Being Remotely Human: Reconfiguring The Collaborative Workspace For The Pandemic And Beyond

Webinar Recording

To view Caitlin and Victoria's follow-up, visit:

Based on extensive, hands-on research into the implications of new trends in collaborative working practices, please join Caitlin McDonald and Victoria Ward for this webinar where we will explore key findings for supporting a strategic shift to hybrid and virtual working, including key questions like:

  • As leaders, how do we build the right environments—physically, digitally, and mentally—for our teams to achieve both collaborative and focus-time potential?
  • As teams, how do we express and negotiate our shared working practices? How do we explicitly build in time for the social interaction and micro-moments of connection that happen very differently in a virtual setting?
  • As an individual, how do I claim the best conditions for my own working style and support others in theirs?

While we are currently responding to an unprecedented global situation, the ubiquity and reliability of innovations in digital infrastructure opens up opportunities for operating in a distributed way that haven’t been available in prior systemic shocks. But shifting to virtual working requires more than changing the tool kit: organizations also need to prepare their teams for the right attitudes & behaviours to support effective distributed collaboration, especially in this time of crisis. It feels as though we are at an inflection point where something that was already shifting the workplace has accelerated in ways we are only beginning to understand and to integrate. Join Caitlin and Victoria to learn about developing strategies to seize the moment and prepare yourselves for being remotely human.

Read an article Z/Yen Director Ian Harris recently wrote on Remote Working:


Dr Caitlin McDonald is the LEF’s resident Digital Anthropologist. She helps business leaders and teams learn to step outside their version of ‘normal,’ suspend judgement, and consider things from many different perspectives. This gives businesses the leading edge through boosting customer empathy, finding new solutions to old problems, and enriching the insight power of big data through multidisciplinary approaches. Recognised for her domain knowledge in qualitative methods like ethnography and participant-observation, Caitlin spent six years at the quantitative coal face developing analytical models and designing dashboards for the world’s largest collaboration and talent network for education professionals. Before that Caitlin earned her PhD following dancers around the world and across the internet, understanding how information flows for cultural bodies of knowledge like dance are impacted by technoscapes (the digital world around us.) Her combined expertise gives her a uniquely balanced perspective for gleaning wisdom from the intersection between human imagination and digital systems.

Victoria Ward works as a coach, strategic adviser, convenor for, and companion to those who seek to create lasting change, in themselves, in their teams and networks, in the organisation as a whole, or in the system in which the organisation plays a part. She left NatWest in 1997 to set up a radical new multi-disciplinary practice, specialising in knowledge, narrative, knowledge networks and cultural transformation. Before acting as Chief Knowledge Officer at NatWest Markets, Victoria acted as Chief Operating Officer, Capital Markets, and Managing Director, Global Futures. She joined NatWest from the London International Futures Exchange working as head of R&D, education and statistics, as well as working with Exchange members, and with regulators internationally to change the tax and regulatory regime for index futures and options, and, among other things, to provide a robust response to regulatory enquiry into the role of index futures and options in the market crash of 1987. A 20+ year portfolio includes work in the public, private, not for profit and cultural sectors, with development banks and agencies, financial institutions, government agencies and departments, regulators, international manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions and museums. Victoria is internationally recognised as being at the forward edge of thinking and practice in knowledge management, communities of practice, narrative research, technology-enabled collaborative and storytelling approaches to complex organisational challenges and transformation.

Friday, 05 June 2020

9:00 - 9:45 BST



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  • caitlinmc.jpg
    Dr Caitlin McDonald
    Digital Anthologist
    Leading Edge Forum (LEF)
  • victoriawar.jpg
    Victoria Ward
    Research Associate
    Leading Edge Forum (LEF)
  • michael Mainelli.png
    Professor Michael Mainelli
    Executive Chairman
    Z/Yen Group