The Great Adaptation Series (Updated)

Authors: Ed Fletcher
  • Reading time: 7 min.
  • Posted on: July 10, 2020

COVID-19 has already showcased the huge adaptive potential of the human race, and it’s also surfaced long-existing inequities that require even greater adaptation to tackle and overcome once and for all. Some have already coined this phase of humanity’s existence as the Great Lockdown, but we believe there’s potential for a different narrative. The post-pandemic world depends on how we approach the challenges at present, and whether we are able to adapt to our new environment, rather than wait for a previous world to reemerge. 

The social impact community is a major stakeholder in what a fairer future will look like. A post-crisis world depends on how we adapt today, so that we might shape tomorrow. 

Upcoming Great Adaptation discussions…

| Can the Arts survive and thrive with virtual experiences?

4pm, Thursday 16 July 2020

As lockdown loosens, some venues are earmarked for reopening in July but major uncertainty still remains for the performance industry. Whilst plans are already underway to transform venues into social-distanced spaces, major challenges exist for those working to put on artistic events. Is a socially distanced format viable for large and small venues? How far can digital events serve as replacements? And how can we ensure our cultural institutions thrive in a post-Covid world? This Great Adaptation discussion will seek to explore the future of our cultural institutions and what they’re doing to survive.

Confirmed panellists:

James Graham is an Olivier-winning and Tony-nominated playwright and TV writer, James Graham is behind critically acclaimed plays such as This House & Ink, and Brexit: an Uncivil War and most recently ITV’s Quiz.

Elizabeth Dellert is the Director of the UK Affordable Art Fair. She has an expansive career in the art market working with galleries, art and antique fairs and her own PR consultancy.

Peter Florence is Director of the Hay Festival. He is a Trustee of the Baillie Gifford Prize and has chaired the jury of the Booker Prize.

Previous Great Adaptation discussions…

| What does the pandemic mean for women’s healthcare in the UK?

4pm, Thursday 2 July 2020

Women’s healthcare is constantly under threat, and even more so under lockdown. The impact of covid-19 on women’s healthcare in the UK has been immense, affecting services to abortion care, access to contraception and the rise in domestic violence cases. This is particularly the case for women in certain areas of the UK being far more affected than others but what will the long term impact be for women? Join the #TheGreatAdaptation conversation.

Confirmed panellists:

Dr Vanessa Apea is a Consultant in Sexual Health and HIV Medicine at Barts Health NHS Trust, and sits on the Medical Board of Project NAZ London. Vanessa is passionate about reducing barriers to engagement in healthcare and has made this the central focus of her clinical work and has developed a large number of initiatives designed to aid healthcare access. She has been pivotal in setting up faith based HIV testing projects in the East-end of London and also in winning a bid to run a Sexual Health mobile clinic – taking services to those who need them and would otherwise not access this specialist care.

Manjit K. Gill  is founder and CEO of Binti International, a charity with a mission to provide menstrual dignity to all girls, all over the world. She has over 20 years of business expertise under her belt and has been involved in 7 startups prior to Binti. Her flair for finding opportunities has taken her around the world and she has international experience in the business arena. Her role as a mentor for a business woman in Kenya with the Cherie Blair Foundation led her to start this project. Her mission is to create a huge, social impact whilst generating a sustainable organisation.

Dame Lesley Regan is a gynaecologist. She is Professor and Head of Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust at St Mary’s Hospital. She is also Deputy Head of the Division of Surgery, Oncology, Reproductive Biology and Anaesthetics at Imperial College London. Lesley is the Ex-President of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology – the first woman to hold the role in 64 years.

Registration closed

| New narratives | international organisations and NGOs beyond the pandemic

5pm, Thursday 21 May 2020

The global humanitarian community has been on the frontline in the preparation and response to COVID 19 in places that are often out of mind and out of sight for many in the UK. With vital fundraising mechanisms drying up, the need for support and resources increasing by the hour, and more countries having an increased inward social outlook, the support of the general public and institutional funders is needed more than ever. Shape History is hosting a fireside discussion with leading voices to understand how we build a new narrative to re-engage the UK population with international development and overseas aid. This discussion will look at the pressing issues together with new-thinking and potential solutions that could be adopted to ensure a healthier humanitarian ecosystem beyond the pandemic. 

Confirmed panellists:

Vishnee Sauntoo leads on brand and communications for Age International. She is responsible for all channels and with her team, gathers content from our programmes and humanitarian responses around the world. She has worked in marketing and communications for the third sector for the past 18 years, previously at Save the Children, the Humanitarian Leadership Academy and the British Heart Foundation.

Andrew Griffiths is Head of Advocacy at Sightsavers. His work involves leading on Sightsavers’ international advocacy priorities and supporting the development of effective advocacy in all Sightsavers Country Offices; and he leads a team of Global Advocacy Advisers. Andrew also co-chairs the Bond SDG Group, working to influence the UK government’s implementation of the SDGs, and sits on the board of the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment.

Martha Mackenzie is leading UNICEF’s work to empower their country offices as agents of change. She is also driving their global COVID-19 advocacy strategy. Prior to joining UNICEF, Martha was Head of Government Relations at Save the Children where she chaired the cross-sector group to maintain and build political support for UK Aid. Martha worked with 26 organizations to secure the UK’s aid commitments during an election and a leadership election.

Registration closed.  Here’s our round up of the discussion

| Fixing furlough & the route to universal basic income

5pm, Thursday 14 May 2020

Estimates show that more than a million new starters have been excluded from the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, hitting low-income workers and the hospitality sector the hardest. What are the main take-aways to ensure loopholes are eradicated in the future? What continued support will businesses need after reopening commences? Could lessons from the furlough scheme offer a route to universal basic income in the UK?

Confirmed panellists:

Zoë Badder is a co-founder of New Starter Justice, a campaign for all those in the United Kingdom who changed jobs after the 28th February 2020, who now have no work or income due to the coronavirus, to be eligible for the CJRS. Read Zoë’s contribution to our blog, on the inside of the

Richard Clifford is Policy Manager at UKHospitality. UKHospitality is the leading hospitality trade association in the UK and represents the interests of the UK’s hospitality sector.

Cleo Goodman is co-founder of the Basic Income Conversation and Director of Citizen’s Basic Income Network Scotland. She is based in Edinburgh and works closely with the grassroots basic income movement and Scottish Government funded basic income experiment feasibility study. Her background is in third sector communications, social impact measurement and business development. Cleo believes that a true investment in people in the form of a basic income is required to enable the scale of social change needed at this point in history.

Dr Neil Howard is a researcher and activist based at the University of Bath, in the UK. He works on exploitation, basic income, and non-violent community organising. He is an editor of one of the sections at openDemocracy and engaged with various social movements.

Registration closed. Watch a recording of the discussion by clicking here