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The University of Southampton
Social Impact Lab

The Portal

The Portal

Based on Arundhati Roy’s idea of pandemics as portals, we discuss which beliefs, practices and institutions should be left in the pre-coronavirus world, and which should be taken through.

What new ways of being and doing have emerged during lockdown that we want to take with us?

Join our next episode

The Portal is a new conversation series that started in May 2020.

Our conversations range from the way we experience time to the future of education, questions of ownership, and the purpose of business in a post-pandemic world. We’ll be inviting artists, writers, scientists, activists and entrepreneurs on to the show to share their thoughts with us.

In a world gone virtual, watch our inspiring speakers talk about their predictions and wishes for the new normal, their own experiences of lockdown, and the world beyond COVID-19.


Nazneen Ahmed

Episode 1

Writer and Artist, Nazneen Ahmed: Lockdown and Experience of Time

Laura Smith

Episode 2

UniPal founder and psychology student, Laura Smith: Student Loneliness

Dame Wendy Hall

Episode 3

Web Scientist and Global Expert on AI, Dame Wendy Hall: The Web in the New Normal

Avila Diana Chidume

Episode 4

Entrepreneur and Law student, Avila Diana Chidume: Race and Diversity in the New Normal

Dr. Michael J. Sorrell

Episode 5

President of Paul Quinn College, Texas Dr. Michael J. Sorrell: How to Lead in the New Normal

ElsaMarie D'Silva

Episode 6

Founder and CEO of Red Dot Foundation (Safecity), ElsaMarie D'Silva: Gender Equality in the New Normal

Shabana Azmi

Episode 7

Cinema legend and activist, Shabana Azmi: Arts and Activism in the New Normal

Ruby Wax

Episode 8

Internationally renowned comedian, mental health expert, best-selling author and Chancellor of the University of Southampton Ruby Wax OBE: Mental Health in the New Normal

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