Two years on from the first lockdowns, we’ve all had to get used to not meeting our peers in person. Andrew Milner investigates the effect this has had on network bodies and how these gregarious philanthropic organisations have adapted to a world without crowds
Perhaps the most obvious change wrought by the lockdown restrictions has been the move to online forums – ‘who had honestly heard of Zoom in 2019?’ says Delphine Moralis of Philea. However, even this is not such a seismic shift for some. Benjamin Bellegy notes that for WINGS ‘a global network with limited capacity to bring people together in one place, most of our activities were already done online’. Much of what the Council on Foundations did, too, says Natalie Ross, ‘was already virtual or attempted to serve a broad audience that was geographically dispersed’.
For all, the need to make – almost – exclusive use of online platforms has brought gains as well as losses.