Open Future, a year-long initiative from The Economist, embodies classical values of freedom, a distrust of powerful interests and a respect for individual rights. It aims to inspire conversation and debate among a globally curious audience, wherever they consume their news, information and media. The Economist also wanted to reach out to a younger audience with the platform, which was not its typical readership.
‘Open Future’ conversation appeared on all The Economist’s platforms, including the newspaper, website, digital properties, social media, podcasts and live events. A hub encompassed five themes, including 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). To engage younger audiences, The Economist launched a global video contest and and five essay competitions, one for each of the ‘Open Future’ themes.
Results were measured across ‘touch’ - how many times ‘Open Future’ was seen, ‘audience’ - how many people saw ‘Open Future’ and ‘content and ‘warmth’, which tracked levels of engagement. Open Future inspired nine million online engagements (comments, likes, votes) and the initiative exceeded all objectives, attracting the attention of British and global press.