Commentary

Writers Series: Imagining Life After COVID-19

Exploring possibilities after COVID-19

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Writers Series: Imagining Life After COVID-19This series sits outside of our evidence-based research. It complements The Conference Board of Canada’s work by exploring potential post-COVID-19 outcomes through a speculative lens. In partnership with the Ottawa’s International Writer’s Festival and our own Skills & Education and Inclusion teams, these writers imagine what the near future might look like from their own unique perspectives.


With every passing day, it’s becoming clearer that “back to normal” is neither realistic nor a desirable goal when the COVID-19 crisis subsides. So, what will the world look like? How will the global pandemic reshape work, society, and life six months and six years from now? What kind of potential futures can we imagine or expect?

This series supplements economic forecasts by exploring potential post-COVID-19 outcomes through a “speculative” lens. In partnership with the Ottawa International Writers Festival, The Conference Board of Canada’s Education and Skills team and our Inclusion team are bringing together writers to imagine what the near future might look like based on current trends and events.

How will the global pandemic reshape work, society, and life six months and six years from now?

Diverse and inclusive perspectives are always essential. Uncertain times demand them. As commentators have already predicted, COVID-19 will have significant and enduring “butterfly effects” across economies and across health and education systems. Global migration, technology and digitization, climate change, and sustainability will all be affected. The pandemic will “permanently reshape the world.”

The number of COVID-19 cases continues to grow worldwide, while local, national, and global economies are struggling to respond and recover. Along the way, the crisis is magnifying fissures in our society, rendering pre-existing economic, social, racial, and gender inequities “glaringly clear.”

As a platform for creative dialogue between diverse sectors and areas of expertise, this series brings together thinkers and writers who are ready to anticipate how shifts in work, education, business, and society might lead to meaningful social, organizational, and behavioural changes in the post-COVID-19 world.1

1      Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby, Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2013), 159–160.

COVID-19: Get all the insights

Matthew McKean

Matthew McKean

Director, Education & Skills
The Conference Board of Canada

Neil Wilson

Neil Wilson

Founder and Development Director
Ottawa International Writers Festival


Other commentaries in the Writers Series: Imagining Life After COVID-19:

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