The Grey Swan Guild News Wrap — The Week That Was Friday, July 2, 2021.

Grey Swan Guild — News Wrap Edition: #24 of Vol. 1

Theme: National Holidays & The Possibilities, Permutations and Premonitions of Post-Pandemic Travel to Other Nations.

Lead Editor: Doyle Buehler.

These are a series of stories and headlines we are tracking in the
Grey Swan Guild’s Global League of Sensemakers Newsroom. Here is The Great, the Good, the Bad, the Undecided, the Ugly and The Tapestry of what we observed this week. Stitching together a story for the future.

This is a special week for many of us as we ponder the state of many of our nations with a relaxed, celebratory eye. No less than 45 countries or territories celebrate their key national holidays in and around July 1st: Bahamas (7/10), Belarus (7/3), Belgium (7/21), Benin (8/1), British Virgin Islands (7/1), Burundi ((7/1), Canada (7/1), Cape Verde (7/5), Cayman Islands (1st Mon. July), Colombia (7/20), Comoros (7/6), Democratic Republic of Congo (6/30), Djibouti (6/27), France, French Polynesia, Mayotte (7/14), Greenland (6/21), Iceland (6/17), Iraq (7/17), Isle of Man (7/5), Kiribati (7/12), Liberia (7/26), Luxembourg (6/23), Madagascar (6/26), Malawi (7/6), Mongolia (7/11), Montenegro (7/13), Morocco (7/30), Mozambique (6/25), New Caledonia (7/14), Palau (7/9), Peru (7/28), Rwanda (7/1), Sao Tome & Principe (7/12), Seychelles (6/18), Slovenia (6/25), Solomon Islands (7/7), Somalia (7/1), USA (7/4), Vanuatu (7/30) and Venezuela (7/5).

That’s a lot of countries, but not every nation celebrates it, nor celebrates it in the northern hemisphere’s ‘summer’ (G’day mates, Australia) — but then this highlights ‘whom’ exactly the holiday is for — the ‘settlers’ of a nation, or the indigenous peoples who had no choice in the matter.

Regardless, congratulations countries — you are hopefully one year older and hopefully one year wiser (and have shedded all of the cells that die in a healthy way in your biome). It got us thinking that maybe we should create a weekly news wrap this week, making sense of the world around us, with a national and patriotic twist, and how we can connect them with possible travel and more haircuts by pros.

In this month of celebration, we also have a few events. Check the Grey Swan Calendar for upcoming happenings, including a new member “bank and wedge” new member orientation session on July 7, and our weekly Clubhouse discussions every Sunday.

Grey Swan Guild Atelier #4 — Tech Swans Applied

We are hosting a workshop on one of our favorite Guild topics: “emerging technology” and what exciting applications they attach to in the near future. Join us and exercise your digital genes on July 9th at 4pm ET. Discover ten interesting advancements in technology with new use cases & human benefits and hopefully silver linings, and more hopefully few unintended negative consequences.

Let’s make the promise of technology real. What can we expect, not expect, some time frames, some offshoots and some surprising occurrences?

Our fourth Weathervane Panel is starting!

Grey Swan Weathervane IV — Here Today or Going Away Tomorrow

Provide us with your thoughts on which behaviors, habits, values and societal norms have changed forever and which are going to snap back to a 2019 previous normal. What were you doing last July 2, 2019? Consider the future of serious societal changes, niche important shifts and fun, provocative considerations. Which way do the 2021 winds blow and the bones fall? Please help us answer these quandaries with the linked survey.

Please join us on Sunday, July 4th at 8am (PST) 11am (EST) / 4pm BST on Clubhouse to engage with your favourite Grey Swan Guild Wrap Editors, including Sylvia Gallusser, Sean Moffitt, Agustín Borrazás, Rob Tyrie, Ben Thurman, Louise Mowbray, and Antonia Nicols.

The theme that emerged this week is one of “National holidays & Travel” and our Clubhouse falls smack dab on July 4th. Let the fireworks begin. Take some time out of the fireworks and festivities for some thinking and possible travel plans to the amazing nations of the world.

Makes me think we should author a Grey Swan Guild national anthem or at least a poem. And a flag! We digress. [Ed. Poem generation enabled]

The Partners

Oh Canada and it’s larger trading partner in the warmer South,

Pursuing happiness and other swans. Both celebrating. Some cautiously.

Thinking of rockets red glare, lost childhoods, and being thankful to breathe.

One born of revolution and the other born of evolution and a family compact,

We share a language that sounds mostly the same, recognizable

As much as the northern lights are easy to see by everyone, differently.

There will be fireworks and terrified pets in both nations, but as in history,

Canada finds herself behind her big sister, in timing and in aversions.

Canada is a place of place of peace order and good governance,

Carefully cosmopolitan in the transition from the former mosaic.

Together differently the partners are.

America brash, and dancing, paying amateur athletes and

Filling stadiums and concert halls for the vaccinated,

Canadians see a future there if they choose to follow it and not Europe.

That is a jump ball and we shall see what we shall see

in the onset of the basketball season, fall and epsilon, kappa or lamda.

R.Tyrie, Earth, Sol — Lat 43', Long 79'

Rhymes aside, let’s wrap.

The Great 😇

1.What will travel look like post-coronavirus? Making the most of what’s on our doorstep, planning dream trips and greater flexibility than ever before are likely to become part of our future as we try to support an industry that’s been on its knees since the pandemic began in early 2020. Pent up demand seems have rocketed up with search demand for travel in May’21 270 percent higher compared to May 2020 at the peak of the coronavirus crisis.

Google found search for terms like “where to travel to” have spiked, as have views of travel-related content on YouTube. Searches for “can I travel” have jumped more than 800 percent and inquiries for “travel to” and “hotel booking app” have climbed by more than 100 percent. The term “rentals near” has seen global growth of 100 percent year-over-year. The terms “relaxing” (51 percent), “new to me” (40 percent) and “stress-free” (41 percent) are resonating with travellers of all generations. In terms of COVID-19 considerations, travellers are drawn to keywords like “safety” (59 percent), “flexible” (56 percent) and “full control” (56 percent).

Fifty-seven percent of people are hoping to travel more when the pandemic is over and the same figure expects travel bookings to be flexible in terms of convenient, penalty-free change and cancellations. United Airlines is more bullish than most about the future adding 270 new planes into its fleet. We had viewed global travel as one of the last things to spring back, but perhaps United knows something we don’t?

2. Independence Day and Canada Day are well-known, but did you know about these other days of celebration in July? Something to consider when planning your stay-cation in your backyard yurt. July also includes National Postal Worker Day, which we should think has great “Going Postal” poster possibilities.

3. To the MOON! Instead of travelling to another country… or the moon… how about travelling into space? The new space race is on, and you can be in it, or on it…if you’ve got the cash, of course. Richard Branson aims to fly to the edge of space as early as July 11, narrowly beating Jeff Bezos. Virgin Galactic announced Thursday that it was planning to launch Branson aboard its next test flight as early as July 11. Bezos won’t be climbing aboard his company’s New Shepard rocket until July 20. Looks like $198 Billion can’t buy you everything.

The Good 😀

1.A German looked at the necessity and power of public holidays in a clear and ordered study. While Bavaria has 17 to Ontario’s 11 and Berlin’s 13. The reason more public holidays are better is so that we can coordinate our leisure time with family and friends in lovely patios or parks. As we move to the 3 day week (we hope sooner than later), we think the tilt will be to add more than less holidays in reflection of new productivity across the G20. Workers unite. Now that the US has Juneteenth is Julyteenth far behind? Cheers and family picnics to that. Although an older report, the sentiments are even stronger, now that we know what it’s like to live through a pandemic. Trivia question: which countries have the most and least public national holidays? Cambodia (29) and Sri Lanka (26) top the list. Mexico (7), U.K., Spain and Canada (8) are in the lower echelon.

2. Your new vacation destination might be a smarter one post-COVID. The COVID-19 pandemic has reopened the debate on what the travel destinations of the future should be like. While in the 19th century the medieval pandemics of the plague and cholera led to the widening of streets, experts believe that the current health crisis will result in a stronger commitment to sustainability, the environment and pedestrianization.

3. Since the pandemic, employees are leaving the workforce or switching jobs in droves. For many, employers have played a big part in why they’re walking away. In the US alone, April saw more than four million people quit their jobs, according to a summary from the Department of Labor — the biggest spike on record. One showdown playing out in public is from one of the world’s most valued companies and open letters from a group of their own employees. Interesting sensemaking for the future of the work and where it all settles.

The Bad 😬

1.Should we be National-ists, Patriot-ists or none at all? The late German President Johannes Rau made a clear line between patriotism and nationalism, saying in 1999: “A patriot is someone who loves his own fatherland. A nationalist is someone who despises the fatherlands of others.” In 2021, it feels like parties both left and right use nationalism as the rationale for winning the affection of their followers. What happens when this espirit de corps burnished by provenance is co-opted for political sake? Some thoughts here.

2. Speaking of Vacations. This used to be called paternalism. Now it is a solution. Digging in… Is this just a recognition that part of your workforce is burning out and the only way to stop the over-stress and over-work is to shut the whole company down. Seriously? US companies in particular have to do better. Start with 8 weeks of vacation as a standard and hire or build to that. And all roles have to take a 2 week vacation each year to improve systems and build in resiliency to the company. Do better or be regulated? Do better or unions may reappear? There must be a better way than promising staff that if they overwork, they may become a manager or CXO one day. That is just not realistic. The system is broken and the pandemic has unveiled the rift between staff and company.

3. What are we actually celebrating? National holidays have often been shaped by colonialism with little regard to the indigenous people — yes, Canada & Australia, that’s you. Time to reconsider what we are actually celebrating? Yet, how do we even fix the past ‘normal’?

The Ugly 😱

1.The SHOW IS OVER. Greta is back, and it’s still damn ugly. Tomorrow, 150 weeks will have passed since she started the school strike for the climate. 150 weeks and not much has changed. Yes, progress has been made, but is it too little too late for us?

2. Miami collapse, search and rescue…and rescue…and rescue. One week after Miami building collapse, search and rescue effort halted due to safety concerns. Multiple police officers and rescue personnel said that the vacant, still-standing part of the building was shifting and might also flatten. To add to the disaster — South Florida could also be hit with Tropical Storm Elsa, which was churning in the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday and could interfere with search efforts. If you ever wonder what goes into search-an-rescue building efforts, here’s a deeper appreciation.

3. The bad and ugly truth? Some are national holidays… and some are ‘celebrations’ of Genocides that have been turned into national holidays. What?!? The dark lining of community holidays. A list that show 11 Genocides that have been turned into holidays, including thanksgiving. Execution on Easter is not on the list. Pass the turkey, hold the history.

The Undecided:

1.Mirror Mirror on the Wall, who is the most nationalistic of them all? This spirit of patriotism and love of country got us thinking, which country in the world had the most self-pride. Ta-da. Somebody has done the hard work for us. YouGov asked a set of countries’ citizens “do you believe your country is the best?” (some notable countries were not surveyed in the study). Here were the results:

1st — The United States (41%)

2nd — India (35%)

3rd — Australia (34%)

4th — The United Arab Emirates (27%)

5th — Saudi Arabia (25%)

6th — Thailand (25%)

7th — Philippines (15%)

8th- Indonesia (14%)

9th — The United Kingdom (13%)

10th — Denmark (13%)

Surprised? Perhaps it was this list, the original question or our current watching or the Euros 2020, but it got us thinking is a pronounced love of country espoused by movies like Braveheart, Born on Fourth of July and Invictus, necessarily a good or bad thing? Discuss.

2. Finland knocked out twice. Suomi has experienced the thrill of victory and agony of defeat across football and society in June. Spikes are happening in Finland which has had low impact from COVID 19-to-date. Hundreds of cases are linked to fans returning from St. Petersburg. 4,500 fans traveled to St. Petersburg and 386 people came back testing positive with the infectious disease (Scottish fans interestingly had the same experience travelling back and forth to London). This underlines the need for testing protocols if travel is relaxed. We hope the best for the fans. On a side note, the Finnish team performed admirably for a first Euro qualification winning against still playing Denmark and turning in a game performance against tourney face Belgium before bowing out.

3. The fourth wave? COVID-19 infections have risen by 10% in a week in Europe after two months in decline and the risk of a new wave of cases is growing, says the World Health Organization. The more virulent Delta COVID variant, relaxed guidelines & social mixing, summer travel and the Euro host city soccer matches are being attributed. With 63% of Europeans still requiring first vaccinations, the re-opening of Europe may be a bit premature.

The Tapestry:


Economies of Agglomeration — Cities and tight quarters have a value that is unique and that is hard to replicate over zoom. Economies of agglomeration or agglomeration effects are cost savings arising from urban agglomeration, a major topic of urban economics. One aspect of agglomeration is that firms are often located near each other. This concept relates to the idea of economies of scale and network effects. Wikipedia

Quote of the Week :

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The Declaration of Independence by the founders of the United States of America.

Interesting Known & Unknown Facts of the Week:

We went deep on Independence Day —There has always been great debate over the identification of America’s birth date as July 4, 1776

The big picture: While the Declaration of Independence was finalized on July 4th as the official date, the Continental Congress voted to declare its independence from British rule on July 2, 1776.

  • John Adams, the second president, was so upset that July 2nd was ignored that he refused to appear at July 4th events as a matter of principle.
  • The Declaration of Independence wasn’t actually signed until August 2, 1776

Other historians suggest that 1776 is the wrong year citing additional milestones:

  • The Boston Tea Party took place in 1773
  • The First Continental Congress began meeting in 1774
  • The Revolutionary War began on April 19, 1775 and didn’t end until 1783
  • The first draft of the Articles of Confederation, which became the US Constitution, wasn’t drawn up until 1789

The bottom line: Like everything in U.S. politics, it’s impossible to please everyone. Frankly, it’s practically a miracle we have come to agree on July 4th as the nation’s birthday. Perhaps it’s best to keep it that way.

Video of the Week:

Hinterland Who’s Who. The Canadian Nation Animal — The Beaver. Remembered fondly by Canadians near and far, from a generation past.

Photos of the Week:

A tale of 3 Cities: Toronto, Canada City Hall; London, Trafalgar Square, and Beijing Tiananmen Square

Meme of the Week:

Sing it loud.

Charts of the Week:

For those looking to travel throughout the US, travel is UP… to the same levels as pre-pandemic. Don’t forget to have your bags & shoes ready for inspection.

Holy days Batman! (p.s. with Juneteenth the US is at 11 Stat Holidays and Canada Day is at 10 with the provincial long weekend in August mostly called Family Day)

That’s the Wrap! Your thoughts?

Why not join us on Sunday, July 4 at 8:00am (PST)/11am (EST) /4pm (BST) on Clubhouse to engage with your favourite Grey Swan Guild Wrap Editors, including Sylvia Gallusser, Sean Moffitt, Agustín Borrazás, Rob Tyrie, Doyle Buehler, Ben Thurman, Louise Mowbray and Antonia Nicols.

See you next week for Edition #25 where we will ponder and ruminate on the week that was, what it means for the future and Wrap it for you.

The GSG Medium is The Message

Visit our Medium channel every Friday for a weekly wrap on the world’s biggest challenges and other fresh articles and points of view The Guild is sharing. Please drop by our Grey Swan Guild website ( for more publications and articles about how we make sense of the world ongoing and also the raft of possibilities to participate as a Sensemaker.

This Week’s Grey Swan News Wrap Editor: Doyle Buehler, with #AMAZING help from the Editorial Team: Sylvia Gallusser, Antonia Nicols, Sean Moffitt, Agustín Borrazás, Rob Tyrie, Ben Thurman, and Louise Mowbray.

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