—Joshua Spodek's adventures in stewardship—

403: Ashish Jha, part 2: Battling covid-19, leadership, and the environment

2020-11-04

From a leadership standpoint, acting on sustainability and the pandemic overlap. You probably see Ashish's name everywhere too. He's in the thick of it at the highest national level. He shares an inside view of the political happenings on responding to the pandemic. He also shares the emotional experience---the frustration at seeing people dying unnecessarily. I think you can tell that despite the numbers, he cares. You may hear me realized I spoke too glibly in stating the number of American depths. Most of our conversation covered the leadership vacuum responding to the pandemic as well as the environment in general. I believe you'll hear we're moving toward talking leadership strategy, the emotional challenge of leadership, and finding what works besides management. We cover Avoiding political polarization and engaging leadership from other areas than politics seem challenging. What opportunities exist for voices to get out there, either on the pandemic or the environment? How have we abdicated or lost our alternatives to lead to Washington DC or state or local government? I don't just mean exercising authority. Leadership doesn't require authority. We can lead in other ways than political representation. Ashish talked about debate. I've come to equate debate with provoking argument, as I alluded to. Instead, what stories can we tell? What images can we evoke? Is there a way to reach people to hear views they aren't in a way they'll appreciate after? This is the challenge. I focus on it in the context of sustainability. It applies equally in the pandemic response.

354: Harvard Global Health Institute Director Ashish Jha, part 1: Front Line Pandemic Leadership

2020-07-02

If you've followed sensible, expert advice on the pandemic, you've probably read or seen Ashish Jha in the New York Times, The Atlantic, CNN, Washington Post, and everywhere. On Tuesday he testified to the US Senate. He's Harvard's Global Health Institute's Director. Over 200,000 people have taken his online Harvard courses, which you can for free. Over 80,000 took Ebola, Preventing the Next Pandemic and over 120,000 took Improving Global Health: Focusing on Quality and Safety. As it turns out, we were college teammates on the ultimate frisbee team. I'll link to a few top articles by him. With so many interfaces between the pandemic and us---health, government, research, policy, etc---you can read a lot of his views and experiences from different sources. I wanted to bring the personal side of leading on the front lines and top levels of a pandemic---how do doctors and public health experts feel about people not following advice, facing triage decisions, how to be heard, and what affects a doctor personally. We talk about leadership, the intersection between the pandemic and the environment, which overlaps with his directorship and courses, and more. By the way, he created his Ebola course five years before this pandemic and predicted much of it, as did many. If predicting what's happened so far isn't enough reason to follow his advice, I don't know what is. Let's wear those masks

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