Over the weekend, my family celebrated my grandfather’s 102nd birthday on Zoom. We dialed in from Hong Kong (my grandfather), the U.S. (myself), the UK, Singapore, and New Zealand. In a normal year, I might not have made it to Hong Kong for the party. But because we now celebrate on Zoom, I was able to attend. For my family, the occasion was a bright spot amid the global tragedy of the pandemic.
Many people are wondering when the world will go back to normal. I believe the world one day will become normal again, but the new normal will be very different from the normal of yesteryear.
Just as the Covid crisis led me to attend my grandfather’s birthday party, once the virus recedes, our newfound ease with high-quality telecommunications will bring people together virtually for all kinds of purposes.
My teams in Colombia now work with my U.S. staff more smoothly than they did pre-Covid — it matters less and less whether my teammates are in Medellin, Colombia, or Palo Alto, California. I look forward to a world where digital communications enable anyone anywhere to receive an education and have access to meaningful job opportunities.
I hope all of you will live long, healthy lives like my grandfather. Although we find comfort in the past, it is by actively creating the future that we move forward. It’s up to each of us to constantly envision and create a better future.