The global coronavirus pandemic is challenging every aspect of our lives. Restrictions on movement, travel and public gatherings are likely to remain in place - in some shape or form - for months to come, and there are significant uncertainties around how the virus might affect different parts of the world and potentially trigger second waves of infection.
Having considered all of the above, I have taken the decision to put Trust Conference on hold for this year.
This has not been an easy decision to make. Trust Conference has long been one of the most important initiatives in the Foundation’s calendar. We had so many plans in place, building on the success of the past years, with an exciting agenda and terrific speakers already confirmed.
My team and I were very much looking forward to meeting all of you in November, but we know that this is the right decision, given the scale and impact of COVID-19.
Trust Conference is a global forum, drawing speakers and delegates from all corners of the world. Given the uncertainty over the nature of the pandemic, we cannot know at this time which countries will continue to be most affected in November, and which will have restrictions eased. We do not want this uncertainty to impact on the event. That wouldn’t be fair to participants, delegates, partners and staff.
The Trust Conference Changemakers programme, dedicated to frontline activists and human rights defenders from around the world, will continue to be a vital component for next year’s forum. We’ll let you know here when applications open.
In the meantime, our work as a Foundation does not stop. In fact, it has never been more relevant or vital. We have therefore decided to redirect our resources to where they’re needed most by boosting our global COVID-19 response to support journalists and civil society. It’s our contribution to strengthening free, fair and informed societies at this very critical time.
I am happy to confirm that Trust Conference 2021 has been scheduled for November 10 and 11 at the QEII in London. As we change gear and plan ahead for 2021, we have launched a YouTube show committed to exploring how COVID-19 is likely to re-shape our lives and our societies. The series, TC Talks, builds upon the strength and reach of the Trust Conference and will air on our Trust Conference YouTube channel every month. It’s an opportunity for us to remain connected with our audiences as we navigate this difficult time and to share insights from some of the world’s highest-profile thought leaders. You can subscribe here.
My team and I look forward to staying in touch and welcoming you back in London when things will look brighter. In the meantime, stay safe.