Building resilience and creating opportunity is about letting go of preconceived notions and being aware of future possibilities. It begins by looking at things through the lens of two words: “This could…”
This Could represents the fulcrum point between present conditions and future possibilities. The words have served us well in the past and we need them even more now to prepare for the future—because while our needs are steadily increasing, the resources we have to meet them are decreasing.
In business and industry, continuous cost-cutting and a relentless pursuit of efficiency have made “doing more with less” the new definition of “business as usual.”
In the wider world, we’re exhausting our natural resources. Our waste has reached such critical density it is not just overflowing landfills but having oceanic locations being named for its accumulation—the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Keystone species are being driven to extinction due to loss of habitat, over-development, and over-foresting, while erosion and runoff from over-mining minerals for smart phones and tech gadgets creates disastrous living conditions for the world’s most vulnerable populations.
To put it bluntly, we’re in this situation because of over-everything. We need to focus on building resilience and use what we’ve already molded from chemicals, pulled from the ground, and felled from our forests in new ways instead of consuming more.
One of the best tools we have to achieve a new resourceful mindset is by embracing the potential, opportunity, and vast resourcefulness contained in our existing materials, skills, budgets and surrounds.
It begins by seeing the world through the lens of two words: “This Could…”
There’s quantifiable magic in those words. Studies have shown that introducing an object with “this could” instead of “this is” makes people ten times more likely to find new uses for that object, and seeing an object as a collection of components instead of a single item makes people four times more likely to realize “this could do something else”
This Could maximizes limited resources by generating an abundance of options for future use. The words create new opportunities for existing objects, assets, systems, and a cyclical lifecycle in place of consumer disposal.
In short, This Could creates new resources from those we already have. It is the core tool needed to realize that increasing our resources doesn’t have to mean increasing our consumption of them.