For the past six months, much has been written about the “new normal”, but the narrative is changing and is taking on more of an approach that there will be no “new normal”. Some people want to get the world back to normal, to how it was before the pandemic. Others again want to get the world to a new normal. But what both groups are missing is that there will be no normal - not the old one or the new one, for a long time, if ever.
Normal signifies a steady state. Conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected. Our perception of normality is about expectations. We expect most things to have some semblance of how they are today and when we wake up tomorrow it will be the same. It is an unrealistic perception, as Greek philosopher Heraclitus so aptly wrote so many years ago: “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” He also said: “The only thing that is constant is change,” and this sums up the position we now find ourselves in.
If we focus on a ‘new normal” we are focussing on stagnation, and that is the last thing the world can afford. If one looks back at the many crises that we have witnessed or read about, such as the world wars, financial disasters and now the Covid-19 pandemic,
then the one thing that stands out is that we always bounce back in a better state than before a crisis. The crisis we are in the middle of now has accelerated trends that were already happening. The Covid -19 pandemic has just speeded it up. Many companies were for a long time contemplating allowing working from home or working remotely, and companies that were opposed to the idea have seen the light and had to make an urgent about-turn to make sure their businesses would survive. However, just because many of us are now working from home does not mean we have reached the “new normal”. Far from it.
I recently attended the ICASA hearing on the draft National Radio Frequency Plan, where industry and business were invited to comment on ICASA’s proposal about spectrum allocation. The plan is an update on previous plans and incorporates some of
the allocations discussed and agreed on at the ITU Word Radio Conference 2020 (WRC20). Many sectors of the industry made presentations on how they see their requirements, with particular focus on ongoing new developments. It made me wonder if the system
of WRC conferences every three years will meet future requirements, as technology is developing faster than the regulatory environment.
I firmly believe that there will be no “new normal”. We are experiencing a time of new developments at an unprecedented rate, which requires a much faster approach if we want to move forward. The regulatory environment must become more agile, governments
must act faster, and businesses must adopt new technologies and embrace change faster. Companies must communicate better and share new developments faster and the media must respond appropriately as well. This is the time when the “new normal” changes at
a quicker pace than ever before.
I believe EngineerIT is ready to take on this challenge of the fast sharing of new ideas, and we invite you to come along on the journey to the new technological world of today - new every day. I invite you to share your ideas. Email me today at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hans van de Groenendaal
012 991 4662
082 781 4631