Learning from Crisis

As we navigate the Covid-19 “new normal” and consider the world we’ll emerge into, Future of London is here to share support, intel, strategy and best practice across a multi-media programme, Learning from Crisis.

Learning from Crisis is true to Future of London’s USP: we’re working across sectors with the trust of organisation and community partners; spotlighting next-wave and operational leaders as well as the current top tier; and applying diversity in thought and participation to the wicked problems we now face. We also recognise that there are two interlinked aspects to this crisis:

Managing now: Approaches to the overwhelming challenges FoL’s network has faced. The impressive and inspirational responses from individuals and organisations – including discussing problems openly – can serve us now and for the next emergency.

Emerging from Crisis: Society is at a critical junction – how we live, work, move, teach, govern, fund, build and provide care are all up in the air. With cities projected to house 68% of us by 2050 and 80% by 2100[1], the people who shape and manage urban areas will be responsible for much of that changing world. We have to do our best to get it right, whatever that may mean, and FoL will bring its convening strengths to bear.

In this series, as with all FoL programming, we absorb the ‘what’ and ‘why’ but focus output on the ‘how’, to help our 4,700+ network (and everyone else tuning in these days!) to navigate and co-create what’s coming.

Topics include:

  • Politics, policy & fiscal approach – managing their on-the-ground impact
  • Economy – macro drivers and local impacts, including councils’ role and high-street reinvention, including:
    • How we work – remote working, office & home design, commuting, connectivity and the value of work
  • Environment – FoL’s Achieving Net Zero work on councils and partner responses to the climate emergency; public space, movement and logistics
  • Built environment – Overall, touching on investment, design, place and carbon, with a focus on
    • Restarting homebuilding: Government intervention; councils as developers; reduced private developer activity; loss of EU labour; homelessness; employment and housing links and supply chain woes. FoL’s Council Led Housing Forum is across much of this.
  • Society – work-life balance, equality issues, health priorities and youth engagement
  • Delivery – tied to all of the above and across all sectors & communities: How do we do assess what is good and possible and make these changes? How continue the productive work done during crisis response?

Event videos & podcasts

3 Jun 2020
City Bites Podcast: Leading through Crisis #3 – Alex Russell, Westway Trust. An Alumni Network interview by Leanne Keltie, Greater London Authority Programme Manager for Specialist Housing, podcast

27 May 2020
City Bites Podcast: Leading through Crisis #2 – Bek Seeley, Lendlease. An Alumni Network interview by Nnenna Urum-Eke, LB Enfield Head of Development podcast

20 May 2020
Culture Swap: Cross-sector learning from crisis, a joint Coherent Cities/ Re:Women webinar

14 May 2020
Community Engagement in a Covid-19 world: Experience, implications and guidance webinar

5 May 2020
City Bites Podcast: Leading through Crisis #1 – David Lunts, GLA Housing & Land/OPDC. An Alumni Network interview by Lucy Webb, LB Croydon Head of Regeneration podcast

Get involved

Check on upcoming #LearningFromCrisis offerings at FoL’s Events page.

To get involved – as a sponsor, speaker or with an idea – contact Lisa Taylor. For questions about format or access, contact Oli Pinch.

Articles & event write-ups

Diana Phiri-Witty, LB Croydon, Community Engagement in a Covid-19 world

Community engagement in a Covid-19 world

FoL webinar exploring different approaches councils, housing associations, developers and others have taken to maintain meaningful community engagement in a covid-19 world.

Billboard with construction site behind

Covid-19: The public-sector response

Covid-19 has radically altered urban life. Future of London spoke to housing, enforcement, planning and regeneration professionals in our network about the impact of the pandemic on the public sector and how they’ve been delivering city services.

Councils & the climate emergency

More than 200 attendees joined FoL for the launch of its Achieving Net Zero programme to explore what the climate emergency means for local authorities and housing associations, and what the wider sector can do to support them.

Funding public projects in chaotic times

With 10 years of austerity followed by Grenfell, Brexit and now Covid-19, funding public projects may seem more daunting than ever. But there is potential. Read on…


[1] http://www.oecd.org/regional/regional-policy/The-Metropolitan-Century-Policy-Highlights%20.pdf