Getting it Right

In previous chapters, we explored several failure cases. Instances like the HIV discovery in the USA or the case of our failure to respond as we could—and should—to climate change. We also explored the sometimes uncomfortable truths of Moonshot thinking. These are all examples where the root of the problem has strong scientific underpinnings, but as much as we can understand these, we are not able to turn this understanding into a solution, or a solution at the scale we need. While exploring these failure examples, we looked at the shortcomings and sources of this disconnect. This is a crucial part in understanding how we might have been able to do it better. To learn from these failures.

This chapter instead explores the opposite side, a few cases where we were indeed able to react, and in the same fashion, we examine the reasons why these cases were different. The “Ozone hole” crisis, in this light, is a prime example. Kofi Annan, then head of the United Nations, called it “the single most successful international agreement” during his “most comprehensive presentation of the mission of the United Nations in its 55-year history” at the Millennium Assembly of the United Nations in September 2000.

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