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  • Hello, everyone.

  • Welcome is the latest of our Ted connects that daily conversation with you, the global tech community in this strange era of the virus.

  • Um, goodness, I hope everyone's doing okay, you Otto, if we can You're managing this crazy emotional roller coaster.

  • We're all on that.

  • Your loved ones safe on.

  • And, um, you're finding, um, at least some new ways to engage that you hadn't thought about before this all happened.

  • I don't know.

  • We're all trying to figure out new things together, like not touching your face like I just did.

  • And still, by the end of this, I swear I will have this under control.

  • It maybe not.

  • Um, so last week, I was joined here by Whitney Pennington.

  • Rogers.

  • Um, you'll be back really soon, but because where it looks like we're gonna do this for a while.

  • Yet we thought would be good toe.

  • They're with you.

  • Some of the broader faces among the Ted Curation team.

  • It takes a lot of people, it turns out, put together wise voices from all around the world.

  • And today my co host is the head of that team.

  • Um, Ted's head of curation, Helen water is Helen.

  • Where are you?

  • Like it's great to see you.

  • Video.

  • It's great.

  • Great to have you here.

  • Helen had and I've been working a Ted for many years now, and she she really, uh she's created this extraordinary team of curator specializing in these different areas and holds the thread together Strategic direction.

  • Helen, it's It's been great working with you.

  • You do?

  • You do swear a lot.

  • But you promised me that.

  • Maybe live here.

  • You're You may succeed in controlling that, but we'll see.

  • No, I make no promises at all.

  • You know the one.

  • How how are you?

  • How have you found the weekend?

  • What would you What struck you this weekend about this?

  • Hope is our situation we're in.

  • I mean, bizarre, whole bizarre situation is right.

  • Um, I am in Brooklyn.

  • I am here with my family on, and we had a very quiet we can, um, the social distancing, um, measures are in place as I went to the pharmacy this weekend, and you see that taped out moments on the street where you can stand But it was pretty quiet here.

  • I actually stayed away from the news as much as possible.

  • I kind of can't really handle reading the news.

  • So I'm getting news via various groups that I'm in on.

  • Also, I'm noticing one of it.

  • Whenever a news announcement is made will be a flurry of incoming text and communications from my family in England and elsewhere.

  • Like everything.

  • Okay.

  • How you doing on?

  • So I'm trying to keep my sanity that way.

  • But how about you?

  • How was your weekend?

  • Well, I, um I actually haven't been giving you for the news, and it doesn't thank you.

  • Lots of emotions, including anger, including frustration, including some hope like that seems to be some kind of consensus emerging among many experts for a second.

  • See off.

  • You know how countries can tackle this?

  • Not some form of shut down really hard, Probably for at least two months.

  • Um, but then you can probably bring people back to what so long as you have massive testing available so that you could quickly find out if someone said, Let that in the bud.

  • And then maybe also there's a changing conversation about face mask is all which is interesting that, like we were all told in the West, don't don't bother with them.

  • They're not.

  • They don't really help.

  • You don't protect you.

  • Seems like there's a lot of people shifting on that now that as a group, if we wear them, we reduce the chances of spreading the burger.

  • That certainly seems to have played a role in in Asia anyone but that.

  • That'll be an interesting conversation for a future one of these.

  • But I am now going to get out of your hair and let you introduce today's extraordinary guest.

  • Don't do you see what it is?

  • Thank you so much for getting out of my hair.

  • Chris.

  • I've been waiting for that moment for some time.

  • Well, at last, So it gives me great pleasure to welcome our guest.

  • Today he is a spiritual leader.

  • He is the former chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth.

  • So I had to read that to check.

  • I didn't get it wrong.

  • He's a writer.

  • He's a thinker.

  • He's a moral leader.

  • Um, he's just a around wonderful person.

  • I have had the pleasure of working with him on his Ted talk back in 2017.

  • Um, I'd love to welcome Rabbi Sex Alan.

  • It's straight to be with you.

  • You're sorry?

  • In these circumstances, I'm equally sorry.

  • But, you know, somehow the technology has arrived at exactly the right time.

  • Sustained touch virtually, if not physically.

  • And this'd is one of the things you do it, Ted.

  • Reach out to so many people and connect them with one another.

  • Well, we're so grateful that you could join us.

  • Where exactly are you right now?

  • And most importantly, how are you?

  • Well, I'm in my study in our home in golden screen on the edge of the Jewish ghetto.

  • Um, and doing fine.

  • Actually, I kind of, you know, I'm used to being the lonely man of faith kind of thing.

  • So, you know, in a sense, I'm used to it.

  • But hearing the rial riel pain of our community and the country, we're going through this terrible ordeal.

  • Yeah, it's really so back in 2017 you opened your Ted talk with a quote from Thomas Paine.

  • Referring to these are the times that try men's souls and pain, of course, was referring to British tyranny in the 18th century, and you were referring to divided political times in the 21st.

  • It's It's not really a stretch, sadly, to shift that from politics to the pandemic.

  • But I wonder, can you give us a sense of what you make of these times?

  • And more importantly, what you make of our response to the Times?

  • Well, I apologize for 17 76.

  • I ready?

  • D'oh!

  • Don't apologize to you, Lin Manuel Miranda got his own back deathly and beautifully done.

  • I think this is a traumatic time for the entire globe, and people are going through every dimension of suffering.

  • There is physical, psychological, economic, the uncertainty and anxiety about the future there, not knowing how long the pandemic will last than not knowing how and when or if the economy will ever get back in shape again.

  • These air horrific times, the Zahra collective trauma and the real distinction is between events that you lived through at events that change you.

  • And I'm hoping that this will come under the second category because they really ought to changes.

  • It's not as if we were in great shape just before all this began globally, we weren't nationally, we weren't.

  • Our politics were dysfunctional, our economics for inequitable and sometimes in the quitters.

  • So we were in a bad place, and now we've come through a bad experience together.

  • I think there will be a collective resolve to move to a better place in the future.

  • He wrote a piece at the weekend talking about the risk how the response to the Corona virus could in fact be similar to the response we saw after World War Two and in Britain.

  • Of course, the that response included the launch of the National Health Service, which there's something I think many countries that sorely in need off today.

  • But if you had your druthers, how would you see leaders step up to both deal with the pandemic in its moment and then also in its aftermath?

  • What would what would you like to see?

  • The leaders leaders.

  • Don't forget that there's a difference between two kinds of leadership.

  • The leadership that gets you through the crisis and the leadership that rebuilds after the crisis.

  • One of the strangest phenomena of all was the fact that Winston Churchill, whom everyone you had taken Britain triumphantly through World War two, was not elected as prime minister immediately after the war.

  • Yes, he was a great leader for war he was not necessarily a great, beautiful piece.

  • I don't think any political leader in the world right now has a mind to think long.

  • And therefore they will get through the crisis living from day to day, being guided by scientific experts.

  • And we've seen the rebirth of respect for expertise, which is not unimportant.

  • But I hope, and you kind of political leader is about too much that the young people who really will be changed by this don't say I've got to give back.

  • And the first thing they have to look at these the national health.

  • I mean, we in Britain.

  • No, the National Health Service is being overwhelmed at the moment.

  • But to think that 27 million Americans don't have health cover don't have health insurance.

  • I mean, I'm sorry that is morally unintelligible to me.

  • And so somehow or other, we need a new politics.

  • But the day after and this will come from places we're not expecting, they certainly not going to come from the existing political leadership.

  • But I think that they will have to look at it.

  • They'll also have to have to look at the economy as well.

  • First of all, we were building up on unsustainable level of individual and national debt.

  • Anyway, on all of that is seeing companies collapsing all over the world.

  • It was untenable before this and and finally with at seeing an American president, you know, sending out checks to people The beginning off what you've spoken about in Ted before you've had speakers dealing with this a guaranteed basic income.

  • Who knows if that's what you're going to emerge from?

  • It knew things were going to emerge.

  • No existing leader is gonna have the head space to see this, But I expect a new kind of political leadership to merge in every country where people have really taken this to heart.

  • And I suppose the problem is that we know one cannot take this to heart, right?

  • This is really impacting everybody.

  • And some of what's alarming about some of the antagonistic rhetoric that was seeing, say between the US and China ll you know, national leaders trying to close their borders or look inwards is that the virus doesn't care about borders.

  • It doesn't care about anything I'm interested in.

  • Do you see any grass roots or shoots of this type of leadership emerging or has anything Have you seen anything that's given you hope that this might emerge, that maybe there are people who might even be able to overtake some of the national leaders who are who are maybe not doing what we might think of is the best job.

  • Look, I when I was a student, which is an awfully long time ago, the early Jurassic age we had 67 67 the Six Day War.

  • I'm Jewish.

  • We had this nightmare in the weeks leading up to it.

  • Um, we who had been born after the whole, of course, were thinking, given Nasa's threats, that we were about to witness another whole course.

  • Now that happened in my first year at University.

  • I think if it hadn't happened, I would be an accountant.

  • I realize you know the world has changed.

  • We can't You can't go through an experience like that and stay the same.

  • So it happens to people when they say, you know, we can't go back to the way things were.

  • So I do see this happening.

  • I do not think the political leadership of Let's Say the United States and China are behaving terribly responsibly that the world is suffering.

  • Now is not the time to play Ping Pong.

  • Well, the word responsibility is important to you, and you have written for years now about the need for a balance between rights and responsibilities.

  • I I wonder, how do you define our personal responsibility in this moment?

  • I think a good question to ask.

  • I know it's a difficult one is what does this moment ask off me that it wouldn't have done it some other time.

  • So I'm doing stuff that I never did before.

  • I'm using amusing facetime live I'm using Zoom.

  • I never heard of Zoom before.

  • I'm using every means of communication I can to communicate to as many people as possible at different level.

  • And that is what I hear me being called to our neighbors doing incredible things just being neighborly because we've got old people living alone here and there, just knocking on the doors of getting in touch with them and so on.

  • Just listen to the call.

  • What does this moment ask of me?

  • Why was I put in this place at this time?

  • I love that, and I think it's one of The things that has been heartening about this crisis is seeing how the community steps up.

  • I'm in Brooklyn, in New York and just seeing how people are leaving notes for neighbors and just checking in to see if they're okay or if they need anything.

  • If we could, you know those who were able to go out to the pharmacy or whatever.

  • Cool.

  • Go pick something up.

  • It kind of is heartening.

  • Even though we're all dead, you know, everybody is frightened off.

  • Find out what's happening and wants to come.

  • And it's this weird inter lambs that were all in where, you know, you kind of know that a crisis is coming even if it hasn't hit.

  • But we're seeing the news and seeing the overwhelmed, you know, Health Service's Do you a spiritually drive?

  • All.

  • Sorry.

  • Go ahead.

  • No, I was just going to say my my, uh, one of our grandchildren are eight year old granddaughter, um decided on her own the knock on the doors of all the houses in her street keeping our social distance.

  • And when the door is open saying we live at number 12 if you need anything, come and knock it out door, and I thought, You know, if that's when a girl does spontaneously I'm feeling quite proud of the moment.

  • Yeah, that's wonderful.

  • That's wonderful.

  • But I think that there is a universal fear that everyone is experiencing, even if they're not experiencing in the same way and unfair Candies paralyzing.

  • Do you, in your experience, do what?

  • What advice do you have for people who are trying to overcome that fear, who are trying to kind of live in the communal space and not just retreat to themselves?

  • Um, well, look, I mean, the thing to do is to reach out in any way that you can, because we know that reaching out in helping someone makes you feel better makes you feel more confident.

  • Boost your immune system, speeds your recovery from any illness.

  • Huge amount of research has been done on the health benefits of altruism, and sometimes it's nothing but a smile and a possible by at six or eight feet distance.

  • Sometimes it's nothing.

  • Sometimes it sharing a funny story on what's up.

  • You know, we had some friends.

  • We went on holiday with 22 23 friends.

  • We went on a holiday in New Zealand a few months ago.

  • They live all over the world, and they've been bombarding one another with little photographs and videos and stuff.

  • And so the everyone has found a way of getting out of their confinement.

  • You know, I that's a line in sums.

  • You know, I When I made Sekera tika, I called you God from my confinement and you answered me with the expanses.

  • Sometimes there's expenses, just psychological, But knowing that you've communicated with somebody, made someone smile, that's all you have to do.

  • How do you So you have written a lot.

  • We've talked about it and you're talking.

  • You've written about in your latest book about the need to move from I to we.

  • I have a couple of questions around this, but first of all, I wonder if you could describe exactly what you mean By that shift, I mean that any social animal needs to be able to do two things.

  • Needs to engage in competition and cooperation without competition.

  • Guy without cooperation, you can't have a group, you can't have a society, and we cannot survive on.

  • We have today two very powerful arenas of competition.

  • The market in the state.

  • Politics need another the market competition for wealth, the state competition for power.

  • But what we've been losing is our arenas of cooperation families, communities, charities, volunteering a normal rest of it, those things where you search not for self interest, but for the common good.

  • Those things have been weakening over the past several decades, and the end result is society has become much more abrasive and unequal.

  • And so therefore, how do we move away from that?

  • I mean, do we did we need to have such a shift, Such a seismic shift such as this in order to shake us out of our kind of, um, complacency?

  • Well, I was make sure we observe the difference by between asking, Why is this happened?

  • And what then should we do, right?

  • This has not happened in order to make its weak conscious.

  • It did not happen in order to boost the sales of my leg.

  • His book virus mutates.

  • That's how it things happen.

  • So I'm not asking why this happened.

  • I'm saying now that this is half.

  • Let us really see if it is unleash.

  • Let energy, since it has because communities have grown up.