The Silver Linings of 2020

Updated: Apr 28



How did you design your way through pandemic life, with intention, goodwill, imagination, creativity and optimism? (even when you weren't feeling up to it!)


By Michela O'Connor Abrams, founder of MOCA+


It did not take long for me to move from, “Where in the hell is this pandemic taking us?” to “We must not waste the opportunity to learn.” Whether it is a survival tool or the wisdom of age, or both, I’ve always tried to focus on the ways in which adversity, trauma and even tragedy can be an opportunity for growth. (In fact...MOCA + is now offering a workshop on May 24th on this very topic, Designing Our Way Through Crisis) I dare say the pandemic was ripe for the picking! It created so many “shouldn’ts”, “cant’s, and wont’s. I shouldn’t go outside without a mask. I can’t hug my mom. I won’t travel on a plane. If you defied any of these pandemic rules the penalty could be death! There was no mistaking that consequence for anyone - even those who continued to live in suspended disbelief.


The pause made us look inward and take stock of our personal priorities, as much as it did remind us of our collective role on earth.

We were grabbed by the shoulders and shaken as if we were a forest of trees in a storm. We had to look around and assess our surroundings in a way we haven't done in a very long time, if ever. The pause made us look inward and take stock of our personal priorities, as much as it did remind us of our collective role on earth. It’s one reason why we abandoned living on planes and took to the road, campsites and national parks. (see our article, Traveling with Renewed Courage) Our Design Insights Forum found that one in three travelers now wants to find a new way to travel in the post- pandemic world, whether it's going on a rafting trip, doing a cross country trip instead of flying or buying a luxury leisure van. We have heard the drum beat of climate change for decades, but for most it’s overwhelming to think about what our miniscule contribution can do for the planet, not to mention our own and the legacy we care to leave.


April's Earth Month, has again reminded us that it's a good time to take stock in our contribution to a healthier planet. At MOCA+ we work with our clients on their stewardship of the resources used in manufacturing their products, distributing those products and partnering with companies who care about their impact as much as we do. The industries that took a beating are reinventing themselves for the better. The jobs lost are not inconsequential, but the jobs created will, overtime, be the engine that runs a healthier world.


In celebration of this month dedicated to preserving nature, tell us what “shook” you into a new view, perspective or habit that benefits our world.

From our Collective Conscience 2020 Salons, we heard from leaders around the country about designing our way through life, with intention, goodwill, imagination, creativity and optimism. Here are a few of ours:

  1. A new understanding of what it means to be “at home.” We all define what that means individually, but here are two examples: Amberleaf and The Art of Home Wellness.

  2. A travel itinerary dedicated to getting on the road and seeing the country around us.

  3. A desire to spend more time outside and gather all we need from local sources. (Making Sustainable Choices).

  4. A realization that “work” doesn’t have to include a commute, a cubicle, an office, a conference room or 50 in person meetings a week.

  5. Events are here to stay, but in-person and online will be a permanent hybrid.

  6. That shopping with e-tailers can still be a “touch” experience. (Conscious Collecting)

  7. That we have the time to seek out the truth in everything we live.


In celebration of this month dedicated to preserving nature, tell us what “shook” you into a new view, perspective or habit that benefits our world. The net of this is, we have time to make the world a better place if we choose. There is an enormous amount of work to be done and we hope you are as committed as we are to make the difference with every choice you make and every action you take.


We look forward to hearing about your silver linings in our comments, and please share them on social media and tag MOCA+.


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