Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Out of the Crisis

Over the past few weeks, I have recorded a series of conversations with people leading the way out of this mess. They range from prominent CEOs and investors to scientists and builders. Many of them I have had the privilege of working directly with on relief efforts, and their example is what has kept me going in dark times - and inspired me to take action. I wanted to share the conversations with you, in the hopes that you will do the same.

I have released the initial set of recordings as a podcast called Out of the Crisis. You can listen to it on Apple Podcasts, Google PodcastsBreaker, or wherever you like to download.
Special thanks to my friends at Breaker and the team at LTSE, who partnered with me to produce and host this series.

The first conversation is with investor and philanthropist Sam Altman. He has been one of the leading Silicon Valley figures helping the entire biotech industry make a complete pivot to working on solutions: vaccines, therapies, and eventually a cure. You can listen to the full episode here: "Sam Altman"

The second is with famed businessman and investor Mark Cuban. You probably know him from Shark Tank or as the owner of the Dallas Mavericks. He’s been using his platform to advocate for solutions from the early days of the crisis. We also talk about the role of business in this crisis and how we can solve the problems caused by the pandemic. You can listen to the full episode here: “Mark Cuban”

You can listen to all four initial episodes and find links to subscribe here.

I’m working on a number of other interviews as we speak. I will do my best to release them weekly, although with the pandemic you never know. The next few conversations are with civic tech leaders, scientists working on a cure, and ordinary people who’ve been swept into positions of leadership unexpectedly. Each of them is a part of the solution.

One other thing. Every guest was clear that the true heroes of this crisis are the people working on the frontlines: nurses, doctors, hospital staff, and the millions of ordinary people who keep our global supply chains running, often at great risk to their own health and safety. All of us have an obligation to provide leadership that is equal to their heroism and sacrifice.

I'll be honest. I’ve experienced many moments of paralysis and incomprehension since the start of the pandemic. But every time I sink into that place, I’ve been jolted out of it by the actions of everyday people who have stepped up to lead: frontline healthcare, grocery delivery, middle managers, freelancers, people out of work who have formed popup efforts to help COVID relief, employees, and CEOs. I’m glad to be able to help tell their stories.

Despair is not an option right now. The human and economic toll of this catastrophe are going to be immense. Millions of people need our help right now. But we also have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to lay the long-term foundation for the society we want to see on the other side. The new normal could be one of broadly shared prosperity, empathy, progress, investment in (and respect for) science and innovation, and new civic institutions that are resilient to the rapid pace of change in the century to come. It’s not going to happen on its own. We have to find courage, examples, and inspiration to take action. That’s what I hope you'll take from Out of the Crisis.

You know I’m all about feedback. If you have ideas heroes or leaders I should be profiling, please reach out. Write a review (I read them all) or let me know what you think.

Thanks for listening to Out of the Crisis.