The Economist's Open Future

The Economist


For 175 years The Economist has not only reported news--it has championed values, promoted open societies, challenged special interests and made the case for decisions based on facts. Over the years we've set the agenda on free trade and globalisation. We made the case for same-sex marriage and private space exploration.

In an age of populism and, in many parts of the world, of growing authoritarianism, the liberal values behind such causes are being challenged from all sides. In response we launched Open Future, a global conversation organised around five themes: Open markets (future of capitalism), open ideas (free speech), open society (diversity, identity politics and political correctness), open borders (immigration) and open progress (balancing technology and innovation with regulation).

From April through September 2018, the Open Future conversation took place on, social media platforms and in the form of a live event in Hong Kong, London and New York.

The feedback and response from the public was more than we ever imagined. The initiative introduced more than 2 million first-time visitors to, and the live festival attracted a different and younger audience than our typical events. Participation in the Open Future online and offline debate far exceeded our expectations. We garnered thousands of new subscribers and provided our clients with an opportunity to work with us on marquee projects. It was such a successful campaign that we have decided to continue it in 2019.

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