Welcome to the first edition of the New England Plan Newsletter. As most readers will agree we have been through quite a change in our daily lives during the past year. Many of us now work from home with few live interactions with co-workers except through virtual digital communication. Schools and colleges also have moved toward virtual classrooms. So, what will the post COVID New England look like?
For many who work in the travel and leisure industries, it is expected that restaurants and hotels will re-open in some fashion almost like pre-COVID. Venues may be smaller and somewhat reconfigured and new facilities may open to replace those lost to the pandemic. But many other workers will continue to work from home with a variety of hybrid work weeks with some days in the traditional office for client and staff meetings.
These new forms of working will be enhanced with technology and digitization methods including artificial intelligence, tele-medicine and blossoming digital customer interactions. As working from home becomes less of a temporary fix and more of a lifestyle, the health of local economies will affect the ability of rural towns and former industrial cities to adapt and thrive in the face of challenges that lie ahead.
Meanwhile inclusive equitable growth will require the combined energy and ingenuity of business leaders and policy makers in areas such as environmental protection, climate change and farmland/forest protection. Our New England educational institutions and non-profit organizations must also rise to the call for new methods of training to prepare us for the challenges ahead.
The New England Plan team looks forward to helping many of the cooperating organizations here in the six-state area to promote their individual efforts. These include environmental business goals, state and federal legislative issues, local city and town initiatives, regional environmental efforts and equity in social justice, education and health care. We want to promote their ideas with others for effective change while protecting our shared traditions of self-governance and common local goals.