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This article was written for the Leadership Academy for Poland- an apolitical and non-partisan educational initiative promoting the development of good leadership in Poland and abroad.

 The existence of a common threat affecting everyone across the globe is an unprecedented event in the entire history of our species. It will teach us, both on a societal and individual level, that solving universal problems requires the mutual effort of many different social actors. 

 Our current practice of outsourcing non-business related tasks to NGOs, local governments or even to public administration simply doesn’t work. One entity runs the tests, another one pays and distributes them; yet another is tasked with administering data, and someone else informs, feeds, and takes care of us – “Everybody’s got to work, my little friend” –as Julian Tuwim once wrote. Problems like homelessness, domestic violence, huger or environmental pollution require a systemic approach and the cross-institutional cooperation of different companies, organizations and experts. 

Self-evident as it is, rediscovering this truth because of COVID-19 will define how we tackle other social problems in the future. Philanthropists and donors ready to give their money to a good cause will understand that solving problems of such magnitude is beyond the power of any single Non-governmental Organization.

If it mobilizes financial resources for systemic solutions, there’s a chance for extraordinary progress. 

Agata Stafiej-Bartosik – country director for the international social innovators’ network “Ashoka: Innovators for the Public”. She teaches a systemic approach to solving social problems at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, and Kozminski University. 

Every day, 400 journalists at Gazeta Wyborcza write verified, fact-checked stories about the coronovirus pandemic for you.

They are on the front lines in 25 Polish cities. They work on the ground, reporting from hospitals and airports.

We have decided to open online access to our news stories and special guides focused on the issue of public health, for free.

The access to information should be equal for all.

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