In experiencing the social and economic shock of COVID 19 comes the realization that we must adapt new and better ways to deal with global crises. The pandemic has triggered unparalleled global action and exposed stark social and economic inequalities and system weaknesses. It has shown that we have to abandon the old, normal way of dealing with global emergencies. It has highlighted that long term complex challenges and short term crisis demand new responses and ways of working.

As we look ahead: what do we need to do differently? And what can we learn from the pandemic? What kind of collaboration and action are needed to achieve transformative change and prepare us for a radically different world? Cities will because of demographic and economic development be central.

Through a conversation with representatives from civil society organisations to those of universities and governments, the Habitat Day talks in Norway will look at what is necessary to make us more ready for the new ways of working and living to be developed to tackle present and future crises. The global context of today is one of evolving multiple crises of which the pandemic is one and the climate is the most serious. Drawing on lessons learnt from capacity building, advocacy and grassroot action, how can we catalyse, plan and implement a different and better future. We are now just experiencing the first wave of what might come.