Two things the pandemic taught me

by Lucy Curtin

It’s been a big month here for us at Republic of Everyone. 

For a start, March was B Corp month. At Republic, we are a proud B Corp and have been for many years now. 

It’s also been a big month because it’s March 2021, and – oh, yeah – that marks the one year anniversary that we packed our desks and started working from home. Over the past 12 months we have learnt (and are still learning) how to work together remotely, and have had to deal with some massive changes, both personally and professionally. 

I refer to myself often as an optimistic existentialist, but the pandemic has certainly tested my outlook. Many times, nihilism seemed like the only answer – particularly when I saw people facing unemployment, reduced days, and even a complete career change. 

For those of us that are lucky enough to still have gainful employment, we have had to embrace the changes the pandemic has handed us. For Republic, one of the biggest changes has been working out how we were going to get on with life and work in this new world. 

I mean, it should have been easy, right? We have been staring at screens since the inception of the iPhone, so more screens shouldn’t have hurt, surely? Alas.

As I reflect on the year that’s been, there’s been plenty of lessons learnt both about me personally, and about my workplace. But when I boil it all down, I see two key themes. And no, one wasn’t that I actually just wanted to throw my phone in a river (though I definitely thought about it).

Firstly, the pandemic reinforced that we are human, and that means we need connections. Full stop. As Johann Hari explains in his wonderful book Lost Connections, there are actually nine different types of connections we need to be a fully happy and functioning human. The key takeaway for me is that in a world where we are more connected as ever to our screens, the reality is that we are human – so we need human connection and interaction to thrive.

Secondly, it’s reinforced that life is precious. Our planet is precious and we are part of it, so if we have the opportunity to make meaningful change… then why wouldn’t we? If we all join together to lessen our impact and regenerate the earth, we can build a better future for generations to come. So again I ask, if the opportunity is there (and it is), wouldn’t we at least try?

As I mentioned at the start, Republic of Everyone is a proud B Corp. That means we are doing our best (i.e. we’re trying!) to be a ’Better Business’ – we’re on a constant journey to exceed the expectations, demands and needs of our society and the planet. It also means we are committed to ensuring all our stakeholders are at the centre of all our decisions, whether that’s our employees, our clients, or the people we partner with to get the work done. 

Why did we decide to become a B Corp? Simply put, it’s in our DNA. It might sound like a cliché, but we believe our company has a higher purpose: to Do Good and Be Better. 

Our people care like activists, think like strategists and imagine like creatives. We only work with people and brands who are aligned with this purpose so that we can make a real, positive impact on our planet and all the living things that inhabit it. 

To continue with this critical work during the pandemic has had its challenges. It’s been more important than ever to hold steady to our core values, to collaborate, and to communicate about how we do things and why it’s important. 

But here’s the kicker – how do we try to change the world and change behaviour, and be a better business – all within the context of a global pandemic? How do we keep all the plates spinning?

A brilliant coworker recently introduced me to the concept of Adventure Thinking. Adventure Thinking is about bringing an expedition mindset to everyday life challenges, stages and situations. It’s about trying to make the impossible possible. It’s about understanding that in a world where you are trying to create change, there will always be heat – it’s how you navigate that change and handle the heat that will end up defining you. 

Adopting Adventure Thinking at Republic means we are accepting that there will always be challenges and we might not always do everything perfectly, all the time. But just like we can try our best to change the world, we can also try our best to be better at how we work. 

The secret is to do it together. 

It’s only by working together that we can overcome challenges and create the change we want to see. When we work together, we’re able to get outside ourselves for a hot minute and see that we are a part of something bigger. And no, I’m not talking about god or faith. I’m talking about that beautiful thing, our living planet earth.

We’ll start to understand that we’re all part of the same thing.

Reese Witherspoon said something that has always stuck with me as she addressed the audience in her 2006 Oscars’ acceptance speech. She quoted her grandmother as she said,

“I’m just trying to matter.”

I get that. I too want to try, and I want to matter. 

I hope that through adopting an adventure mindset in our work, helping others to make changes that create lasting impact, and through educating others to understand humans don’t own the planet, we are the planet, that we can all matter. After all, we are all just matter, anyway. 

Lucy Curtin | General Manager

Want to have a chat with us about how you can do business, better? Get in touch at