We need your help to collect post-Covid 19 signals for the civil society sector

2nd July 2020 by Thomas Howie

“We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Martin Luther King

Callling all civil society scanners! We are glad to announce that our work for 2020 is entering its second phase. This includes getting your ‘signals for the sector’. We would like to have your signals for an emerging post-COVID 19 World in our shared database. This might include an article, a conversation, video or podcast (see how below).

At the annual Scanning the Horizon meeting in May 2020, futures-focused colleagues from across the civil society sector  gather and agreed to share key emerging points for a post-COVID 19 world from June to August. Catch up here:

Outcomes from Scanning the Horizon Annual Meeting



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Subsequently, we have launched an ambitious networked approach to horizon scanning to capture ‘signals of change’ on a range of key uncertainties facing our sector after the pandemic.  Sharing signals around 9 critical uncertainties, including COVID-19 and:


Why this process?

We want to harvest the power of a networked approach to horizon scanning and collective thinking to see what clues exist regarding the emergence of possible futures. We want your help in this process with these guiding questions in mind:

What might the new normal look like? Might it:

  • Exacerbate existing inequalities?
  • Accelerate pre-existing trends?
  • Transform things in new and dynamic ways?
  • Bring about paradigm shifts?

How might we as CSOs need to behave in the face of COVID-19?

  • Reaction – short-term
  • Management – medium-term
  • Influence – long-term

How can you take part in this process? 

We invite you to join in with three comprehensive steps:

1. Watch our short introductory video

2. Log relevant signals related to one of the nine uncertainties above in our open online database

3. Look at what others are sharing and encourage other organisations in your networks to also take part, so we have diverse global inputs.

Sources of signals

As a guideline for spotting a signal, here are some selected sources of inspiration you might want to consider:

  • Media articles
  • Opinion polls
  • Conversations with ICSOs

 Timeline for this process

Scanning in a nutshell

Initiated in 2015 with seed funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, Scanning the Horizon is a growing global platform for (I)CSOs, cross-sector community of experts and practitioners to share insights, explore key trends and develop relevant collaborative future adaptive strategies. The platform also enables peer learning and the pooling of resources.

For further information, please contact Vicky Tongue – Programme Manager – Futures and Innovation.


Communications Manager

International Civil Society Centre