Returning to work and curbing coronavirus are not competing ideas. That is a false choice. We can have jobs and health by building back in new ways that improve workplaces, education and medical care while deterring the infection. Co-hosts Edie Lush and Claudia Romo Edelman seek out provocative ideas for immediate change.
They are joined in this search by Gillian Tett of the Financial Times, inventor and editor of the FT’s Moral Money newsletter and coverage. “The key question is how do we go forward and build back better and not merely survive but thrive in the future.”
Dr. Oxiris Barbot, New York City Health Commissioner, says that “an equity lens” is essential to recognize that risk of disease weighs heavier on communities of color and lower incomes. Repairing this requires not only improved access to health care, but also to better housing, jobs and education. “We are only as healthy as our most challenged resident,” she said.
Jack Hidary, the Artificial Intelligence expert, serial entrepreneur and leader of Alphabet’s X project in quantum computing, says that we have sixty days to use the crisis to convince leaders to adopt immediate innovation. He suggests, for example, that big companies decentralize and create satellite offices so no employee has to commute more than ten minutes to a desk. He says he has discussed this with WeWork. He also offers ideas for on-line learning and telemedicine.
David Milliband of the International Rescue Committee speaks with Edie about how innovations spurred by the fight against coronavirus may have long-term benefits. Improved sanitary conditions, for example, curb other diseases in poor countries. Milliband notes that the simple instruction to wash your hands regularly is a major challenge for the one billion people who don’t have clean running water at home. Their conversation was part of a ‘ThinkIn’ that our colleagues at Tortoise run for their members and is included in Global GoalsCast with their blessing.
Facts about the crisis and Actions to build back better are presented by Alice McDonald of Project Everyone.
From our sponsor, Mastercard, Senior Vice President Amy Neale describes how Startpath, Mastercard’s startup network, solved a COVID-19 fundraising challenge for the City of Los Angeles in eight days.
David Miliband is the President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a non-profit organization that responds to some of the world’s worst crises, delivering aid that saves lives while paving the way for long-term recovery. He oversees the agency’s humanitarian relief operations in more than 40 war-affected countries, as well as its refugee settlement and assistant programs in 29 U.S. cities. He was a member of parliament for 12 years and the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of the United Kingdom for 3 years. Miliband received his Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy, politics, and economics from the University of Oxford, and his Master’s Degree in Political Science from MIT.
Jack focuses on AI and physics at Google X, and does medical research in oncology through his foundation, The Jack D Hidary Foundation. He is a tech entrepreneur that co-founded EarthWeb that eventually went public on the NASDAQ. He was the Chairman and CEO of EarthWeb as a public company for 3 years before becoming a board member of Trickle Up, which provides support for entrepreneurs and small businesses. He established his foundation to focus on medical research in biotechnology. Jack received his Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and Neuroscience from Columbia University.
Dr. Oxiris Barbot is the Commissioner of Health for New York City, a position she assumed in December 2018. With more than 25 years of experience in public health and healthcare delivery, Dr. Barbot has dedicated her career to achieving health equity. As leader of the nation’s premier health department, she uses a racial equity lens to center communities, promote physical and mental wellness, and bridge public health and healthcare delivery to get better health outcomes faster. Dr. Barbot received a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and holds a medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She completed her pediatric residency at George Washington University’s Children’s National Medical Center. Dr. Barbot serves on the Columbia Mailman Board of Overseers. @NYCHealthCommr and @DrOBarbot
Alice is an international development professional with over a decade of experience. She is Campaigns and Policy Director at Project Everyone, a not-for-profit founded by film maker Richard Curtis which seeks to put the power of great communications behind the UN Sustainable Development Goals. As well as leading campaigns and strategy work, Alice’s work includes building partnerships with organisations around the world from the UN to civil society. Her prior experience spans politics, the NGO sector and the private sector. She was previously Head of Campaigns and Advocacy at Save the Children where she ran one of the biggest global coalition campaigns ever focussed on the SDGs. She has worked around the world including as a governance adviser in the Office of the President of Rwanda and supporting country level advocacy work in South Africa and Ethiopia. She began her career at the British Labour Party where she headed the Research Unit and was a senior political adviser on international affairs. She is a local councillor in Southwark in London where a strong focus of her work has been focussed on opportunities for young people.
Amy leads Mastercard’s Start Path program for fintech/startup engagement. Through the program, Mastercard has engaged with over 200 startups from across the globe that have collectively raised +$2B in capital investment after the program. In January 2020 Start Path was awarded ‘Best Innovation Program’ by US publication Tearsheet, and in December 2019 Mastercard was recognized by the European Commission as one of the top 12 European corporates for our work with startups. Amy has a PhD in computational linguistics from Cardiff University and is passionate about making sure the world of technology is fully inclusive. Originally from the UK she now calls Ireland home, living in Dublin with her husband and son.
Dr. Oxiris Barbot (00:02): Putting into place support systems that ensure the emotional connections of individuals really adapting the way in which we live life, to be more focused on reinforcing our mutual dependency and not seeing that as a bad thing, but seeing that as a good thing and that we need each other to get through this.
Jack Hidary (00:28): Here’s what we don’t want. We don’t want the old economy. It is clear that if you’re Hispanic in America, you do not want the old economy. If you’re somebody who wants to be entrepreneurial and is coming from a household without the means of privilege, you do not want the old economy. You want to move and leapfrog to a new kind of structure.
David Miliband (00:48): If the world wakes up and says, now we’ll look 3 billion people not having hand washing their own home is something that is a threat to life and livelihood everywhere we do all sorts of out. That will be a serious silver lining.
Claudia Romo Edelman (01:08): This is the Global GoalsCast,
Edie Lush (01:10): the podcast that shows how we can change the world. In this episode, building back from the pandemic.
Claudia Romo Edelman (01:16): This is a crisis we cannot afford to waste. We can build a better world, a better economy, a better society.
Edie Lush (01:25): And better means safer too.
Claudia Romo Edelman (01:29): Stopping the pandemic and building a more equitable world are not two separate ideas. Think about it. Equity means better access to healthcare. It means digital access to online learning. It means better foods, safer workplaces, even shorter commutes, all the elements to a better life.
Edie Lush (01:51): Claudia, you said it. That is exactly what this episode is about. Building back better includes holding the line against Coronavirus, so we have brought in some very smart people to help us tell the story. The New York Health Commissioner, Oxiris Barbot, will join us from the front lines of the pandemic. Jack Hidary, tech entrepreneur, will offer three specific ideas to improve work, education and health, while reducing our vulnerability to infection. And, as the virus continues to spread around the world, David Miliband will talk about protecting the most vulnerable.
Claudia Romo Edelman (02:28): And bringing her sharp thinking is one of the podcast best friends, our work colleague and friend from the Financial Times, the inventor and editor of Moral Money, Gillian Tett. Gillian, welcome!
Gillian Tett (02:42): Great to be on the show! And I’m particularly delighted to be on the show because this is a theme which is passionate and really dear to my heart and the heart of the Financial Times, which is we’ve had this crisis, it wasn’t a shock. We’re now starting to, in some ways adapt to it, but the key going forward is indeed how do we go forward and build back better and not merely survive but thrive in the future?
Edie Lush (03:07): Gillian, you have been writing brilliantly in the FT about this so we can’t wait to discuss which we will, but first this.
Narrator (03:19): This episode of Global GoalsCast is brought to you by MasterCard. MasterCard is dedicated to building an inclusive world in which the digital economy works for everyone, everywhere.
Amy Neale (03:30): We raised $10,000 within the first 20 minutes of the campaign being live and then we tied that to a MasterCard solution that enabled disbursements of those donations to reach the most needy in the ecosystem.
Narrator (03:44): Thanks also to CBS news, digital and Universal Production Music, and to BSR, working with business to create a just and sustainable world.
Claudia Romo Edelman (04:00): Welcome back. So pleased to be joined by Gillian Tett of the financial times. Gillian, I know that you at Moral Money and all your Financial Times colleagues have been thinking hard about the path forward, about the new agenda. So tell us how things will change and how that change can be shaped for the better.
Gillian Tett (04:19): Well thank you Claudia. And what we’ve been thinking about at Moral Money is very much what we call the ESG, Environmental Social Governance Platform, and all three of those elements are going to change in the future and it’s a way to frame how we look at the post COVID-19 world. If you think about the environmental aspect, some people say well maybe the shock of COVID-19 means that people won’t have the energy to have any focus on the environment going forward. We think it’s quite the reverse because actually we’ve woken up and learned in the crisis that there are serious systemic issues where science can shed light on our challenges, which cannot be ignored. And that applies to the medical world and applies to the environmental issues too. And the fact that the global economy is interconnected, it is prone to contagion and again that matters as much for environment as it does for the medical risks. On the S factor, what are the key questions going forward is going to be very much the social issues and how companies deal with our staff, and there’s a real awareness that companies which are not treating staff well, and employees well companies which are essentially ignoring suppliers, ignoring the wider environment will probably face some element of consumer, if not governmental, censure going forward. And on the G factor, the question about how companies are running themselves, whether the governance is just for shareholders or a wider sense of stakeholders again is likely to become increasingly important going forward.
Edie Lush (05:55): Hold that thought. We’re going to to it. First I want to share my conversation with the public health official who’s perhaps closer than anyone to the center of this pandemic, the health commissioner of New York City, Dr. Oxiris Barbot. You’ve just been or you’re still going through, in fact, one of the most difficult health crises in human history and you’re in one of the cities that has been hit the hardest by this pandemic. So I wonder what lessons do you see now that you’ve learned for public health?
Dr. Oxiris Barbot (06:31): It’s been an unprecedented time. Clearly no one would ever predicted that we would have been in the situation that we are in. And you know what I’ve been telling my staff is that our preparedness training has really paid off all of the years of training for this. It’s now game day as they say. And you know, the reality is that we are learning every day that no matter how much you train, there are always curve balls that are going to be thrown your way. There are always going to be aspects of a scenario that you could have never really taken into account. And I think one of the things about this pandemic that characterizes it is that it has not been a straight shot, every turn has had complications that we would have never anticipated. And so the lessons learned here are it’s not only about the expertise and the skill set, which of course is critical in terms of data analysis, in terms of laboratory capacity, community engagement, health systems support, communications, and of course mental health. But it’s also about how we apply this expertise through an equity lens, through an approach that builds relationships of trust with community members. And that above all incorporates adaptability.
Edie Lush (08:06): What are some of those curve balls you mentioned that the virus threw?
Dr. Oxiris Barbot (08:10): Oh my gosh, where to begin, right? I mean, every single day we are learning more and more about how this virus behaves. And that has been, I think the biggest challenge to communicate to New Yorkers on a daily basis. This is where we are right now, but it may be that the guidance that I’m giving you can change tomorrow. And so part of those curve balls have been adapting to communicating to New Yorkers that says, our guidance right now is based on the best evidence that we have, but moving forward, we may need to adapt it. So, for example, you know, the latest curve ball, up until now, the majority of people that have been affected by COVID have been adults, 80% of whom do well, 20% need more care. And it’s only been, I would say in the last maybe five days that we have really shed light on how children are being affected by COVID-19 and presenting with symptoms consistent with a fairly rare condition in pediatric’s Kawasaki’s disease that affects the cardiovascular system, but that now seems to be potentially one of the atypical ways in which this virus is manifesting. And so that’s just the latest curve ball that’s been thrown our way.
Edie Lush (09:46): So I wonder, given the fact that the virus is still mutating or that there are still lessons being learned in terms of public health, do you think there’s also lessons that you can already point to as we start to look at building back?
Dr. Oxiris Barbot (10:01): Oh, absolutely. I think one of the the biggest things that we learned early on and that we put into practice is the degree to which some of our data was incomplete and the reasons for it being incomplete were because the healthcare delivery systems, other parts of our healthcare system didn’t necessarily see the value of incorporating those data. And I’m talking specifically about race and ethnicity indicators. And so without having had that emphasis on our part of leading this response through an equity lens, we would have never really pushed to have our partners incorporate race and ethnicity into that data, which would have then I think significantly delayed our response to communities of color that are being disproportionately affected by this virus. Specifically, we have black and brown communities here in New York City that are seeing rates of death at twice that of the white population. And that’s a big concern.
Edie Lush (11:14): And why do you think that is?
Dr. Oxiris Barbot (11:17): I think it has to do with longstanding inequities that contribute to things such as inadequate housing so that when we give someone advice to isolate at home, because that’s the best way they’re going to prevent transmitting the virus, they’re not able to do that in a safe way. They’ve got overcrowded housing and so you have multi-generational families and so someone who has the illness may have it very modestly, but if they live with an elder, then that puts that person at risk. Other also is the concentration of chronic diseases in communities that have had poor access to healthy foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, exercise opportunities, economic opportunities. I mean really a multitude of inequities laid on top of one another and manifesting in the most acute of ways during a pandemic, which then result in just, you know, a human toll that I don’t think any of us could have anticipated.
Edie Lush (12:35): So what do you think we need to be doing now to protect ourselves until there’s a vaccine?
Dr. Oxiris Barbot (12:40): The important thing here is that apart from the basic preventive measures that will continue for who knows how long, meaning you know, adherence to the hand hygiene, adherence to staying home and not going to work if you’re sick. I think what we need to really look forward to and start planning now is putting into place support systems that ensure the emotional connections of individuals, really adapting the way in which we live life, to be more focused on reinforcing our mutual dependency and not seeing that as a bad thing, but seeing that as a good thing and that we need each other to get through this. And it’s not, we need each other here just the New York City, but we need each other throughout the world to get through this and that we are only as healthy as our most challenged residents and ensuring that we’ve got stable housing, economic supports to make it easy for, easier rather, for people to endure isolation and quarantine because it’s inevitable that we’re going to have a second wave. And so I think we need to not only prepare for that eventuality, but really look towards seeing this as an opportunity to reimagine what it means to live in a world where we support people’s total health and looking at housing, education, economic support as part of what drives health.
Edie Lush (14:25): So are there any specific policies that you would advocate in terms of supporting that whole person’s experience as a result of COVID-19?
Dr. Oxiris Barbot (14:36): Yeah, you know, interestingly, I have been really pushing my staff to think about in their work, you know, what are the things that are, we are asking to suspend in, in people’s best interests so we can get through this pandemic. And, you know, it’s, it’s really looking at how we distribute, for example, medication to help support people in their recovery. Why is it that we have, you know, methadone distribution clinics? Why isn’t it that we can have methadone delivered to people’s homes, rethinking, you know, what’s the value of mass incarceration? All of these huge societal issues that really have a bright light shown on them now through this pandemic, I think gives us an opportunity to interrogate things that we have taken for granted as this is the way it is to really question how does it really contribute to our health, our community’s health, our country’s health.
Claudia Romo Edelman (15:49): Wow! That’s a big thought and I love the fact that Barbot said something that I’ve been thinking about a lot about how incomplete is the data that we have about people. For example, in the case of Hispanics it’s incredible to see the how inequalities and inequities are just like showing up every time more. We’re highlighting this virus and this pandemic is just highlighting all these inequalities is exacerbating the issues that were out there, but were not as visible for everybody and I do think that it is a time for all of us to start scratching and just bringing them to light. For example, in the case of Hispanics, what she was talking about, it’s 34% of Hispanics that are the mortality rate of New York we’re 18% of the population, but 34% of the mortality rate in New York City, 16% of Hispanics have no access to terms to be working from home or educating from home. If you don’t have data enough, you would actually just like think through and say like, “yeah, it’s the lack of internet.” So let’s look at internet access for everybody in New York. But as a fact, the more that you look into things, we found out the problem in New York is that the kids that cannot go to school is a lack of routers. So We Are All Human is going to be working through the Hispanic Start to provide 10,000 routers to kids that don’t have it. But it is super important. And in this time of crisis, we tend to forget things such as the census. So for example, Edie and Gillian, what we’ve been doing is doing help by distributing food, 10,000 dispensers and food baskets in the South of Texas, but at the same time, making sure that we do that when people registered to the census, we just have to be counted. We have to have data that is complete to make sure that people in policy can take those decisions. Gillian I do not want to go back to the same.
Gillian Tett (17:46): I think you raise a very good point here because the pandemic on one level is a great leveler. We’re all human. We can all get exposed to the virus and we can also have it terribly and another level. The fact we’ve all been forced to start relying on digital technology, those of us who are lucky enough to have access to it. Again, the internet can be a great leveler and connect the world, but the reality is the way it’s played out has actually in many ways been as much about a great divider and reinforce hierarchies and inequalities rather than leveled us. And it’s become a bit like a sort of television with the contrast buttons turned up in that people who are already in a good position have emerged relatively better off and people who are not have not. And as you say Claudia, I think the issue of digital access, internet access is absolutely critical right now because if you cannot get internet access, you can’t do your job from home, you can’t do your learning from home, and that’s going to exacerbate inequalities going forward. One of the variants in developments in this crisis is the rise of what you might call reverse innovation are people learning lessons from so called developing markets and bringing them back to the so called developed world. Although many of those distinctions are breaking down right now. So there are programs like one laptop per child which have been used very successfully in places like it would require to distribute cheap ultra cheap versions of laptops and equipment. You need to connect with them to a large numbers of households, which one could very usefully borrow and reproduce in a country like America. There are many other examples of reverse innovation in the medical field as well about how to get cheap, low cost vaccines or other crucial medical innovations and try and use techniques we’ve already seen in places like Africa and bring them back to America. That’s the kind of thinking we’re going to have to embrace and very much part of this idea that we are indeed all part of one world. We need to look out for each other.
Edie Lush (19:47): You know, Claudia, Gillian, you could feel just a tinge of regret in some of the commissioner’s words. It was like she was saying, “if only we had gotten this all done in the past.” Perhaps there was also some frustration just as we were saying goodbye. We asked how well she thought global communications had gone in fighting this pandemic and our answer was diplomatic, but very clear. Within the U.S. She speaks directly with other health commissioners and they keep each other informed, but there’s nothing quite like that to keep warnings and advise moving easily between big cities around the world. Urgent information first flows up to national governments.
Dr. Oxiris Barbot (20:27): To the degree that health commissioners of key cities around the world could have a network convening, maybe as a part of, you know, the UN or some other body, I think would be a useful way to do real time sharing both in what we’re currently saying peace, time and war time, right? This pandemic response is war time. But to the extent that we can be brought together in other times I think would be useful.
Edie Lush (21:04): So Gillian, any reflection on that from you?
Gillian Tett (21:10): Yeah, I think she raises three very important points. Firstly, there is a desperate need right now for more global communication and learnings. Not just at the national level, where there are bodies like the United Nations or WHO which are under attack right now, but do you provide some kind of state to state communication. But there needs to be much more communication at the lower municipal level because one impact of this crisis has been that people are trusting local organs of government much more than national or supernational, and many of them are providing the most effective responses. Even before the COVID-19 crisis hit, there was a growing discussion amongst city mass around the world about whether they should or could be more networks to connect them all. And you know, some of the joking that it’s time for different mayors in particularly in a country like America to start creating their own foreign policy and dealing with each other directly. But I think this is going to accelerate it. So you’re going to see much more of this kind of communication and frankly many more of these networks. Um, which brings me onto my last point, which is that thankfully there are these networks up and running already to a degree. Mayor Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York himself, has been very active in creating these global city networks. And so I suspect that groups like the WHO ought to be putting as much emphasis on activating those and working with those as they are on the actual national governments.
Claudia Romo Edelman (22:43): I couldn’t agree more. I absolutely couldn’t agree more. And I think that that is part of what we w we should be thinking about the new architecture of networking and our Global GoalsCast “Post Pandemic To Do List” is coming together! More communications about local health officials do not settle for the way things were in a moment. Three specific ideas for better workplace, education and healthcare from Jack Hidary from Google X!
Edie Lush (23:10): But first, here’s Amy Neale from our sponsor MasterCard.
Amy Neale (23:17): For MasterCard partnership has always been a really important part of the way that we do business. We have partners and stakeholders of all guises right across the globe and that really informed our thinking for why we set up the Start Path Program six years ago. Why is Start Path relevant now? Well, one of the reasons is we have about 200 startups that we’ve worked with over the past six years and with whom we’ve built enduring relationships. You know, one of the things that has meant in terms of the crisis is that we have this amazing portfolio of companies that we’re able to engage very, very quickly to solve some major challenges. A great example is the city of LA in the U.S. Reached out to MasterCard to see if we could help them to solve challenges around COVID. In particular, they were interested in setting up a giving campaign, a donations campaign, because of our relationship with U.S.-Based startup, good world. We were very quickly over the space of eight days able to stand up a giving campaign so citizens within the city of LA were able to donate using Goodwill’s platform, which enables donations over social media and MasterCard’s donations platform and we raised $10,000 within the first 20 minutes of the campaign being live, and then we tied that to a MasterCard solution that enabled disbursements of those donations to reach the most needy in the ecosystem.
Edie Lush (24:50): Thank you. Amy Neil from our sponsor, MasterCard. Claudia, you have someone really interesting for us now.
Claudia Romo Edelman (24:58): Yes, I love that idea of interrogating things so that we just don’t accept them as they are. So here’s one, a great interrogator. His name is Jack Hidary. He runs artificial intelligence for Google X, and he’s a tech entrepreneur and a philanthropist. And he has been joining me in doing a number of things for Hispanics, including giving a webinar for the Hispanic response and recovery plan the other day. And here are some of his insights.
Jack Hidary (25:32): Many of the politicians are talking about let’s reopen the economy, let’s reopen the economy. And of course we do want to have a robust economy going forward as we go past some of the peaks of COVID. But the question is, what economy do we want? What structure do we want? What society, do we want? And here’s what we don’t want. We don’t want the old economy. It is clear that if you’re Hispanic in America, you do not want the old economy. If you’re somebody who wants to be entrepreneurial and is coming from a household without the means of privilege, you do not want the old economy. You want to move and leapfrog to a new kind of structure. And this opportunity of COVID gives us that, roadmap. And so the old economy was characterized by, high pollution, low quality of life, you know, unequal access to education, unequal access to healthcare, daily norms have been changed and this is the opportunity to really rethink the status quo. And so right now the perceived trade off is that you hear from the politicians is do we favor public health and protecting everyone right now from COVID or do we up the economy? This is the binary choice that we’re being given. We actually beg to differ. We think actually there’s another way. The numbers are very clear. We have to go to a better economy, a better structure. If we want to address issues like this, this is the time to do it.
Claudia Romo Edelman (27:00): Jack gave us three ideas as examples of a better way to reopen the economy.
Jack Hidary (27:06): Idea number one, we call it 10 minute hubs or distributed hubs. We want hubs of work that are no more than 10 minutes from your house, no more than 10 minute commutes. The average commute in America now each way is one hour, one hour to work, one hour back. This destroys and really harms the ability to have good quality of life in terms of spending time with your children, spending good quality time with your parents, relatives and others, spending quality time with your own family, uh, being able to go to the gym and exercise. These are all impacted by people spending two hours in a car, not to mention which inhaling the air pollution on the way. We don’t have to have that going forward. We’ve seen now with telecommuting that that can work. Is the future just everyone’s staying home and telecommuting? No, we don’t believe so. What we believe is that HQ can be there for those people who live very close to HQ of that company. Let’s say it’s City Bank and Midtown Manhattan, JP Morgan and Midtown Manhattan. Great. If you live within 10 15 minutes and you want to pop over and work in the headquarters, great. But if you live in Hoboken, New Jersey, Westchester, Long Island City, Long Island, any of these surrounding areas, stay where you are. We’ll create a hub for you. Have a hundred people working for your company. It will be managed saved by a third party. This could be a way, for example, for We Work to regenerate itself. I just spoke to We Work this week and they said, in fact, yes, they’re going after this business model now to not keep opening We Works in downtown, center cities, that’s where they are today, but shut those down and actually open up in the periphery to enable Citibank to say to all its employees who do not live right next to it’s head office, “We’re going to create turnkey offices for you.”
Claudia Romo Edelman (28:52): Idea number two is about education.
Jack Hidary (28:55): We want to take laid off workers and empower them as freelancers and provide them with services. Small businesses that provide freelancers who are former laid off people. All ready to lay offs, are starting to happen all across the board. Small businesses, medium sized businesses, all kinds of businesses. We want to empower them and we can start new companies to empower the freelancers who are the former laid off workers that leads to online education. In the old economy of six months ago, an online degree was seen as the stepchild of a “real degree”. Quote unquote real degree, right? The quality of online education has increased rapidly in the last five years, but the the HR folks have not caught up with that trend. Let’s work with CEOs. Let’s work with heads of HR. Let’s work with community to convince them that the online version is actually preferred over sitting in a classroom. We’d rather have people stay in the workforce, continue to earn money for their families and get their degree. That is actually a preferred way to go rather than the other way. I’m now focused mainly on professional development. When you’re in the workforce already, you’re 30 years old, 40 years old, 50 years old, 60 years old, you want to retool, you want to upskill. We have to help, particularly the Hispanic community upscale so that they do not bear a greater brunt of the layoffs that are about to come. 2021 will be massive, massive layoffs and the end of 2020 will be massive layoffs and we need to help people up-skill today, right now, right here, let’s get them analytics skills. Analytics is the number one requested skill in the United States of America today by companies.
Claudia Romo Edelman (30:33): And this is Jack Hidary’s is idea number three.
Jack Hidary (30:37): Let’s now talk about telemedicine. This is one of the key areas of inequality in America: access to good healthcare, and we’re not going to solve it in the old way. Having doctor’s offices, having people go to the emergency room because they don’t have a local doctor, a good doctor and emergency who becomes their primary care doctor, which is the case in many communities of color. This is not a great way to go forward with healthcare. We want to really stop the entire system of healthcare, which just happened now because of COVID, reassess and emerged with a different kind of healthcare system. One of the reasons why Elmhurst hospital in Queens is overrun compared to other hospitals is that the communities around Elmhurst did not have good primary care physicians and access to great healthcare in their primary care setting. And so they rushed to the hospital with any kind of symptoms because they don’t know, they don’t have a structure to lean on. And so Elmhurst had to provide that structure in addition to providing structure for the very, very seriously ill on ventilators and so forth.
Claudia Romo Edelman (31:42): The community can receive better healthcare for less by using simple digital tools and avoiding the emergency room.
Jack Hidary (31:50): This would mean that a single mom who has two kids and suddenly their kid is having a fever, she can quickly find out very immediately what exactly the temperature is and get this information to a tele doctor, get that doctor online within 30 minutes at 2:00 AM at 3:00 AM at 1:00 AM whenever the time is that the kid is sick, monitor that child and allow the doctor to tell her in the next 10, 15 minutes exactly what may be going on with that child. Do a number of other tests that can be done in the home. Even small blood tests. If you see the glucometer over here. If there’s a family member for example, who might have glucose issues, prediabetes, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, you could do these quick tests, transmit those to the doctor to see if maybe there’s an issue there and you could even do EKG if someone’s having potential heart issues. Obviously if it’s a heart attack, you need to call the ambulance, need to go to the hospital. But somebody who has say some history of heart issues and want to see if there’s an arrhythmia or other kinds of issues instead of, again, making appointments, taking time, going to doctor’s offices. This could be done clinical grade and all of these are FDA approved already. These are small startups that have done great jobs of making this happen, but they’re in the margin of healthcare system. Let’s bring them out to be the core of how we do healthcare going forward, not at the margin.
Claudia Romo Edelman (33:13): Jack Hidary is on a campaign. Instead of going back to an old idea of normal, he wants to capture the urgency of now to come back better. In other words, as I said earlier, do not waste the crisis and take this as an opportunity.
Jack Hidary (33:29): A lot of people are joining us in this movement to reopen the economy to a better one, a smarter one, a more equitable one with better access to education, more equal access to healthcare. These are the kinds of things that we can now do, but we only have about 30 to 60 days to convince leadership to do that.
Claudia Romo Edelman (33:50): You will hear more about Jack Hidary’s campaign. As I mentioned, we’re partnering with him to reinvent those rules for women particularly, and for Hispanics. Now, Edie, we’ve been pretty US-focused in this episode, or at least the Global North rich world focus, which I get, but as you pointed out in our last episode and as Gillian mentioned, there are parts of the world where the pandemic is just getting started.
Edie (34:16): So I am glad you brought that up like everyone else. I have spent my fair share of time on zoom calls recently. I joined one put out by our friends at Tortoise where the editor, our friend James Harding was interviewing David Miliband, CEO of the International Rescue Committee. He was a guest in our first season. Remember Claudia?
Claudia Romo Edelman (34:37): Yes, of course! He’s so focused on some of the poorest and most strife torn places on earth. Coronavirus only adds to the deep troubles.
Edie Lush (34:48): Right! So I asked him about what Emma in Gaza had told us from Kenya in our last episode: how the push for better sanitary conditions to curb COVID was also reducing other intestinal illnesses and diarrhea? Building back better really meant building things that should have happened long ago. Was that a silver lining to Coronvirus?
David Miliband (35:13): Well, it’s a great point. And necessity is the mother of invention. I mean, that’s the truth. So we’re using radio now for remote education. We are using motorbike riders to go and do child protection work. We’re using social media to take on fake news, which just in parenthesis is a huge problem in the places that we work. We’re running our finance department without having, without anyone having to go into an office in New York. So there’s all sorts of innovation that is coming out of this, and forced innovation, which is a good thing. And my friend Peter Heiman has started a website about education in advanced countries called “Learning from Lockdown”. And our mindset is all about learning from lockdown. We’ve got to do the prevention, we’ve got to do the health response, we’ve got to deal with the immediate collateral damage, which frankly is appalling in terms of violence against women and girls, which are massive things in the place we work. We’ve got to adapt our programs like with the radio example I gave you and then fifthly, we’ve got to learn the right lessons. And the lesson is that when you have such huge holes in domestic and global safety nets, you’re courting disaster and tell you living in the U.S. You see what having holes in the safe near me. Undocumented workers don’t dare go to the hospital in case they get have to give their name and address and get registered and hand it over to the immigration authorities. And that fuels a really dangerous cycle. In the global system 3 billion people have no access to hand-washing in their own home. And so that lesson learning, I think it has to draw from the real examples of the kind that you’re, that you’re giving the exams. I’ve given us not quite silver linings in the same sort of way, but if the world wakes up and says, now we’ll look 3 billion people not having hand washing their own home is something that is a threats to life and livelihood everywhere, we’ve got to sort it out, that will be a serious silver lining.
Claudia Romo Edelman (37:09): That’s a wrap. Let’s talk about this. So we got three different ideas for building back better. So what do you think Gillian?
Gillian Tett (37:17): I think it’s very inspiring and I think if you want to understand how inspiring this can be, it’s worth going back to one of the times that the West fought an actual war as opposed to a medical war, which was World War II and after world war two when the soldiers went back to their homes, both in America and the UK or the allied soldiers, there was a presumption amongst many world leaders that they’d go back and they’d simply vote to support the people who have been running the war campaign and everything would go back as it was before. In fact, what happened to the UK was an election where they voted out the old government and brought in a new government that then introduced some sweeping changes to the welfare system and created the national health system, which in many ways is something that today Britain is very proud of. In the U.S. the returning soldiers were part of a new wave that fought for, for example, extraordinary, educational opportunities through the GI bill, which essentially enhance social mobility for many years to come in America as people went to college for the first time. And those are just two tiny examples of what can happen after a crisis. The “build back better” phrase was actually created after World War II and I think the fact that so many world leaders are now turning to variants that now shows that crisis and war of any sort can be both a devastating shock that causes untold human misery and pain, but it can also be an effort to disrupt the system and create a fresh opportunity. So let’s hope that even amid this horrific pain, there are leaders with the imagination to seize on the second opportunity.
Edie Lush (38:59): So not every idea that we heard in this episode is a new one Gillian and they’re all newly urgent because they can curb the virus and help build back better, but how do you think we sort ideas from somebody who’s talking their own book or promoting an idea that they had before the virus, their agenda, and sort those from the ones that are actually quite innovative or will really work?
Gillian Tett (39:26): Well I think one of the themes that you’ve very much highlighted on this podcast is equity. So it’s going to be extremely important to not just have equity or distributional resources, which are going to be very important in the coming weeks when we come to issues like food and medicine and tasks and ultimately a vaccine, but also equity of access to information and healthcare, but also going forward equity of voice in terms of how we fashion this new world because we can’t afford to just have the rich essentially control innovation and ideas and proposals for solutions. We need to have what’s been called reverse innovation, which is learning from the developed world. We need to make sure that the ideas we’re listening to are those that are coming also from some of the more marginalized and long ignored parts of the economy, the poor people. And above all else, we need to make sure we actually have a way to get a proper debate and surface innovative ideas going forward. And yes, inevitably some of the great ideas will be coming from some of the more privileged parts of society who want to defend their own interest. Silicon Valley is immensely privileged, but they do also have lots of fantastic ideas. But it really is now about a system of checks and balances that make sure that just as America has fought for years to have checks and balances in the constitution legally, we now in a sense need social checks and balances, which, enable all people around the table and all people in society to have a voice. Because one thing we’ve learned is that we’re linked to the global chain of humanity, and a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. And a pandemic shows that if the weak, weakest link breaks, we all suffer. And that’s going to be true for the future as much as it currently is in the present.
Claudia Romo Edelman (41:14): And I think that part of what you started with Gillian is like, we have parts of our facts and actions in these episodes must be having a historic perspective. And just going back to seeing, you know, like this is again, not even a new phrase and this is not a new pandemic. And what are the lessons that we can historically go back to, even in the Hispanic called the Spanish flu, learning how information was denied, uh, and, and the government banned actually media to talk about the pandemic. And you know, it took, it took more than 5% of the world’s population. And what are the patterns, what we can be seeing from again, from wars and from history?
Gillian Tett (41:59): One of the amazing things about the current crisis is it not only does the current generation have a chance to learn from history, if it chooses, because it has access to so much information on the internet, but also there’s lessons can flash around the world at an at truly astonishing speed that would have been unimaginable just five, 10 years ago. So to give you a tangible example of this, various branches of the Federal Reserve have engaged in some astonishing research recently looking at the impact of the 1918 influenza on say, productivity and growth. What happened in cities, which braced a quick lockdown and those which didn’t, but also looking at topics like the, the statistical link between the Spanish Flu and populism and fascism in subsequent decades. This is very controversial research. It’s highly to the credit of the different branches of the Federal Reserve that they’ve even done this research. But what’s striking is that they put this research out with an incredible speed and that’s now being read right around the world. So the internet can spread good ideas as well as bad. And we’ve seen how globalization can create medical contagion, it can also create innovation contagion. And let’s hope that that happens as people look back to history, share the ideas, not just with each other but also with people around the world and hopefully find a better solution. But that requires having the will to look.
Edie Lush (43:36): Gillian, thank you so much for joining us yet again on Global GoalsCast. You are our favorite guests. I don’t know if we’re allowed to say that.
Gillian Tett (43:44): Well, thank you. And I should say, by the way, it’s also having the will to listen. And for that reason, I do salute podcasts like this, which are trying to take these messages out to a wide audience.
Claudia Romo Edelman (43:55):Thank you Gillian. Let’s stay safe and let’s say strong.
Gillian Tett (43:58): Thank you all!
Edie Lush (44:00): So to take us out of this episode, I’m going to hand you over now for our signature facts and actions. Today we are delighted to have Alice McDonalds. She’s the policy and campaigns director at Project Everyone.
Alice Macdonald (44:13): So firstly in the recovery we have to ensure that no one is left behind and that’s a commitment that underpins the goals. Why is that? Because we know that the most vulnerable are and will continue to be hit the hardest. For example, a recent report predicted poverty could increase for the first time in three decades, pushing more than half a billion people into poverty. In addition, the UN has predicted at least 15 million more cases of domestic violence and the number of acutely hungry people worldwide could nearly double. Secondly, we need a holistic approach. The SDGs are unique and that they applied to every country and span a huge range of issues from development to gender equality to the climate crisis. Carbon emissions have fallen by 6% due to the outbreak and we’ve seen cleaner air across the world. However, as the UN has warned, that fall is probably only temporary and we have to have a consolidated plan and efforts to preserve some of those small gains. Thirdly, we need global cooperation and coordination more than ever. The goals are founded on the principle of partnership and that is very much needed, especially when it comes to finance. One recent estimate is that the cost of protecting the most vulnerable 10% of people in the world’s poorest countries is approximately $90 billion. That sounds a lot, but it is equivalent to just 1% of the global stimulus package that the world’s richest countries have put in place to save the global economy. So we need the same kind of concerted and consolidated efforts to raise those funds. So what can you do? Firstly, you could campaign and advocate for both the short term and long term solutions we need like universal health coverage, debt relief and social protection measures. One thing you could do right now is donate to the WHO’s Global Solidarity Fund. Secondly, you could read Donut Economics by Kate Rayworth, a different holistic model for thinking about the economy, which is closely linked to the SDGs. Thirdly, you can join a global day of solidarity on the 22nd of May and send a message that we are stronger together. You can find out more about the day on www.solidarityinaction.org and if you want to find out more about project everyone and the Global Goals campaign in general, please go to www.globalgoals.org.
Edie Lush (46:26): Thanks to Alice Macdonald from project everyone for those facts and actions!
Claudia Romo Edelman (46:36): And thank you to our guests in this episode.
Edie Lush (46:39): And thanks to our listeners for listening, please like and subscribe via iTunes or wherever you listen and follow us on social media. If you don’t know it yet, it’s @GlobalGoalsCast. See next time, adios, hasta la vista, adios!
Narrator (47:01): Global GoalsCast was hosted by Edie lash and Claudia Romo Edelman. We are editorial gurued by Mike Oreskes, editing and sound production by Simon James. Our operations director is Michelle Cooperrider and our interns, Brittany Segarra, Taryn Rennie. and Dylan Pott. Music in this episode was courtesy of Universal Production Music, one of the world’s leading production music companies, creating and licensing, music, film, television, advertising, broadcast, and other media, including podcasts. Original music by Neil Hale, Angelica Garcia, Simon James, Katie Crowd, and Andrew Phillips. This episode is brought to you by MasterCard, creating scalable solutions for sustainable and inclusive economic growth. Thanks also to CBS News Digital and to BSR working for a just and sustainable world.