On the heels of a generational pandemic, after a summer of historic wildfire and natural disaster, and with a now entrenched war on the doorsteps of eastern Europe and renewed bloody conflict in the Middle East, folks can’t be blamed for feeling like we live in a perpetual state of high alert.
Nor can they be blamed for seeking a simple answer to quickly make sense of things. Or simply tuning out altogether.
It’s a lot to digest.
And, with the proliferation of misinformation and disinformation, political polarization has been imbued all around us, leading to growing mistrust in the liberal rights-based order that has been a hallmark of the post-WWII era.
It’s harming multilateral efforts to find meaningful solutions to these existential challenges.
And the growing use of social media opinion as a proxy for fact is driving a deeper wedge between constituencies, pushing decision makers further to the fringes.
The waning ability to build consensus and maintain broad support is leading to greater vulnerability for people exposed to outbreaks, extreme climate, and those living in conflict-affected zones.
Understandably, there’s a lot of information to sift through for any one person trying to make sense of it all. Add to that, the pressures of daily life in an economic downturn, a general lack of knowledge of history, and the diminishing returns on people’s attention span.
Like many, I thirst for unbiased information to make sense of the complexity all around us. However, like many, I’m not immune to the distractions of life that prevent the ability to get a full grasp of most situations. Nor am I immune from the human fallibility of racing to an easy answer.
But, as a concerned global citizen—who’s spent time nurturing diplomatic relationships on behalf of the Government of Canada and building capacity in the global south—I care that we find solutions that lead to greater population health, an enduring habitable climate, and assurances that people can live in peace and security.
With all this in mind, now more than ever, I see the need to support individuals and organizations that are working to build a fulsome understanding of the challenges we face, to avoid the false dichotomies that too often shapes our conversations about potential solutions.
The iK Insights platform both acknowledges and tries makes sense of complexity. It helps contextualize in an unbiased and digestible manner the historical data that informs our current situation. It also aggregates and presents real-time information from trusted sources that can rise above the cacophony of noise emanating from malicious actors who seek to sow chaos.
iK Insights has enabled news organizations to better engage with their viewers, helped inform public health measures during COVID-19, and helped large utilities keep the lights on for their customers.
I think it could do the same for national governments, multilateral institutions, and global aid organizations operating in challenging and heavy-stakes environments.
In a highly polarized world, as time and space for nuance decreases, and the pressure to take sides increases, it’s important for public and private sector leaders to prioritize activities that build common understanding, bridge the growing divide, and allow space for understanding the complexity that seems inescapable in this day in age.