Virtual Victoria Forum 2020: “Bridging Divides in the Wake of a Global Pandemic”
On Nov. 19th, the Victoria Forum celebrated the completion of its first-ever entirely virtual conference. As we move forward through the pandemic, virtual connectivity is fast becoming the norm; and, post-pandemic, the communications landscape will be unrecognizable as a result of a vast number of new innovations and social norms.
These changes to our society were themselves the focus of the Forum. Experts from all walks of examined the divides which COVID-19 has exacerbated in Canada and around the world. Over 90 speakers from 23 countries organized into 19 Roundtables, drew over 1,000 registrants from 97 countries – representing over 600 institutions and every continent.
One notable Roundtable examined the fact that 2020 is “the year of Behavioral science”. For, until we have a vaccine, our only response to COVID-19 is social. Others examined the diverse receptions of the US election in Asia. For example, the fact that the democratic movement in Taiwan strongly supported Trump because of his oppositional stance to China. The Forum also discussed issues of systemic racism and bridging communicative “divides” in our societies today.
In these divisive times, Marketers can benefit from the nuanced insights of these discussions in their quest to create targeted messaging for varied audiences.
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The Victoria Virtual Forum is a unique collaborative initiative between the Senate of Canada and the University of Victoria.
It is sponsored by Vancity and TELUS.