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Sympatex CEO reflects on how business should change

24/03/2020
The CEO of materials developer Sympatex has said alongside the immediate concerns about protecting heath and keeping businesses afloat, the coronavirus crisis should make companies reflect on business models and humans look after the planet.

Dr Rudiger Fox said the immediate leadership task is to offer transparency and confidence but also prepare for the "post-Corona" period, “which will certainly be different”.

“When the first Corona cases occurred in China, our Asian offices already gave us a taste of the effects on employees and our supply chain - and we quickly felt the powerlessness with which we are largely at the mercy of the consequences,” he said.

“For while many may still think that we just have to muddle through these crises somehow in order to be able to continue as before, they are seriously mistaken. In a few years we will look back and it will become clear that through Corona, beyond all the suffering and all the challenges, the world has learned a few lessons that are essential for our coexistence in a globalized world: that it is we who are responsible for protecting the major economic, but also social and ecological systems from overloading - and that we can only meet the major challenges of the future in a collaborative way. At least that is my deepest hope.

“In my view, the Corona crisis teaches us two lessons for leadership. Firstly, we must be more careful in our decisions so that we do not overburden the economic, social and ecological systems surrounding us with our collective actions. Whether it is global warming, the littering of the planet, social disparities or the creeping poisoning of the environment - we can no longer ignore these issues or deny their reality, because they have an immense crisis potential. We must recognize our share of them and start to take countermeasures. 

“And secondly, we have to understand that there will be further crises. In order to cope with these, we must learn to support each other, because we are now intensively interconnected and thus directly or indirectly dependent on each other. If we continue to focus on maximising our own interests in the short term, we will be left alone in the next crisis.”