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Closed doors, open windows

8 May, 2020

Many of us have felt our hearts race as we frantically refresh our browser to secure a coveted space at a spin class – or our hearts sink at spotting an incredible concert, only to realise it’s halfway across the world. But these experiences are, for now at least, a thing of the past. 

Much as we dislike the phrase ‘silver lining’, an unintended and not unpleasant consequence of the pandemic has been the democratisation of spaces that were previously off-limits. And it’s not just social events. With a smartphone and a decent internet connection, chances to understand and debate the most trailblazing developments in science, business and society are, quite literally, at your fingertips.  

Take our friends at Tortoise Media. In the offline world, their collective ‘ThinkIn’ sessions were restricted to 50 people. In contrast, their recent digital ThinkIn about crisis leadership featuring Tony Blair received thousands of attendees and downloads. And they’re not the only ones. The next few weeks contain a virtual smorgasbord of opportunities to connect and consider the biggest issues facing our species – from a behavioural insights webinar on crafting effective communications during a crisis, to a lunch-hour lecture on how protecting our planet can help prevent future epidemics. 

Now is as good a time as ever to explore the massive range of talks, conferences and panel discussions taking place across the globe. We’re hopeful that this virtual accessibility might outlast our physical confinement, inspiring more spaces of learning to throw open their digital doors and let the world in. 

By Sarah Howden

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