Mr Brightside: Copenhagen, Swine Flu, Recession and us

with 3 Comments


KITCHEN TABLE — We humans, and the organisations we work in, can be a miserable lot.

According to many people (me included, most days) 2009 was the year of fear. From start to finish we pulled the duvet over our head each morning and said “oh, no”.

But let’s look a little closer.


We set it up and then we agreed how awful it was. But was it?

The biggest nations of the earth agreed to do something. They of the biggest populations and biggest polluters. It felt like a meeting out of a comic book or a sci-fi movie. “World leaders come together to save planet”. And in the absence of Superman (or Will Smith) they did okay. It’s not over. It’s only just begun.

Swine Flu

Try living with a microbiologist when a pandemic is announced. We all know (now) that pandemics are part of our future. And H1N1 was a dress rehearsal. I was swabbed in Malaysia, hassled in Dubai, scared in Canada, oblivious in the US and generally buffeted by waves of tabloid fear in London.

It’s always better on the night when the dress rehearsal goes badly.

And we learned a LOT this time. Generations that haven’t known global issues got a taste. And we’ll be better for it.


I am old enough to remember queues at the gas pumps in the 1970s, 20%+ interest rates in the 80s. I come from a country (Canada) where people put more money away for retirement than almost any other nation on earth.

They announced today that Britons started saving move than they ever had this summer. And maybe it’s about time.

I know this recession has been bad. I know that many of the human stories have yet to be told. But we have not seen the images we remember from the late 70s in the UK, let alone the grainy pictures of the Great Depression.

Everyone who stayed awake in the first week of economics course knows that you can’t have constant growth. Some of us forgot that.

Able and How

Readers may be following the fortunes of this consultancy too. And you’ll know that we’re a classic example of how not to start a business. Launched in recession. Blown around by ill winds.

We have persisted. And we have survived. We have worked with 15 of the best organisations around. Companies like GE, Pfizer, Santander, Rio Tinto, BAT and more. And we’ve done what we have always done: put our faith in people.

Employees, employers, clients, colleagues, teachers, investors. They’ve all come through for us.

We’re not going to insist on living 2009 over again. But we haven’t stopped counting our blessings either.

Enjoy your holiday.

We’ll look forward to working with you next year.


Download PDF

Download PDF

3 Responses

  1. Beatrice

    i think that in asian countries the Swine Flu did not spread rapidly compared to those countries that are located in colder climates. we should still be very thankful that the swine flu did not cause massive infections.

  2. Teddy Blake

    2 of my cousins in mexico got infected with the swine flu virus. thank God, they recovered well. it is a great news that the pandemic on swine flu is gone now.

  3. Jennifer Powell

    Our home business was really affected by the Economic recession, we have to cut jobs just to cover up our losses. fortunately, we have already recovered. “

Leave a Reply

19 − 10 =