Solidarity in the Age of Social Distancing


As COVID-19 disrupts our daily life and we’re practicing social distancing, there are challenges to our social structures. In Foundations for Flourishing Futures: A Look Ahead for Children and Families©, which we published in partnership with Capita, we wrote about the concept of our “Stretched Social Fabric.” This refers to how “shifting support structures and information sources are changing the ways in which increasingly diverse families navigate and access resources.” While we were seeing emerging issues related to this at the time of publication, our “Stretched Social Fabric” seems especially relevant now.

Capita hosted a webinar called “Solidarity in the Age of Social Distancing: Covid-19 and our Stretched Social Fabric” to take a closer look at the current social disruptions and what might happen to our social infrastructures as a result.

Foundations for Flourishing Futures: A Look Ahead for Children and Families© will help leaders across sectors navigate understand their own work in new ways and do their part to ensure that every child and family can flourish in the future.
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The webinar was moderated by Capita’s Joe Waters, co-founder and CEO of Capita, and featured a panel of experts:

  • Maria Romero, senior manager of strategic foresight at KnowledgeWorks, who contributed foresight work for NASA, Kimberly Clark, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and University of Houston
  • Ian Marcus Corbin, co-director of the Human Network Initiative and postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School, who has earned a PhD in philosophy of culture, teaches philosophy at numerous universities in Boston area and recently launched a mutual aid hub through the Initiative
  • Michael Tavani, founder and CEO of Switchyards, whose experience as a widely-recognized entrepreneur with Scoutmob and SkyBlox led him to his current work in fostering depth in the Atlanta community

Maria explained how the “Stretched Social Fabric” domain has arrived much sooner than anticipated, “Pandemics are forcing families to interact differently and understand the realities are different. In light of that, we understood that there are two main forces that are resulting from that. One is going to be that families are self-organizing and figuring out ways to get through difficult times, such as the one we are currently living in. And also that governments and traditional institutions are finally looking at families and the ways to support families more seriously and more holistic.”

The expert panelists covered concerns and topics like:

  • Observations on current workplace shifts and future of work
  • How we are taking care each other in personal networks and psychosomatic effects of social distancing
  • De-centralizing systems and more community-driven culture and economies
  • Breaking cultural, institutional and organizational habits
  • Intergenerational solidarity, familial dynamics and individualism
  • Future-leaning public systems and policies to increase readiness and resilience
  • Dating, trust and privacy

Check out the archived webinar below:

Foundations for Flourishing Futures: A Look Ahead for Young Children and Their Families© can help you engaged in your own conversations about actions you and your organization can take.