This week the UK marks one year since the beginning of the lockdown. Many of us are only now beginning to come to terms with loss, sadness, and a deep sense of unease about the future. We all feel it, it hasn’t been easy and it’s not over yet.
Change is what we all hanker after, but what will the new normal look like? Now that the pandemic has shone a new light on how interdependent we are, and at the same time how unequal, and divided, our society is, we have a chance to use our collective imaginations to rethink our futures.
Zooming to learn
During this long year of lockdowns and physical distancing, technology has offered many of us the possibility of socially connecting with colleagues, friends and family. Through webinars and zooms we learned from each other and discovered new things; we improved old skills, developed new ones and broadened our professional horizons.
I’m an urban sociologist and for many years have been advising cities and communities on sustainable ways of improving prospects for all through the implementation of local asset-based cultural plans and strategies.
The buzz among the community of artists, innovators, dreamers, policy makers and civic leaders who I work with is that we can no longer afford to fall back on old solutions. They don’t work anymore. It’s time for change.
Starting today and for the next few weeks I will be posting inspiring ideas, projects, initiatives, policies, and debates that I have learned from the 100+ digital events I attended since the first lockdown in March 2020.
My top choice this week are two books which – as well as challenging the status quo – chart the steps to help us all to build a better society for all.
• Rob Hopkins, From What Is To What If: Unleashing the power of imagination to create the future we want (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2019).
• Paul Chatterton, Unlocking Sustainable Cities: A manifesto for real change (Pluto Press, 2019)
- #100 Ways of Reimagining Post-pandemic Living and Working – Doughnut Economics
- Less Commodity, More Community
- Second Summer Academy on Cultural and Creative Industries
- Elitist, moi?