My three tips for facing 2024

As we navigate the complexities and conflict around us, we owe it to ourselves and to each other to keep our eyes, ears, hearts and minds open.

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Danny Almagor
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Welcome to 2024. It’s going to be quite a big year.

It’s a leap year and the year of the dragon, we will watch the summer Olympics in Paris, and you can catch people out on their geography trivia as Nusantara will become the new capital of Indonesia, replacing Jakarta.

This year more than half the worlds population will go to the polls to vote. Approximately 76 countries, representing around four billion people, are expected to conduct national elections throughout the course of the year, including eight of the ten most populous countries including Bangladesh, Brazil, Pakistan, Russia, India, Mexico, Indonesia, and the United States. The European Parliament and the United Kingdom will also hold elections this year.

There is a fear that with so many elections there will be an increase in tensions and polarization around the world, with the potential for spillover and more conflict. We already have some very scary and devastating conflicts going on such as Ukraine-Russia, Israel-Hamas, Sudan, Yemen, Myanmar, and recently the escalation in Balochistan between Iran and Pakistan. And I haven’t even mentioned our hottest year on record, biodiversity loss, artificial intelligence and some other existential concerns. The meta-crisis is here.

So what does this all mean and what do we do about it? Here are my three tips for facing 2024.

The first thing to do is to keep our eyes and ears open. We cannot pretend that these things aren’t happening, and we need to be informed enough to face reality as it is, rather than pretend it is something else. This means listening to voices and perspectives that aren’t always aligned with our own, holding complexity and uncertainty as permanent parts of our information systems and discerning the difference between facts and opinions. This last one seems to be very challenging for most people at the moment, conflating thoughts and feeling about something with the thing itself. This means that making sense of what is going on becomes harder than ever, and truth has become a concept that many people no longer believe in.

The second thing is to keep our minds open. Discerning between facts and opinions is one thing, but even if that can be achieved, can we hold our opinions with humility and see the other side, even if we disagree with it? That is the second challenge for 2024. As these elections (and conflicts) take place around the world, people will take sides, attracted to their ‘in-group’ or tribe and often vilify the ‘out-group’ for being stupid, evil, degenerate or even deplorable. Our job is to build bridges, not walls. A key thing I always remind myself is the ancient Chinese fable about the farmer and his horse that ran away. We cannot know what the outcome of any action is. Sometimes what we think will be the worst thing in the world, ends up having a positive impact, opening our minds to new ideas and possibilities and even opening our hearts to new connections.

So the last tip for 2024 is to keep our hearts open. During uncertainty and complexity we shut down and surround ourselves with what we know and people we trust. That is a wise instinct, but I genuinely believe that our way out of some of the major challenges mentioned above is to lead with love and hope and joy, keeping an open heart for new relationships to emerge that can create a new reality, for us and the world. We cannot solve any of these problems alone, or in our own tribes. Finding the solutions to the complex interrelated challenges before us require us to reach beyond our bubbles and forge diverse and unlikely partners and friends.

In 2024, the Small Giants Academy we will be going deep on each of these three concepts bringing you some of the best speakers in the world to open your eyes, minds and hearts. Make sure you subscribe to our recently relaunched podcast ‘Wisdom and Action’. You can also delve deeper through our speaker series, masterclasses, retreats, deep dives, impact safaris or mastery programs, where you will be exposed to the wisdom and action of our incredible faculty and guest speakers.

We will hear from leaders like Gayle Hardie who reminds us to focus on our emotional health and stay ‘above the line’, Nora Bateson offering a perspective of the world through the lens of a meadow rather than a machine, Daniel Schmachtenberger highlighting the threats and opportunities of the meta-crisis, Aziz Abu Sarah inviting us to see our ‘enemy’ as our partner in peace, Satish Kumar encouraging us to live like an artist, Jay Coen Gilbert on how to use business as a force for good, Lydia Fairhall integrating spirituality, indigenous wisdom and modern philosophy, Dan Ariely exposing our predictably irrational human biases and Jane Goodall who shows what a life of contribution, love and hope look like, to name just a few. Strap in for a big 2024.

With love and hope,


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