Editor's Note

The fourth issue of the Fourth Leap Magazine features industry experts and thought leaders including MDEC's Chairman on the Digital Economy, Business Continuity During/After the Pandemic and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

“The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.”
– Chinese Proverb

As COVID-19 leaves devastation in its wake, some things have become apparent. Some time ago, we shared the words of Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Chairman of the World Economic Forum: “In this new world, it is not the big fish which eats the little fish, it’s the fast fish that eats the slow fish”. The pandemic, it seems, has revealed that many are “slow fishes”, and that the “big fish” in this story is time. 

Social distancing and isolation have made evident that mankind, and the human condition, can sometimes be a dichotomy – bringing out the worst or the best in people. As we struggle to pick up the pieces, some doing better than others in this regard, we are forced to be malleable, resourceful and creative to navigate this dire strait. And with more time for contemplation, thanks to the Movement Control Order and quarantine, this has forced the conceptualisation and adoption of creative solutions as means to advance. 

One of the biggest misconceptions about creativity is that – it has to be always in an unfettered and undiluted form. It seems, creativity cannot be chained, restrained or in any way filtered so that it can enable itself to unleash its effectiveness. True, but not always. Creativity must also revel within boundaries. It must protect itself despite all the obstacles or censorship - and yet ensure triumph through its overall value and objective.

Creativity and innovation alone, you may argue, is not enough. But as many are uprooted and shaken from the comfort of familiarity, we see new ideas and solutions cropping up, adapting to our contact-free environment. From less-than-perfect Zoom calls, and foreign ecosystem of virtual whiteboards to simultaneously editing a chaotic Google document, change is inevitable. Businesses are driven to reshuffle their operations, digitalise their processes and adopt digital solutions to accommodate the Work From Home environment. This, to some extent, requires creativity in this new reality. 

We hope that this issue of the Fourth Leap Magazine will bring about some clarity in times of uncertainty, with the help of our featured thought leaders. Stay tuned for more as we bring you more tips, solutions and food for thought to weather the storm that is COVID-19. Feel free to reach out to us and let us maintain an open line of communication in the spirit of sharing for all to benefit. All the best, and stay safe. 

Sritharan Vellasamy