Episode 1

How do we build back better after a crisis?

Published on: 30th January, 2024

In this episode, we explore how we can build back better after a crisis. What are the challenges and opportunities of addressing the climate crisis, including the need for climate justice, the costs of inaction, and the importance of green innovation. We consider the roles of governments, multilateral institutions, and grassroots movements play in driving change. And we conclude with a call to action, So, now what? Where we emphasise the need for coordinated international efforts and a just and equitable transition to a sustainable future.


  • Building back better after a crisis requires addressing climate justice and the disproportionate impact of climate change on vulnerable communities.
  • The costs of climate change, both economic and social, are substantial and require urgent action.
  • Investment in clean energy and good jobs can drive economic growth and reduce carbon emissions.
  • Leveraging people power and social media can help raise awareness and drive change.
  • Green innovation and regulation are key to building a sustainable and equitable society.


00:00 Introduction

04:21 Expertise and perspectives

06:50 The challenge of building back better

10:10 Understanding the costs and risks of climate change

14:25 Building back better in the United States

17:15 Building back better in Africa

19:25 The Need for collaboration and connectivity. Who needs to be in the same room?

25:45 Leveraging people power and innovation. How can we talk about green innovation and change the narrative? What does a better society look like?

31:00. So, now what? Moving Forward: Political will and financing.


Kamiar Mohaddes @KamiarMohaddes is an Associate Professor in Economics & Policy at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge. His main areas of research include climate change, economics of the Middle East, energy economics and applied macroeconomics.

Todd N. Tucker @toddntucker is a political scientist and director of Industrial Policy and Trade at the Roosevelt Institute, where he helps lead research on global governance, democracy, and the administrative state. A recognised expert on trade and political economy, Dr Tucker has testified before legislatures and expert committees around the world. 

Queen Chinyere Quinn is a Co-Founder and Partner at Kupanda Capital, an investment platform established to create, capitalise and scale pan-African companies. In this capacity, Queen has worked to provide tailored advice and support to entrepreneurs, project developers, fund managers and corporations operating in Africa.

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About the Podcast

So, now what?
So, now what? Gates Cambridge
Fed up with bad news story after bad news story? So, now what? is the podcast from Gates Cambridge, a cutting-edge scholarship programme for international postgraduates at the University of Cambridge. The podcast is for anyone looking for ideas, vision and optimism about how we can practically tackle some of the world's most complex and challenging problems. Scholars from a range of different backgrounds and disciplines will share the actions they are taking to change the world for the better.

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