Angèle Beausoleil is an assistant professor of business design and innovation at the Rotman School of Management and academic director of the Business Design Initiative, both in Toronto.

One of the greatest lessons from the past year, if not the past 20 years, is that the health and agility of our human, economic and ecological systems are critical for survival and prosperity.

We’ve witnessed widely varying success in national and regional responses to the spread of COVID-19. Even on a personal level, many have embraced safer ways of working and living such as Zoom meetings and food delivery, while others have resisted mask wearing, travel bans and other basic mandated safety protocols.

Even as stock markets rebounded on the backs of the Big Tech companies, many businesses shut down and our schools juggled new protocols, teaching platforms and mental-health programs. The challenges of the pandemic are far from over, and are a wake-up call on a number of vital issues, including the design and resiliency of our work force.

It’s time to refocus on the people and educational programs that will result in resilient next-gen scientists, policy makers and teachers. And we can start with future-ready programs such as STEM, and more importantly, STEAM.

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