Princeton Foundation 'Heal the Humanity': Reimagining the World post Pandemic. By Ameyavikram Pathak
Updated: Oct 9
Amidst the dark hours of Covid pandemic, the world stands at the dawn of a new cosmic era, in which our life will be sustained only if we emerge wiser and implement the lessons learned. If we can do so, the course of capitalism that has dominated the world in the last 500 years, could be reinterpreted only as a process experimenting oligarchic capitalism, state capitalism, corporate capitalism, and ultimately converging on stakeholder capitalism which was the basic tenet of capitalism to begin with.
Princeton Foundation’s “Heal the Humanity” endeavor represents the culmination of management precision. It is a live example and a case study in the concepts of Corporate Social Responsibility, Stakeholder Capitalism, Collective Action Platform, Supply Chain Management, and Disaster Preparedness. It establishes the Proof of Concept in Govt-NGO-Corporation collaboration and is the harbinger of a better future. We are determined to expand the potential of this endeavor to its totality, and reshape the course of the world - together.
Globally, as of October 2021, we have almost 250 million cases of Covid including around 5 million deaths 1.
The entire crux of the modern world has been shaken by a disease of human creation. And human lives, to this day, are still being claimed by this bane. Those who survived are reeling under the socio-economic fallout of the pandemic. In May 2020, the Asia Development Bank estimated that the pandemic would cost the world $5.8 to 8.8 trillion, reducing global GDP in 2020 by 6.4 to 9.7 percent 2. The ultimate financial cost could be far higher.
This pandemic is not the first, nor the last one that the world will face. Contrary to popular belief, pandemics are not random events. Outbreaks of well-known infections and encounters with new diseases occur regularly 3. More than forty new infectious diseases in humans have emerged in the past few decades. Overuse of existing drugs produce drug-resistant strains of fungi, protozoa, and bacteria, exposing humanity to even greater dangers. 4,5
However, the global vulnerabilities to a potential pandemic were surprisingly, and completely, ignored by all stakeholders. These susceptibilities were identified in innumerable high-level reports from multiple agencies for nearly two decades but were never addressed. The global health community was almost uniformly in agreement that the most significant natural threat to population health and global security would be a respiratory virus—either a novel strain of influenza or a coronavirus 6, but all these warnings were simply overlooked, culminating into a disaster of astral proportions.
Lurching through the catastrophe, the world entered the next phase – blame-shifting and criticism on how different governments handled COVID-19. The focus was on finding a scapegoat to mollify societal anger or guilt, while it should have been on lessons learned and next steps.
It’s a gnawing question, whether this crisis could have been averted. Equally important questions are whether we are willing to learn from our blunders, if we can we better prepare for the next crisis (and future waves of the current one), if we can we revamp our disaster preparedness, and if we can commit capital and economic resources to reduce the vulnerabilities that jeopardize individual, national, and global health security…
WHO defines pandemic preparedness as “having national response plans, resources, and the capacity to support operations in the event of a pandemic.” Preparedness includes prevention, detection, and containment measures as well as programs that respond to and mitigate issues that arise from the spread of pandemics. This could include PPE shortages, limited hospital capacity, and acquisition of vaccines and other countermeasures 7.
The International Health Regulations (IHR), a binding international agreement revised in 2005 and signed by 196 state parties, includes rules related to identifying and sharing critical information about epidemics and maintaining core capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to dangerous disease events 8.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down. In these moments of crisis, it has been hard to be optimistic about the prospect of a brighter global future. Many are wondering: will governments, businesses and other influential stakeholders truly change their ways for the better after this, or will we go back to business as usual? Indeed, the bad news related to the pandemic came on top of the enormous economic, environmental, social, and political challenges we were already facing before the pandemic. With every passing year, these issues, as many people have experienced directly, seem to get worse, not better. The same economic system that created so much prosperity in the golden age of capitalism in the 1950s and 1960s is now creating inequality and climate change. And the same political system that enabled our global progress and democracy after World War II now contributes to societal discord and discontent. Yet there are reasons to believe that a better economic system is possible—and that it could be just around the corner. We have seen glimpse of what is possible, when stakeholders act for the public good and the well-being of all, instead of just a few”. Klaus Schwab, Time, Oct 2021. 9
These laws and guidelines require enormous amounts of resources. No government, NGO, or corporation can meet the challenges of a pandemic on its own, and there is neither a need to do so. Most global organizations and governments do wish to collaborate in the best interest of humanity, setting aside the parochial ego war. The World Bank Group took actions to help developing countries strengthen their pandemic response, increase disease surveillance, improve public health interventions, help the private sector continue to operate and sustain jobs, and committed over $157 billion to fight the impacts of the pandemic 10. More than 100 companies committed to the World Economic Forum’s Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics initiative; more than 50 companies have already started incorporating these metrics into their annual or sustainability reports by September 2021 11.
It’s evident that multiple stakeholders wish to join hands in making the world a safer and better place, but they struggle to connect the dots. This is where the Princeton Foundation for Peace & Learning steps in.
Princeton Foundation: Bringing Business Precision in Philanthropy
Princeton Foundation is a conglomerate of world class professionals representing global organizations in various fields and aims to ‘Bring Business Precision in Philanthropy’. We formulate our project strategy through systematic implementation of the requisite steps, respectively: a. Situation analysis, b. Gap analysis, c. Resource Analysis, d. Prioritization, and e. Strategic Partnerships.
Princeton Foundation Covid Task force is indebted to various individual donors and global organizations that supported the initiation of our “Heal the Humanity” project including Harvard University, BE Industries, Geisinger Health System, Maersk Shipping Corporation, and Govt of India. Princeton Foundation also appreciates the unrestricted support from Google, Amazon, Facebook, and eBay in our philanthropic endeavors.
Health the Humanity 1.0:
As we developed our strategy for the project ‘Heal the Humanity” against COVID, our Situation Analysis revealed that various organizations had successfully raised funds and procured COVID-related medical supplies. However, our Gap Analysis identified the lacune of the next step: shipment of these supplies to the places where they are needed. This was as difficult as we had anticipated to begin with, because one of the earliest casualties of an emergency is almost always Supply Chain Management.
COVID-19 had disrupted the global supply chain for personal protective equipment (PPE), testing kits, and other medical equipment putting immense pressure on the system to meet global demand. That is why the Princeton Foundation focused its resources on the ‘Heal the Humanity’ project through restoration of Supply Chain Management.
First, we reached out to the Government of India as this country was ravaged by not one, but TWO waves of Covid, the second of which was largely unanticipated. The Indian Govt’s efforts in the battle against repeated outbreaks of COVID were stellar. However, they were gracious enough to allow assistance to save additional lives. GOI kindly permitted us to join forces and endorsed the Princeton Foundation to Maersk Shipping Corporation, a world leader in handling Supply Chain Management. Maersk, which has been a flag bearer of Corporate Social Responsibility and an early signatory of the WEF’s Stakeholder Capitalism Matrix, responded immediately by dropping the transportation fee of seven 40-foot containers to a symbolic nominal freight fee of $1 per container using the services of its Special Project Logistics (SPL) unit.
With the support of the Govt of India and commitment from Maersk, we began reaching out to donors. Within a span of less than 2 weeks, we received pledges of medical supplies worth more than 15 million USD, including a major donation from Harvard.
“Maersk SPL has assisted numerous humanitarian aid missions for COVID-19 and our coordinated, end-to-end, single point of contact service for the Princeton Foundation and Government of India is indeed an important honor and privilege”. 12, 13
Head of North America Aid and Relief Business Development
Maersk Special Project Logistics
A significant proportion of these supplies have started arriving in India and will be distributed across the country under the supervision of Indian Red Cross and Govt of India 12, 13. The supplies will save lives as we speak.
Health the Humanity 2.0:
Princeton Foundation understands the global apprehension of COVID-19 and strives to help restore balance back in the global society. As we expand our endeavors, we wish to send out a gentle reminder to all - A paradigm shift is needed from the aloof disconnection we live in, back to re-connecting the entire world. Humanity's greatest strength is not just its evolutionary uniqueness, but its adaptability to tribulation and the ability to overcome it, despite the odds.
Our vision at Princeton foundation is to make the world a better place through our endeavors in Healthcare, Women Empowerment through Education, and World Peace. We believe in establishing “Collective Action Platforms’ as social problems are too complex to handle alone by any one organization. It’s only through cross-functional collaborations that we can exact positive change in the world.
Pandemics are inevitable, but disasters are not. With better preparedness and our unity through adversity, we will create a brighter future for tomorrow’s generation. Let’s make the world a safer place – together.
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2. Coronavirus ‘Could Cost Global Economy $8.8tn’ Says ADB,” BBC, May 15, 2020, http://bbc.com/news/business-52671992
3. Katherine F. Smith et al., “Global Rise in Human Infectious Disease Outbreaks,” Journal of Royal Society Interface 11, no. 101 (2014): 1–6, http://doi.org/10.1098/ rsif.2014.0950.
4. Kate E. Jones et al., “Global Trends in Emerging Infectious Diseases,” Nature 451 (2008): 990–93, http://doi.org/10.1038/nature06536.
5. “World Health Report: Global Public Health Threats in the 21st Century,” World Health Organization, 2007, http://who.int/whr/2007/overview/en/index1.html.
6. Jennifer B. Nuzzo et al., “Preparedness for a High-Impact Respiratory Pathogen Pandemic,” Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, September 2019, http://apps.who.int/gpmb/assets/thematic_papers/tr-6.pdf.
9. A Better Economy Is Possible. But We Need to Reimagine Capitalism to do it. Time, October 2021.