Book Launch: Ian Goldin: "Rescue: From Global Crisis to a Better World" chaired by Nik Gowing

Past Event

19 May 2021, 5:00pm - 6:00pm

Event Recording:

We are at a crossroads. Covid-19 has wreaked havoc but also offers the potential for radical change.

Ian Goldin explains why bouncing back to business as usual would be disastrous, leading to escalating inequality, potentially more devastating pandemics and escalating climate change. Drawing on the experience of history, Ian identifies how during the Second World War the welfare state and new world order was created to build more cohesive societies and overcome global threats.

In the book launch for Rescue: From Global Crisis to a Better World, Ian Goldin, Author, and Nik Gowing, Founder at Thinking the Unthinkable, will discuss how the pandemic provides a unique opportunity to tackle today’s challenges. The book and this talk examines the impact of the pandemic on the future of jobs, cities, globalisation, governments and businesses. The talk provides an analysis of what is to be done, and shows how the pandemic could lead to a better world.

Ian Goldin1

Professor Ian Goldin
Director, Oxford Martin Programme on Technological and Economic Change & Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Development

Professor Ian Goldin was the founding Director of the Oxford Martin School from September 2006 to September 2016. He is currently Oxford University Professor of Globalisation and Development, Senior Fellow at the Oxford Martin School, Director of the Oxford Martin Programmes on Technological and Economic Change, Future of Work & Future of Development and a Professorial Fellow at the University’s Balliol College.

Professor Goldin initiated and was Vice-Chair of the Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations, which brought together international leaders from government, business, academia, media and civil society to address the growing short-term preoccupations of modern politics and business, and identify ways of overcoming today’s gridlock in key international negotiations. The Commission's report, Now for the Long Term, was published in October 2013.

From 2003 to 2006 he was Vice President of the World Bank, and prior to that the Bank’s Director of Development Policy (2001-2003). He served on the Bank’s senior management team and led the Bank’s collaboration with the United Nations and other partners as well as with key countries. As Director of Development Policy, he played a pivotal role in the research and strategy agenda of the Bank.

From 1996 to 2001 he was Chief Executive and Managing Director of the Development Bank of Southern Africa and served as an advisor to President Nelson Mandela. He succeeded in transforming the Bank to become the leading agent of development in the 14 countries of Southern Africa. During this period, Goldin served on several Government committees and Boards, and was Finance Director for South Africa’s Olympic Bid.

Previously, Goldin was Principal Economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London, and Program Director at the OECD Development Centre in Paris, where he directed the Programs on Trade, Environment and Sustainable Development.

Goldin has received wide recognition for his contributions to development and research, including having been knighted by the French Government and nominated Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum. He has published over 50 articles and 22 books. He is the presenter of three BBC series After the Crash, Will AI Kill Development? and The Pandemic That Changed the World, and co-author of Terra Incognita: 100 Maps to Survive the Next 100 Years. More information can be found at

Gowing Nik

Nik Gowing
Founder, Thinking the Unthinkable

Nik Gowing is Founder and Co-Director of Thinking the Unthinkable – an independent project helping leaders understand the threats and opportunities in the new era of radical uncertainty and disruption. The COVID-19 pandemic has confirmed all the project’s alerts to leaders since 2014.

In 2016 Nik co-authored (with TtU Co-Director Chris Langdon) the book “Thinking the Unthinkable”. Their work is based on hundreds of top level confidential interviews and conversations with corporate and public service leaders, plus hundreds more conversations with a new generation of aspiring leaders. Thinking the Unthinkable reveals candidly why so many leaders face new difficulties identifying what looms in the disruptions of the “new normal” which started emerging in 2014 then exploded in 2020 with COVID-19 and the deepening climate emergency.

Nik Gowing was a main presenter for the BBC’s international 24-hour news channel BBC World News 1996-2014. He presented 'The Hub with Nik Gowing', BBC World Debates, Dateline London, plus location coverage of major global stories. For 18 years he worked at ITN where he was bureau chief in Rome and Warsaw, and Diplomatic Editor for Channel Four News (1988-1996). He has been a member of the councils of Chatham House (1998–2004), the Royal United Services Institute (2005–present), and the Overseas Development Institute (2007-2014), the board of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy including vice chair (1996-2005), and the advisory council at Wilton Park (1998-2012 ). In 1994 he was a fellow at the Joan Shorenstein Barone Center in the J. F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He was a board member for the Hay Literature Festival (2005-2018). He is currently on the festival’s foundation board.

“Skyful of Lies and Black Swans”, Nik's peer-reviewed study at Oxford University, identified the inevitable threat to leaders from what has now been labelled 'fake news'. The ground-breaking work highlighted the vulnerability, fragility and brittleness of institutional power in the new all-pervasive public information space. It built on research he initiated at Harvard University.

In 2014 Nik was appointed a Visiting Professor at Kings College, London in the School of Social Science and Public Policy. From 2016-18 he was a Visiting Professor at Nanyang University (NTU), Singapore focussing on deepening and widening the “Thinking the Unthinkable” research. From 2014 he was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Geo-Economics. In September 2017 he was an adviser on leadership challenges to the President of the UN General Assembly. He was awarded Honorary Doctorates by Exeter University in 2012 and Bristol University in 2015. They recognise his ongoing cutting edge analyses and distinguished career in international journalism.