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  • Writer's picturecatherine louies

Fish don’t know they are in water

Few days ago, I attended the Changemakers Awards organized by @De Tijd & @l'Echo. There, @Bertrand Piccard shared a fascinating insight that really struck me : "Fish don’t know they are in water."

This metaphor highlights how we often overlook our surroundings because they're all we've ever experienced. It struck me because it immediatley helps me understand why it is so difficult for many of us to take real action for the long-term well-being of everyone on this planet and stop fighting to preserve the current system.


We know what we need to do and we do have the solutions, but somehow we don’t see the necessity nor the massive (business) opportunities, which was also what Dame Ellen MacArthur echoed at the Changemakers Award launch event in November. However, very much like a fish unaware of the water it swims in, we may not see the systems shaping our lives until we step outside of them.

Even if solutions are within reach, progress remains out of grasp without the willingness to challenge the status quo and explore beyond our immediate environment.


So we need more changemakers to drive the transformation, leaders to support them and storytellers to craft the compelling narratives to help us to imagine this new future. Only by stepping beyond our familiar "water" can we truly grasp our situation and envision a brighter future.

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