, connect, federate and invent something new. Let’s change. Together.

SB Paris #1 was ahead of its time, SB Paris #2 will put time ahead… of everything. Full steam.  (Fresh Forward)

It’s urgent that we take our time. In movement.

Going back is not an option

So what do we do?

Our daily confinement is causing the kinds of behavior that we had ardently wished for and that built the SB Paris #1 program: focusing on the essential, less mobility, less pollution, a better relationship with time, questioning our dependence on growth, more reasonable consumption, respecting people and nature, etc.

And now we’re there. Hurray. But at what cost?

There will be collateral damage. Many people are experiencing tense situations (personally and/or professionally). And since we have no choice, we will mutate. The human being has a tremendous capacity for resilience. By adapting, by changing its habits and reflexes… society will change. The business world will molt. We move forward or we die.

It’s urgent that we take our time. And not only digitally.

The genuine value of human contact

In the current context, the temptation of digital is very strong when your job is to gather people together. The moment we are experiencing amplifies everything. It also intensifies the essence of what we are. Beyond being an event that spreads information and inspiration, SB Paris strives to be a platform where innovation and action are key takeouts. Then, YES FOR SURE we are going to take advantage of this technological effervescence and wisely use digital tools to develop our experience. But NO WAY will SB Paris ever be reduced to a mere digital proposal.

This situation that deprives us of physical contact highlights our added value more than ever: we must assemble a cluster of super motivated players (already prepared or looking for help to move on) to invent the future. Organizing their encounters/confrontation to boost impact on their teams, their management, their shareholders, their colleagues, their clients, their ecosystem, and their business sector.

It doesn’t take many people to co-design an experience that helps each of us build the future.

It’s urgent that we take our time.  Collectively.

To succeed. Together

Taking action in these tumultuous times translates to one of our deepest beliefs – openness.

SB Paris is at the crossroads of worlds that do not usually interact. Our role is to enhance these differences and thereby generate innovation. Connecting communities that are not yet connected,  combining different networks, associating people working on complementary initiatives, supporting risk taking… Together, we’ll keep the positive energy flowing.

We are convinced that one person’s problem is another’s opportunity. The SB Paris experience is all about playing this role: being creative to meet today’s tensions and find solutions to accelerate the transition.

Join us in making sure that this very special time will upgrade from an annoying historical incident to a key point of no return.

No immediate action plan (for a change). Although our brains are already churning.

Let’s be agile.

And, most important, let’s keep the ball rolling.

Speak to you soon… or not – it’s up to you

Aurélia Cocheteux and Bruno Vinay with the SB Paris team

“There is no path, the path is made by walking” – Antonio Machado