1st Edition

Leadership Lessons from a Global Health Crisis From the Pandemic to the Climate Emergency

By Jo Nurse Copyright 2023
    134 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores the key learning concepts for global leadership in the face of modern international health crises and argues the need for fundamental reform to governance paradigms, within the global security sphere and policymaking circles. Beginning with an analysis of the worldwide response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the book provides insights from evolution, history, and human behaviour to explain how our current leadership paradigms have contributed to today’s global health challenges and draws lessons for the much larger crisis of climate change with the threat of massive biodiversity collapse. The second part of the book outlines tangible solutions to transform leadership and policy to enhance global security for both people and the planet, with the aim of averting future pandemics and our planetary emergency.

    This book:

    Will be among the first published works to examine the international response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and draws valuable lessons for our climate crisis.

    Directly addresses the nexus between scientific advice and policymaking, highlighting recommendations for future leaders.

    Provides a bridge between public health, the environment, and leadership. This book will prove an insightful resource for current and future world leaders, politicians, and policymakers, as well as environmental and public health professional bodies, think tanks, and institutions shaping the next generation of leadership.

    Series Preface

    Foreword: SG/Chair of the InterAction Council (Thomas Axworthy/HE Bertie Ahern)

    Chapter 1. Learning from the Pandemic – A Crisis of Leadership

    Chapter 2. The Pandemic – A Disaster Waiting to Happen?

    Chapter 3. Past Pandemics and Future Threats to Health, Life, and Existence

    Chapter 4. Revealing our Hidden Shadows – Emotional Responses to the Pandemic and the Evolution of Leadership

    Chapter 5. Current Leadership Paradigms – Fit for Purpose?

    Chapter 6. How to Prevent a Pandemic – Prevention and Public Health

    Chapter 7. Lessons for Our Planetary Emergency

    Chapter 8. Transforming Leadership to Secure our Future Well-Being

    Chapter 9. Future Proofing Global Security for People and Planet


    Dr. Jo Nurse is a strategic advisor to the InterAction Council, a group of 40 former international leaders and Heads of Government currently chaired by HE Bertie Ahern and HE President Obasanjo, advancing collaborative initiatives to enhance governance for global security for people and the planet. Prior to this, Jo was Head of Health and Education for the Commonwealth, providing leadership to ministers across 53 countries, and strengthening systems and capacity for the education and health sectors to enable sustainable development. Earlier in her career, Jo was the UK government’s national lead for Public Mental Health and Wellbeing developing multi-sector policies to promote wider well-being including the prevention of violence. From 2010, Jo worked for the World Health Organization, developing capacity for climate change assessments and strategies, led the implementation of the WHO European Action Plan for Public Health, and applied this experience as a key architect of the World Federation of Public Health Associations ‘Global Charter for the Public’s Health’. Jo is currently advancing these initiatives as Director for the Platform for Planet, Place and People, a hub of the Commonwealth Centre for Digital Health. Having held a number of honorary professorships, Jo was recently made a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science and chairs a group on Existential Threats to Humanity.