We started the 2020 season of A Deeper Look by discussing trends that are shaping the future of human development. Little did we know the extent to which a global pandemic would shake and shape our world and set the course for human development work for years to come. While many major trends have been emerging for years, COVID-19 has shifted their trajectories and amplified challenges in ways that are expected to slow — and in some cases reverse — development progress.
Nevertheless, when I asked each of my guests this season whether they were pessimistic or optimistic about the future, I heard almost unanimous optimism and faith in human resilience, ingenuity and adaptability.
This year’s conversations with leaders, innovators and humanitarians yielded valuable insights and observations. Here are some of the key takeaways from this season of looking at the shape of things to come: