Pause The World, Make It A Better Place.


It’s been three months since the COVID-19 emerged, but since last month it has hit the world hard. Qantas has grounded 90% of the international travel until June. Italy, China, El Salvador, New Zealand, Poland, Ireland, Denmark, Spain, Croatia, Serbia and France are in lock down. Also cities like LA, SF and NY.

I’m grateful (and consider myself very lucky) that we managed to deliver our event in February. Under the current conditions that would be the end of my business, but for some of us that is the reality now.

I’m personally worried for all other events, event staff, the entire industry and quite frankly our society. Our behaviour and leadership will be tested in business and on the personal level.

Apart from all worrying about how to wipe our bums and the new joys of working remote: there is a lot more at stake for what’s beyond the second phase (that's when we all realised that this is actually our new reality.) The time is of the essence, so let’s not waste it.

If you earning more than the Australian minimum wage, you are considered rich compared to those that are on the poverty line. And, if you have the business that can afford to help others in any way then - offer the help now. June is far off for many and although we all hope for the best, let’s not just sit and think.

Among the noise, I’ve managed to dig out few examples of how some companies, countries and individuals are helping each other. And I’d love to see more solidarity in the times like these across the industries.

• Italy will suspend mortgage payments during outbreak
• Woolworths introduces special shopping hour for the elderly and disabled
• Qantas offers cancelations as flight credits for 12 months
• Jack Ma to donate 500,000 corona virus test kits and masks to the US
• Google is pushing verified information through Search
• Amazon creates $5M relief fund to aid small businesses in Seattle
• IBM supercomputers are helping scientists studying potential drug compounds to combat the coronavirus
• OpenAI’s Sam Altman is looking for virus-related startups to fund
• Facebook to grant unlimited free ad credits to the WHO to promote accurate information
• China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Lenovo and Huawei have all provided 5G equipment and services to the newly constructed Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan
• WeChat launched a Heat Map to show diagnoses across the country
• Microsoft has launched new interactive coronavirus tracker
• Alibaba and Baidu offer AI gene sequencing tools
• Airbnb won’t charge US customers with cancellation fees
• LVMH sends free hand sanitizer to French hospitals
• Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent, Huawei and DiDi have all launched new health tech features aimed at diagnosing cases and finding a vaccine for the coronavirus
• Etsy has started cracking down on coronavirus merchandise
• Uber and Lyft will pay their drivers in US if they have to stay home

There are many good news, but most of our feeds are covered in government announcements, outbreak stats and how to deal with the virus internally. We all need to find our ‘new voice’ for the business, brand or our persona online, because this is not a business as usual.

Your random act of kindness will go a long way.

George Hedon
Founder & CEO, Pause Fest