The world has changed quite significantly since the pandemic hit, and it will continue to change quite a bit in the upcoming years. The next years will be vital to human development, both internal and external.
Change however, does not have to be scary since knowledge, after all, is power.
The so called, new normal we kept hearing about is still yet to come. The world as we know it will be much different in 2025. And just to be clear, this is not referring to the coronavirus per se, nor is it about extraterrestrials snatching humans in order to gain our genetic material, or other conspiracy theories.
For starters, let’s take a look into the Next Generation EU fund. This is a European Union economic recovery package that is aimed to support member states adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alongside tackling the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the plan has other objectives. It also aims to assist the green transition; digital transformation; smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth and jobs; social and territorial cohesion; health and resilience; and policies for the next generation, including enhancing education and skills as well as modernising the European economy.  The proposal’s timeline is 2021-2024-2027.
In other words, we are just getting started.
Moreover, the July 2020 European Council approved reforming the own resources system by providing a detailed roadmap. To pay back part of the massive financing, the following new resources have been foreseen: 
- Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), according to which goods will be taxed in relation to the CO2 footprint released during their production. 
- Digital Tax on large digital corporations whose turnover is over €750 million worldwide and at least €50 million within the EU. 
- Revision of the ETS scheme that could be extended to the aviation and maritime sector. 
- Financial Transaction Tax: to ensure a fair contribution of the financial sector to national tax revenues through the imposition of a tax rate on certain transactions and derivatives. 
How to make your business recession-proof?
The concept of sustainability encompasses processes and practices that reduce negative impacts on the environment, as well as responsible economic development and broader social justice. It is actively and positively reflected in entrepreneurship, which is increasingly using natural, human and technological resources.
The question of whether, as a company, to think about implementing sustainable processes is no longer a matter of debate. In fact, the opposite is true. Addressing the challenges posed by climate change, the importance of reducing air, water and soil pollution, reducing labor utilization and increasing local inclusion and social equality has spilled over into creating added value – for both local and global businesses.
Beyond going green
Sustainability means different things to different people. For some, it may be environmentally friendly, for others it may be that the product is created ethically. In some cases, it boils down to how consumers feel about how you treat your employees. 
If you can’t balance meeting consumers’ emotional needs which often include a strong sense of purpose and sustainability and do that affordably, then your business will struggle to scale. 
“Sustainability will require a fundamentally different way of thinking. As Albert Einstein once observed, “We can’t solve problems using the same thinking we used when we created them.” We must fundamentally change our way of thinking about how the world works and our place within it.
Sustainable societies and economies must be guided by the principles of healthy, productive natural ecosystems. These principles include holism, diversity, and interdependence. The principles of social ecology include trust, kindness, and courage. Social principles arise from a set of common core values, which transcend religion, philosophy, race, nation, and culture. Ecological integrity also depends on the principles of social and economic integrity. 
Societies must use their natural resources efficiently, while respecting the needs of future generations. 
Finally, economic integrity is inseparable from ecological and social integrity. Economic relationships must be mutually beneficial relationships that reflect a sense of kindness and trust, in meeting our individual material self-interests. 
As societies, economies, and organizations move toward greater economic efficiency, they compromise the essentials of sustainability. As investments become more narrowly focused on economic returns, they fail to make the long-term investments in natural and human resources necessary for renewal and reproduction. Such investments cannot compete economically with those promising quicker returns. Such economies and societies have no incentive to radical redesign and reorganize for the benefit of future generations of citizens or investors. Their institutions and organizations may be productive and profitable, but they are not sustainable. To ensure sustainability, the need for economic efficiency must be balanced with the need for ecological and economic integrity. 
Some critics of sustainability claim that people simply are not willing to make the economic sacrifices necessary for sustainability. They will always give priority to economic efficiency over ecological and social resilience and regeneration. 
People must come to the realization that life is not about the pursuit of material wealth, power, or fame as we had been led to believe. Life is about the pursuit of happiness; everything else is a means to this end. Certainly, some level of economic well-being is important. We are physical beings with physical needs. We need food, clothing, shelter, and perhaps some of the other things that make our lives easier or better. However, we are also social beings with social needs. We need positive relationships with other people, even if we receive nothing of individual, material or tangible value in return for our efforts. In addition, we are ethical and moral beings. We need the sense of rightness and goodness in our life that comes only from knowing, by faith, that our life has purpose and meaning. Happiness arises from a sense of balance and harmony among the economic, social, and ethical dimensions of our being. 
When our pursuit of success compromises the rightness in our relationships with the earth, our ethical and moral sense of stewardship of creation, we diminish our happiness, no matter much personal wealth we may extract from nature. It is not a sacrifice to care for others; caring makes our life better, not worse. It is not a sacrifice to care for the earth; caring makes our life better, not worse. Certainly we need to care for ourselves, but we also need to care for others. 
Once we begin to appreciate the physical, social, and ethical dimensions of happiness, we begin to understand that the economic, social, and ecological principles of sustainability are also the principles of purposeful living and the keys to true happiness.” 
Big changes start with small steps – first with commitment, then with conscious action, leading humanity to a new and better world.
 A recovery plan for Europe, https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/policies/eu-recovery-plan/
 European Council conclusions, 17–22 July 2020
 COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS, COM(2020) 442 final, Brussels, 27 May 2020.
 European Parliament, Financial Transaction Tax, Factsheet, 22 February 2021
 Jeff Fromm, Creating A Feeling Of Authenticity And Purpose Wins With Consumers, https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefffromm/2021/06/24/creating-a-feeling-of-authenticity-and-purpose-wins-with-consumers/
 John Ikerd, Authentic Sustainability; Beyond Going Green