With economies stagnating, politics polarising, societies shattering and ecosystems suffering, I felt an urgent need to go walkabout last September.
It was my best chance of making some sense of the news from around the world. I travelled to Beijing, London, and Chicago, three cities that have profoundly shaped my life, as much so as Auckland has these past twenty years.
I came home from my walkabout feeling in some ways more despondent. The damage being done is so rampant, the vital changes needed so radical, the time left so fleeting. Righting our utter unsustainability seems impossible. Yet if we give up we are already lost.
Thankfully, I also came home feeling more optimistic and purposeful, with a deep appreciation for the people I had met and the work they do.
Rod Oram has forty years’ experience as an international business journalist. He has worked for various publications in Europe, North America and New Zealand, including the Financial Times and the New Zealand Herald. He is currently a columnist for the Sunday Star-Times; a regular broadcaster on radio and television; and a frequent public speaker on sustainability, business, economics, innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship, in both New Zealand and global contexts.