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Five steps towards a global reset: lessons from COVID-19

Hawkes, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-5091-878X (2020). Five steps towards a global reset: lessons from COVID-19. Global Sustainability, 3, article number e30. doi: 10.1017/sus.2020.24


COVID-19 has stimulated calls for a "Global Reset" to address major global challenges and "build back better." This Intelligence Briefing makes the case that the experience of COVID-19 itself, and in particular the role of multiple systems in the cause, severity and effects of the pandemic, shines light on the vital steps needed to advance a Global Reset. It brings together the evidence that the causes, severity and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic emerged from the interconnections between multiple systems, notably environmental, health, political, social, economic and food systems. It then uses this evidence to identify five practical steps needed to advance a global reset. First, train systems leaders. Second, employ a new cadre of “systems connectors.” Third, identify solutions across systems. Fourth, manage trade-offs for the long- and short-term. Fifth, kickstart system redesign for co-benefits. Implementing these steps will be extraordinarily challenging given the short-term imperative to recover. But for any business, organisation, government or UN agency serious about addressing long-term sustainability challenges, the opportunity is there to use these five practical actions to press the global reset button.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: COPYRIGHT: © The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: Policies, politics and governance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR180 Immunology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
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