There is no doubt global interconnectedness accelerated the spread of Covid-19. But the very concept of interconnectedness could also be the answer to tackling such global challenges.
Blueprint for a better world
Active investors have a role to play in directing capital flows towards companies that can demonstrate resilience and offer long-term solutions.
Responsible investment involves encouraging investee companies and pushing for the development of consumption and production models that are scalable and sustainable over the long term.
Nearly five years have passed since the launch of the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As a universal call for action to help improve health and education, reduce inequality, end poverty, address climate change and boost economic growth, the SDGs were not specifically created with asset management in mind.
Nevertheless, managers are increasingly shaping products and strategies around the SDG targets - using the indivisible and interconnected goals as a valuable framework for building a better world that works for both people and the environment, at the same time as targeting financial returns.
Active investors will need to evidence that they have grasped the inextricable link between human, animal and ecosystem health, and ensure that company engagements are far-reaching and exploratory in a way that they may never have been before.
Nexus thinking would seek to understand all these connections, symbioses and trade-offs - helping managers to identify unexpected consequences and enhance planning, decision-making, governance and management.
Anita McBain is head of responsible investment and ESG at M&G Investments