SELF REFLECTION and culture change during the current downtime are the primary elements which can aid society’s swift reintegration, in the post-covid19 period.

This was the sentiment shared by TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) president, Brian Lewis, during his online keynote address at the Every Crisis Creates Opportunity (ECCO) Think Tank forum which was hosted by founder of The Brand Builders and social impact leader, Vickie Saunders (Australia).

Lewis’ contribution was entitled ‘Opportunities within Crisis’ and focused on his ideology of coping with current restrictions, surviving the many changes and assessing the opportunities presented during this time, to thrive beyond the global pandemic.

The TTOC boss believes athletes, administrators and society as a whole should use this worldwide crisis to make significant changes to their everyday lives. Reconstructing the human mindset is key to returning an improved global society, post-covid19.

“How will everyone fit into the next normal? It rests with culture. Use this opportunity of having to stay home and (come down) to reflect. Spend time thinking. Focus on not just being a human being but being human. If we don’t use this opportunity to reflect, change our mindset, attitude and how we look at the world and each other, we will not learn. We can change these challenges and crisis into an opportunity to grow,” he said.

Although Lewis agrees the current pandemic has crippled economies, countries, major corporations and even forced the job market to be separated into essential and non-essential services, he remains hopeful the change for future betterment must start now.

According to the former rugby player, in his 20-minute discourse, the health crisis has also given people a chance to look back on their past actions and see what should be done differently. Even though the word ‘crisis’ is commonly known as ‘an intense time of difficulty and danger’, Lewis sees our present state as a turning point.

“It can be argued while we were all on this hamster wheel, we have lost what it meant to be human," Lewis said. "Think about your life, how you operate, conduct business, cope, survive and thrive. Seize this unique opportunity to become friends with yourself again.

"What will happen is, as soon as we get a vaccine or whatever that will allow us to go back to what we think is normal, we will fall back into the same way of behaving, thinking and interacting,” he added.

Also featured at the ECCO Think Tank forum were presentations by chief executive officer of Queensland Netball Catherine Clarke, human rights advocates James Walton and Craig Foster, Manifesto Sport Management president Russell Reimer, Canadian Olympic Committee national manager Tom Hall and multimedia journalist consultant and author Li Deep-Jones.

Lewis pointed out, “We are all charged with the responsibility to do certain things like stay at home and wash hands, basic things. It seems we needed a virus to bring us back to the simplicity of being a human being and being human. Having reflected, we can then figure out our place in the world.

"In our own unique way, every one of us is hurting is one way. We’re afraid and it’s uncertain. If we don’t reflect and learn, the best strategy will fail.”