Washington Institute Coronavirus Initiative

Forging Effective Responses to Epidemics among Business, Government, and Society


Introduction: The recent devastating pandemic of the Coronavirus has been an alarming wakeup call, highlighting the need for coordinated global cooperation. To best understand how the global community has responded to this lethal virus that has defied borders, accelerated a new industrial revolution, and laid the groundwork in preparing for the next global shock, collaboration among business, government, and society must not end once the final patient has been cured. To that end, the Washington Institute is launching a major initiative to examine the lessons learned in the way business, government, and society have adapted to this crisis.

Objective: To promote efforts among business, government, and society to contain, cure, and minimize the all-encompassing impact of the Coronavirus and ascertain lessons learned, including how the pandemic has accelerated the advent of the Fourth Revolution.

Target Audiences: 

  • C-level executives, especially those in industries highly susceptible to disruptive shocks
  • Government representatives coordinating responses to global crises
  • Civil Society and Multilateral Leaders

Participants: The following partners of the Washington Institute network may soon be engaged with it in effectively addressing the Coronavirus initiative: 

  • Business – Airbnb, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Oxford Analytica, Salesforce, Tesla, Uber, Kaiser Permanente, Target  
  • Government – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.), Department of Homeland Security (U.S.), Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Japan), Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (Qatar 2022 World Cup) 
  • Society – Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Americares, Brother’s Brother Foundation, CDC Foundation, The Commonwealth Fund, DirectRelief, Heart to Heart International, International Medical Corps, International Red Cross, Lutheran World Relief, MedShare, Project HOPE, Catholic Charities, TAPS, DC Scores, Concordia
  • Media Al Jazeera, Axios, Channel News Asia, China Global Television Network (CGTN), ESPN Radio, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post
  • Academia – American University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, National University of Singapore, Oxford University, Waseda University 

Initiative Components: 

Thought Leadership and Research: Research funding is being sought by the Washington Institute for some of the world’s foremost experts to develop robust publications on the following topics associated with the Coronavirus: Technology and Innovation, Public Health and Public Policy, and the Economy.

Working Groups: The Washington Institute is convening working groups for the purpose of sharing information and collaborating proactively among leaders within the sectors of business, government, and society and the general public to address the Coronavirus challenge. These include Technology and Innovation, Employee Engagement, Economic Recovery and Stability, Education, and International Development and Crisis Management.

Blog and Social Media posts: To provide real-time, succinct insight into the most effective Coronavirus responses, WI is publishing blog and social media posts, including notes directly from Founder and CEO James Moore and members of the WI Board of Governors, Advisory Council, and other subject matter experts.

Op-Eds: To enhance its thought leadership and visibility, WI is in the process of publishing opinion editorials on topics associated with the Coronavirus.

Podcasts: To showcase collaborative efforts among business, government, and society to tackle the Coronavirus while taking into consideration the social distancing measures necessitated by its spread, a weekly podcast series is forthcoming.

Events: To provide opportunities for information sharing and collaboration between business, government, and society, as well as raise the visibility of WI and develop its network, several symposia are planned as part of the Coronavirus initiative, leading to a global forum to be held during the World Bank Group’s Fall meetings on Tuesday, October 13, 2020.

Final Publication: To culminate the Coronavirus initiative, the Washington Institute will produce a robust publication summarizing the findings of its team of experts, working group members, and network. The publication will serve as a comprehensive but succinct playbook for executives and policymakers seeking to navigate future crises. It will link to other WI products and those of members of its network to provide additional insight.

Washington Institute Podcast Series

Shaping the World Together Ep. 1 – featuring H.E. Vicente Fox (Guanajuato, Mexico) – April 28, 2020
“Global Leadership and the Coronavirus: Lessons from a Head of State”

Shaping the World Together Ep. 2 – featuring Barie Carmichael (Washington, D.C.) – April 30, 2020
“The Importance of Communications in Crisis Responses”

Shaping the World Together Ep. 3 – featuring Dame Heather Rabbatts, DBE (London, UK) – May 5, 2020
“The Coronavirus and Global Sports”

Shaping the World Together Ep. 4 – featuring Philippe Nacson (Paris, France) – May 7, 2020
“Artificial Intelligence in Our Age”

Shaping the World Together Ep. 5 – featuring Dr. Ahmed Elmagarmid (Doha, Qatar) – May 12, 2020
“Technology in the post-Coronavirus World”

Shaping the World Together Ep. 6 – featuring David McCourt (Dublin, Ireland) – May 14, 2020
“Today’s Leadership and its Impact on the World’s Future”

Shaping the World Together Ep. 7 – featuring Vinoda Basnayake, Esq. (Washington, D.C.) – May 19, 2020
“The Coronavirus and Uncertainty for Small Businesses”

Shaping the World Together Ep. 8 – featuring Hon. Anthony Williams (Washington, D.C.) – May 21, 2020
“Economic Consequences of the Coronavirus”

Shaping the World Together Ep. 9 featuring H.E. Luis Lacalle (Montevideo, Uruguay) – May 22, 2020
“Politics and Science in Our Age”

Shaping the World Together Ep. 10 – featuring Ronna Chao (Hong Kong, China) – May 26, 2020
“The Challenges of Hong Kong and its Neighborhood”

Shaping the World Together Ep. 11 – featuring Emanuel Medeiros (Zurich, Switzerland) – May 28, 2020
“Ethics in the Modern World”

Shaping the World Together Ep. 12 – featuring Robert Kahn (Reston, Virginia) – June 2, 2020
“The Evolution of the Internet: Where do we go from here?”

Shaping the World Together Ep. 13 featuring Lawrence Chong (Singapore) – June 4, 2020
“The Future of Globalism after the Coronavirus”

Shaping the World Together Ep. 14 – featuring Bill Novelli (Washington, D.C.) – June 9, 2020
“The Coronavirus and Its Impact on Corporate Social Responsibility”

Shaping the World Together Ep. 15 – featuring William Mayer (New York, NY) – June 11, 2020
“What the Coronavirus has taught us”


Coronavirus Initiative Blog Posts

Social Solidarity through Social DistancingAlison Gerzina – April 1, 2020

A View of the Coronavirus Pandemic from Casablanca – Maati Bouabid – April 8, 2020

College Cut Short: The Value of Interpersonal Connection to Business, Government, Society, and Academia – Jordan Muchnick – April 15, 2020

Distance Learning: Struggles and OpportunitiesAlison Gerzina – April 30, 2020

Food Insecurity and the Coronavirus Pandemic – Alison Gerzina – May 20, 2020

Washington Institute Global Coronavirus Vaccine Development Efforts