In search of the ‘New Normal’

In June 2020, the Staff College will host 4 one hour discussions for anyone working in the public sector, across all services. A bit like a ‘book club’ we will be exploring what do we mean by the ‘new normal’ in a post covid world.

It’s being hosted on Zoom, it's informal and it's free.

Join us. Join in

Join us for a coffee and chat

Many of the most inspiring people start in a place of uncertainty, are filled with doubt, yet arrive triumphant at places in life they could not see when they set out. Their successes are deeply human, derived from curiosity, imagination and not a little bravery. Those individuals were prepared to navigate the unknown in pursuit of the ill-defined because they realised that the only way to know the future is to make it.
Margaret Heffernan, Uncharted

Dip in and out of the sessions, learn, share, draw energy, and eat some lunch

Date Time Topic
Tuesday 16 June 13:00 Activism future
Tuesday 23 June 13:00 Left Behind future
Tuesday 30 June 13:00 Networked future
Tuesday 7 July 13:00 Divided future


The idea is similar to a book club. Each week we will look at one short story set in the future (2035). Each story starts with Covid-19 and Brexit and explores the potential intended and unintended consequences arising from the decisions we make as a country in the coming months.

  • Will we go back to how things were?
  • What will these changes mean for me and my role?
  • Will we see wholesale changes in our services?
  • Will we build on the collaborative practice we have nurtured in recent time with those we don’t normally work with?
  • Will the government invest in our sector for the longer term with a recession looming?
  • Will the working world look different now that we have new working patterns?

In the ‘book club’ we will discuss all these issues. This invite is open to anyone working in the public sector, across all services. Please feel free to invite others you know who may be interested in joining in. The more the merrier!

All the stories are connected but very different in perspective. Each week we will look at one story. All you need to do is read the story in advance. Each story takes roughly 20 mins to read.

At each session we will have a special guest who will be invited to share their thoughts and reflections at the close.

Why get involved?

Covid-19 has been dominating everything and all aspects of life, both professionally and personally. In recent days, it seems everyone is talking about the “New Normal’; our reality beyond the immediate COVID pandemic. Of course, no one can predict the future and if we have learned anything in recent weeks, it's that!

At the Staff College we are hearing about colleagues across public services working all hours, protecting the vulnerable, adapting, innovating, collaborating, leading and going above and beyond in all sorts of ways. Whilst those working in children’s services are working harder than ever, now is surely also a time to pause and reflect to discuss with each other how this crisis has impacted on us and our world views.

It's hard to process all that has been happening but we should if we also want to use the COVID-19 pandemic experience as an opportunity to rethink and reshape the future of children's services and public services more generally.

Those who take part will:

  • come together in a space to pause, reflect and plan
  • get a chance to discuss your experiences with colleagues across the country
  • have a chance to reflect and process all that is happening to you and your team
  • be immersed in four creative stories about how all this might pan out
  • be given a toolkit to use the materials with your colleagues
  • you don’t have to attend all the sessions
  • you can dip in and out of each hour long session as required
  • it will be informal - bring a mug of tea and some lunch!


Please register your interest with and we will send you a Zoom link before each session.

Date Time Topic
Tuesday 16 June 13:00 Activism future
Tuesday 23 June 13:00 Left Behind future
Tuesday 30 June 13:00 Networked future
Tuesday 7 July 13:00 Divided future

Explore each story

Jo Davidson
Principal, The Staff College
Project 2035

Explore the worlds…

Examine four future scenarios and learn how they have evolved, hear first-hand from people in those worlds.

About this project

How we created this project and additional resources you may find helpful.