What’s COVID made possible for the world?

However much we used to talk about innovation and change, the status quo often won in the end. We couldn’t design a perfect enough future to let go of the now.

We knew about the potential for transparency that new technology made possible, but feared the loss of control.

We knew that we could reach out to people, include them and become truly global citizens, but we kept falling back into the habits that privileged what we knew and felt comfortable with. Secrecy and physical proximity.

We are now at a fork in the road, between hope and hopelessness. Behind us, and around us, are all the problems of history and the horrors of the pandemic. The pain and the suffering are all too obvious. But we’ve also been given a glimpse of what the future could be, where:

Boards of Globally important institutions become public forums through the magic of Zoom, so people can understand both the decisions made and how they were made
Who really counts in the world has been turned on its head; supermarket staff, refuse collectors and delivery drivers are being reseen as the essential people they’ve always been
People from Turkey, Germany and the US come together to achieve unheard of breakthroughs in medical technology in what until now would have been seen as impossibly short timeframes

On 15-19 November 2021, we will be running a conference with a difference. Rather than 2 Chairs, there will be 20, and each Chair will have the opportunity to bring many others into conversation with them, so we can hear from the many different perspectives that are shaping our future.

What we do know is that no one knows what tomorrow will bring. What we believe is that by bringing many perspectives together something wonderful can happen, that won’t let the world fall back into its old habits of mind that put too much emphasis on control, hierarchy and privilege.