Our analysis has included all the contributions, regardless of their length. Without exception they have been really thoughtful and interesting.
The analysis has involved the following stages:
- examining the individual words and phrases across all of the contributions;
- running further analysis to ‘cluster’ words and phrases where there is a first, second and third order relationship of thinking;
- identifying the ‘clusters’ in terms of being a ‘Category’ – that is, having a distinct ‘subject area’;
- bringing together the words and phrases in each Category to represent the contributed idea.
So, what we now have is 8 Categories; with each Category containing a number of ideas. Inevitably there are relationships of meaning both within and across the Categories. It may be that later we reduce the number of Categories. Of course, some of the ideas are contradictory.
This short report lists the Categories we have developed, and we have given a selection of the key ideas that cluster within each Category.
We are still receiving contributions and so will not ‘close’ the exercise until the end of July. So, it is not too late to send in contributions and, indeed, to add additional contributions! After that we will publish a short Report, revising the Categories and finalising all the ideas within each of the Categories. At this stage we may request that you ‘tag’ the ideas in terms of various factors – like ‘significance’, ‘likelihood’, and ‘timeline’. Our report will look at things like the contrast between how often issues are mentioned and what issues are considered to be the most significant.
Key observation: across the range of contributions people distinguished between those factors that the pandemic’s effects were revealing, and those factors that the pandemic’s effects were creating.
Currently, the Categories arising from the contributions are:
POLITICS / TENSIONS / ENVIRONMENT / SOCIAL CHANGE /
BEHAVIOURAL CHANGE / SOCIAL JUSTICE / FUTURE / WORK
Here are some examples of the ideas that are populating those Categories:
- Greater reliance on politicians and politics.
- Resurgence of nationalism.
- Requirement for multi-lateral/international politics.
- The scale of change will test existing political frameworks.
- Some established policy areas will be ‘de-politicised’, e.g. social care.
- Increasingly there are situations that prove to be beyond current politicians' competence and reach.
- The ‘pandemic agenda’ is used to support other, existing, policy aims.
- Failure of expectation management.
- The ‘default position’ of giving simple answers to complex questions becomes unsustainable.
- Libertarian principles against egalitarian principles.
- Political short-termism versus long-term foresight.
- Full employment versus health care.
- Individual freedom versus societal good.
- The pandemic’s control restrictions give rise to a range of environmental benefits.
- Any environmental benefits are compromised by subsequent economic imperatives.
- On-line work practice assists the achievement of environmental targets.
- The response to the pandemic is disproportionate compared to that required by the threat to the environment.
- The re-examination of the benefits of shorter supply chains benefits the environment.
= A greater focus on national health security and food security increases cost but benefits environmental care.
- The balance between public acceptance of freedom and restriction is constantly tested and recalibrated.
- The increasingly rapid development and adoption of on-line systems becomes the principal tool of social change.
- Social inequalities are exposed but not rectified.
- Increasing reliance on technology to deliver education increases social inequalities.
- Infantilising the public undermines true social change.
- The nature of ‘trust’ and ‘friendship’ changes.
- Established methods and rules for human engagement undergo significant change.
- Human behaviour becomes more ‘rules-governed’ and natural sociability is constrained.
- The idea of how geographical distance affects human behaviour is re- invented.
- People’s idea of what they ‘need’ is re-examined.
- Established behaviour related to views of ‘age’ is challenged.
- Children’s natural development is overwhelmed by greater intrusion from ideas of ‘nurture’.
- There is heightened consideration of utilitarian ideas acting for the greatest good for the greatest number, e.g. interests of health .v. economic interests.
- The principles of cost-benefit analysis are challenged by changing views on what is the ‘value’ of a life.
- The exposure of inequalities in society leads to re-examination of what social justice means and how it does or doesn’t work.
- Egalitarian principles challenge established libertarian views.
- Inequalities of economic, health, opportunity are increasingly exposed.
- Organisations are made more aware of the realities of the conditions of their workers.
- People have to reassess their views of certainty and uncertainty.
- There is exponential growth in unfocussed anxiety and fear of the future.
- There is a permanent adjustment to understanding that the pandemic threat is ever-present.
- The need to properly assess the nature of risk becomes essential.
- Technical infrastructures underpin opportunities for human development.
- Ideas around social welfare have to be completely redesigned.
- The requirement for and feasibility of ‘homeworking’ develops rapidly .
- Technology defines working practice to far greater extent.
- Who can and cannot homework increasingly defines inequalities.
- Homeworking and ‘transportable’ work requires significant changes in architectural design and functionality.
- Artificial intelligence replaces human-based customer services operations.
- The nature of ‘teams’ and ‘team-working’ changes forever.
We hope you find this interesting. It is really only a very small sample, although quite diverse, but there is a true richness of ideas and thinking.
If you have any comments and/or additional contributions then please send these to email@example.com. Thank you so much.