Posted by: Tony Shannon | March 31, 2020

Community & Collaboration in Crisis

As the year of 2020 will be remembered by the rapid sweep of the coronavirus/ aka covid 19, lets hope that we will also remember the community and collaborative response that we have seen around the planet to this challenge.

Though we may have known that the world was due a global pandemic at some point soon, many of us have been shaken by the speed at which this one has spread across the globe, at speeds we didn’t imagine, most likely due to the interconnected nature of our globalised world.

Within the last weeks Ireland has gone from being on alert to cases due to arrive to a partial lockdown to a total lockdown within our homes (+/- 2Km) over the last days and weeks. So the threat is real and people recognise this as a public health crisis/emergency.

The health crisis goes hand in hand with a broader societoeonomic crisis that is intertwined, businesses have shut, hundreds of thousands made unemployed almost over night so this is challenging time for all.

Amidst this crisis, what has been nice to see is the quick, instinctive reaction of people that has followed the news.. i.e. people offering to help, to help with community and to collaborate in ways we haven’t seen before.

Some examples I have seen;

Community Level; Within days of a call for help, 150 volunteers signed up to help their community and their neighbours in the city village where I live.

City Level: Clusters of communities all springing up to do the same around the city, offering to help in any/all way people can to do good and help others, gratis.

Country level: Huge numbers of people volunteering to answer #IrelandsCall , again offering to help where they can.

Collaboration Internationally: the response of people all over the world to this crisis has been amazing to see. In particular see these global community efforts to build open source hardware and software to address the covid related challenges the world faces.


These few examples of the efforts of others during this time of crisis show that when a crisis really happens, our human instinct is towards community and collaboration. Long may that continue..



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