COVID-19 brought massive disruptions to all our work and lives, but also provided a number of opportunities to do things differently. Organisations suddenly had to collaborate as we were all facing unprecedented challenges. Red tape and bureaucracy were reduced, as suddenly there was an enormous need to get a lot of things done very quickly.
In this environment, we set up the 'Gateshead Futures' group, a mixture of people from 30+ different organisations who wanted to get together to discuss and influence the future of the borough. The group meets fortnightly on Zoom to share, reflect and learn from one another, with each session focusing on a different topic introduced by a member of the group. One member of the group has said:
"I think being part of the discussions [in Gateshead Futures] has really opened my mind (and my senses) to the work that I do, and that others do. I think it has made me more considered in the responses I have to situations. This, coupled with the fact that the pandemic has asked us all to reframe what we understand by risk, and how we choose to manage it, has added an entirely new dimension to my work ‘lens‘ – arguably, I should have had this widened view anyway, better late than never, eh!"
To date, the group has discussed many topics including:
Vulnerability and integrity