For guiding leaders to see vast challenges as systems with logical patterns and logical solutions. 

Sometimes challenges are so vast, difficult and serious that they seem to extend beyond any individual or generation’s ability to shine light on the true path to a solution. It is entirely possible for a thousand people to invest their lifetime’s work addressing a thousand different aspects of climate change and still miss the moon. 

David Nabarro has met head-on some of the most intimidating and seemingly impossible challenges that the world has faced, such as containing the Ebola epidemic, and helped transform how leaders can organize with focus to actually solve them, rather than just work on them.  

David’s ability to help us understand profound and chaotic challenges as networked, interrelated patterns of cause and effect offers comprehensible definition, without denying complexity. 

He reminds us that we’ve faced and overcome huge challenges before. At the start of the journey to put a man on the moon, the challenge was known but the path forward was not and blocked with barriers for which solutions had not yet been invented, and still a decade was enough.  David identifies leadership itself as a transformational factor: leaders not just strategically organized and networked at multiple levels, but leaders comfortable with knowing just ‘A’ while in pursuit of ‘Z’. 

Climate action is our generation’s moonshot, and unintimidated, systematic, goal-orientated leadership is what it will take to get there. 


David Nabarro is a medical doctor, international civil servant and diplomat, who served as special adviser to the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change.

Mario Boccucci is the Head of the UN-REDD Programme Secretariat. UN-REDD is the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation. is a collaborative programme of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

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