Bounce Beyond: let’s not go back to normal

The desire to ‘get back to normal’ has been stirring around the world for over a year. When the pandemic first started and people chose to shelter-in-place or were required to be in lockdown (depending on your perspective and location), many of us thought it would be a few weeks or months at most and then we would go back to the way things were before this all started. One dictionary definition of ‘normal’ is ‘conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected’. These past 15 months have been unusual, atypical and unexpected, and illuminated the fact that some standards we were conforming to needed to be reconsidered. In December 2019 a Hong Kong graffiti artist emblazoned a wall with the words: 

“We can’t return to normal, because the normal that we had was precisely the problem”

Though referring to their political situation, it could have been a prescient warning about post-pandemic living. It has become evident that much of what was considered normal before was unhealthy, unjust, or unworkable for many.

This time out was an opportunity to reassess on an individual and collective level how we live, work, govern, socialize, manage our health and finances, and respond to uncertainty. Our economic, educational, health care and political systems and the way we interact with one another are all in need of significant transformations.

We can take a clue from Nature as it is always evolving. We are meant to as well. What doesn’t evolve, goes extinct. The post-pandemic rallying cries of ‘the new normal’, ‘ bounce back’ or ‘build back better’ are still focused on recreating aspects of the past. While resilience is a critical skill to have during challenging times, the ability to regenerate (produce anew) is what is needed now. The phrase that resonates most with me is ‘Bounce Beyond’! It is the name of a collaborative initiative working to transform economic systems around the world to create a flourishing future for all. We can apply the ‘bounce beyond’ concept in our own lives and any community efforts we are involved in. Let’s regenerate the future rather than just recreating the past!


Your Choice: Going back or moving forward

card by Jane Norton

“Nature always evolves; it does not try to re-create what it lost; it did not try to recreate the dinosaurs.”

Zach Bush, M.D.

  • Are there dinosaurs in your life that you might be trying to revive?
  • What would you like to bounce beyond? And what are you wanting to bounce towards?

  • What do you want our country, and the world to bounce beyond?

Place a line on the ground (inside or outside) with a rope or hose or pole. One side represent the past, the other the future. Facing the past, visualize or write down everything that you want to leave behind (ways of being, doing, relating, working, etc.) Facing forward to the future, visualize or write down everything you want to embrace. Standing at the line on the past side, take a step or a jump if you want to bounce over the line into the future. Imagine what it feels like to be embodying these new ways of being and doing.


Bounce Beyond is a network of change makers and organization joining forces to increase their impact. Rather than working to improve the existing system, they believe we need to bounce beyond to focus on new economic systems that will help create a flourishing future for everyone.

Their website has a wealth of information, including their model of four transformation strategies that can be applied at any scale.