From the dizzying heights of what Malcolm Gladwell calls the magic moment when an element crosses a threshold and takes hold causing everything to change, the message is clear. Just last year, in an international IAFOR conference in Tokyo considering how we might reclaim the future we assumed the answer to the apocryphal “Knock, Knock, Who's There?” to be someone warning us we had only a short time left to make the necessary changes to combat global warming, Artificial Intelligence, biological change, gender problems or whatever other catastrophe to our way of living. Now, a year later, having witnessed a continent in flames, thousands of animal species destroyed and seen gender and racist messages brought to a head, we have been stopped in our tracks by a virulent pandemic. As governments decreed the confinement and lockdown deemed necessary to confront the lethal virus, each one of us has been forced to question the most private aspects of ourselves and our fears. Epidemiologists proffer contrasting theories of how the virus will evolve, conspiracy advocates paint dire pictures that offer no solution and entire countries attempt to balance the immediate problems of public health and the economy. Statistics enumerate the schools closed, companies forced out of business, theatres, cinemas, museums closed tight, millions out of work. To keep safe we're told to keep our distance, wear masks, protect ourselves from each other. We feel abandoned. We wonder where the future has gone. Although some scientists continue to insist there's still a chance to make a change, the apocryphal voice answering our knock has now made it clear. We've run out of time, even to celebrate and embrace the differences that have inevitably made our collectives richer and more diverse. We must now recognise ourselves and each other for what we are – human creatures made up of energy, much more similar than different despite skin colours, ethnicity or even gender... interdependent with the flora and fauna of the planet and even, cosmophysicists assure us, with the elements of our universe. The universal consciousness implied is hardly new but was already known by Greco-Roman philosophers. Accepting this proven interrelation makes it easier to understand how every action – in the way we deal with each other, in our work, in what we write and teach, as consumers and citizens – has an impact on our world. Enough of us consciously making an ethical impact might well be our only hope for a conceivable future we are able to live with. But TIME'S UP... If we are going to make a change, we must do it now.

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