Three movements that inspired us in 2020

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From the rise of community to the rapid adoption of remote work around the world, a lot has changed during 2020.

Here at Airtable, our preferred way of processing the world around us is — no surprise — giving it a little structure. And there was a lot to process this year: from climate disasters to pandemics, economic uncertainty to long-needed social justice movements, nearly every aspect of how we work and live has changed this year. As December comes to a close and we reflect on all that’s happened, the Airtable team wanted to dive into three movements that inspired us during this very longest of years.

In 2020, we saw people across the world step up to support each other in unprecedented ways. In particular, we’ve been inspired by three incredible grassroots community movements:

A grassroots response to COVID-19

In March, as countries around the world entered lockdown and the magnitude of COVID-19’s potential impact became clear, we had a front row seat to something truly incredible: over 1,200 community-led projects—with over 21,000 collaborators around the world—engaged with us over the course of 2020, and we were grateful to offer free Pro licenses and consultations to them all.

Many of these groups were generous enough to open source their systems for other organizations to leverage, including:

Coming together to create a new community infrastructure to support the most vulnerable among us—during a pandemic!—is no small feat, and we’ve been energized by the ingenuity and resilience of this movement.

Resources in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement

In June, we joined millions across the United States in mourning the senseless deaths of not only George Floyd, but David McAtee, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless other Black people who deserve justice. Alongside the protests, we were inspired by the incredible advocacy, education, organization, and mutual aid programs that took root during the summer, and continue to grow to this day. We saw countless resources developed in support of this effort, and want to highlight just a few:

We are grateful to see this work continue, and remain committed to directing both internal and external efforts in support of the Black community.

Civic engagement in action on Airtable

Finally, as election season reached its peak in the United States, the Airtable team got to witness the power of democracy in action firsthand as volunteer groups, campaigns, and local governments turned to Airtable to organize volunteers, capture signups for virtual events, share voting guides, and even provide real-time updates on wait times at the polls:

Distributed Work Goes Mainstream

As a platform helping companies reimagine how they work, we kept pretty busy as the global transition to remote work unfolded. However, we were interested to take a closer look at what distributed really meant in practice in 2020—were knowledge workers at a given company all just sitting in their respective houses in the same city? Or is it truly more global than that? Does it vary by industry?

A few of our most interesting takeaways are below.

Collaborators are a lot farther apart than you might think

We started by taking a look at what percentage of Airtable bases had multiple collaborators working from different places, at the city, country, and time zone level. Unsurprisingly, the vast

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