Networks are a way of making sense of what's happening in the wider world.
We're coming out of lock-down. Eventually, we'll be sitting around laughing and gossiping, but we won't take this for granted. Talking face-to-face has a deeper significance now.
We've been shut away. We've had to rely on the digital world. It actually works pretty well for keeping in touch, and saves an incredible amount of driving. I've been surprised at the long conversations I've had on the phone to friends and colleagues. We're all in the same boat, right around the country, and when we ask 'How are you going?', it's a very particular question. We sense our shared vulnerabilities. We know that our collective response to the pandemic is as important as what we do as individuals.
We're connected globally. We watch first-hand accounts from people in northern Italy, and Spain, and New York. We compare what's happening in NSW with Victoria. There's information and opinion everywhere. Too much information.
I've come to realise how much I depend on the conversations in my networks to process what I'm absorbing globally. Networks aren't just for sourcing information - they are where we chew on what's happening, make sense of it and work out how we're going.
As we open the boundaries, who will we each talk to, face-to-face? What's worth talking about? We've had time to think about our lives and our work. We had drought, then bushfires, and now this virus. Despite a wet autumn, the planet is still warming up. What are the conversations that matter for our collective life?
The pace of the normal is going to pick up. It might be smart to not leave to chance the conversations we want to have.
Photo credit: Harli Marten, Unsplash