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Building Back Better and Stronger

By Darren Bautista

For the second session of DMU’s Free Online Masterclass series, Dr. Peter Stokes (Professor of Leadership and Professional Development at De Montfort University) spoke about the topic “Recovering from Covid-19: Old Wine in New Bottles?” Dr. Stokes defined the meaning of this metaphor, saying that it represents rebranding the old to make it better. Mainly, the discussion behind the titular metaphor is: What will be different after Covid? The world has been in crisis before, but not everyone has. Today, people are seizing the day and taking risks during times of being “bottled up” during lockdown or quarantine.

In a 1-on-1 interview format, spearheaded by Mr. Daniel Steel (SGEN Director of Communications and SISFU Career & Placement Head), Dr. Stokes was asked questions revolving around Covid-19 and the global pandemic. From preparing yourself to react to change, the denial of safety protocols and the virus, societal consequences post-Covid, and much more— he gave his humble opinions and experienced insight on what he was asked.

When asked about how to prepare yourself to react to change, Dr. Stokes explained that the key thing to have is the right state of mind. You must stay aware of what you can and cannot control, choosing your energy towards what matters to you the most. He also mentioned Austrian Psychotherapist Viktor Frankl, who believes that every human has the freedom to choose one’s destiny and each choice in life constructs who you are.

Receiving a question about the societal consequences or changes of a post-Covid world, Dr. Stokes referred back to history, where countries implemented new laws or initiated economical projects from catastrophic events. He brought up the 1929 stock market crash, Hurricane Katrina, and baby booms after wars, where each of these situations are possible outcomes in the future or lessons that nations can learn from.

Overall, the numerous gems of knowledge and impactful statements that Dr. Stokes discussed throughout the online masterclass were definitely insightful and will be remembered by the audience through these times of uncertainty. Many thanks to Dr. Peter Stokes for sharing how to recover from the global pandemic as a collective society, where putting “old wine into new bottles” can carve our paths to positive change in the future.


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