2021: A year of optimism

by Anthony Viel – Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte

As published on LinkedIn by Anthony Viel

I’m feeling energized and excited about the year ahead. Armed with all that we’ve learned from 2020, I believe now is the time to commit to a brighter future in 2021.  With that, I want to share with you why I’m so optimistic about this new year (and the years that follow…)

A vision to thrive

In our report, Catalyst: a vision for a thriving Canada in 2030, we made the case that Canada needs a new path – a better path that will ensure everyone has an opportunity to thrive and a brighter future. (if you haven’t yet read the report, now is a great time to download a copy)

Since launching this report, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with business and government leaders across Canada who have expressed their enthusiasm around how Canada can become a more promising place to live, work, and do business.  Our opportunity is clear, significant, and most importantly, achievable.

I’ve also heard from colleagues around the world who’ve read the report and have begun to think through similar economic and societal challenges and recommendations for the countries they call home.

It’s clear that we’re on to something. In the weeks that followed the launch, we witnessed announcements by all levels of government across Canada that validate the recommendations we made in our report:

First Project Approved for Universal Broadband Fund

Canada to reveal huge COVID-19 deficit, make ‘down payment’ on national childcare

Canada to Spend $87 million to Modernize Immigration

We’re energized by this momentum—this is good news for Canada—and will continue to look for ways to share our proposed path to others; we expect this to have a flywheel effect well into 2021 and beyond.

Our next normal

As we witness the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, the promise of returning to the little things (like being together with friends and colleagues) is possible within the year that lies ahead. And while the pandemic has tested our resolve, it has also introduced us to new ways of staying connected, working and doing business, pushing us to be more creative and innovative than ever before.

As this year progresses, we’ll continue to adapt to the next normal. No matter the “normal” we’re living in, we will be making deliberate choices about how and where we work—whether at home, in the office, or at a client site, considering our personal preferences and needs and the type of work we are doing. I expect remote work to continue and look forward to hearing more great stories from clients who have observed the positive impact of establishing trust in their people across their organizations.

Collaborating for measurable impact

It’s important to remind ourselves that lasting solutions to the complex problems ahead of us are neither quick nor easy. And if we are to realize a brighter future, we must start now – making difficult decisions that will have a real impact on our economy, environment, and community.

From my perspective, the most critical step is for governments, business and Canadians to work together in new, creative, and respectful ways, just as we have done throughout the pandemic. The unprecedented speed and cooperation we’re witnessing with the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine is the latest example of this. The sheer scale of the opportunity in front of us requires unparalleled cooperation like this—no one can go it alone and succeed in making our world one in which everyone has a better quality of life. Quite simply, this opportunity to take charge and drive change starting immediately is too important to miss.

2021 is the first blank page of a new chapter. The pen is in our hands. Let’s work together to write a brighter future for Canada and all Canadians. Wishing you all the best in this new year.