Reimagine: Systems reset

Series 2 Episode 1: Redwoods in Rwanda

“Our actions in the next decade will determine the future of civilisation.” 

(Indy Johar, Dark Matter Labs)

The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown our world into disarray. Far more than a public health crisis, the pandemic has triggered an economic crisis, a social crisis, and a governance crisis. It has contributed to a long overdue reckoning on deeply rooted systemic racial injustice. Meanwhile, extreme weather events signal the increasing urgency of our unfolding climate crisis. 

All of these challenges predated Covid-19. But the pandemic has exposed and exacerbated flaws in our systems. While we all long for a return to normality after months of loss and sacrifice, is “back to normal” really what we want?

In Reimagine Series 2: Systems Reset, we’re seizing this moment to reimagine systems that are fit for purpose, and fit for everyone. Meet the visionaries who are revolutionising the story of who we are, and how we engage with the world. We’ll be talking about how to thrive in an entangled ecosystem, redesigning public health and economic systems, the kind of leadership we need in the 21st century, and more.

It’s time for a declaration of interdependence.

In the first episode of the new series, we explore what it means to think in systems. We’re going to go deep, exploring their invisible architecture, and then we’ll go long, discovering how radical long-term thinking can unlock innovation in the here and now. Peter talks to two great thinkers who say that in order to bring about change on the scale required, we first need to rethink how we see the world, and how we connect to it.

Indy Johar is an architect and institutional innovator who is working to radically redesign our future. He is a founding director of Dark Matter Labs, an analytics and design team that is developing new working methods for system change.

Dark Matter refers to the invisible architecture of our systems, which we tend not to notice until something goes wrong. But when systems fail, it’s usually catastrophic. That’s basically 2020 in a nutshell. Indy says our systems have errors in the deep code, and that it’s time for some reprogramming.

Roman Krznaric is a public philosopher whose book, The Good Ancestor, offers us tools to flip the script and cultivate long-term thinking in a world beset by short termism.

Reimagine is a podcast about people who are inventing the future. Presented by Oxford Answers and the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School. New episodes on Thursdays.



Peter Drobac (@peterdrobac), Director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship.



Producer/editor – Eve Streeter for Stabl