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We have recovered from many crises in the past: war, depression, pandemic, natural disaster. Often, we’ve bounced back from these challenges to build an even better future.

The Spanish Flu was followed by the economic prosperity of the Roaring Twenties. In the decades following World War II, the German and Japanese economies grew into the world’s most advanced. In the USA, the social and economic policies responding to the Great Depression laid the foundations for twentieth century prosperity.

As we contemplate recovery from the current health and economic crisis while confronting the climate emergency head on, what can we learn from other recoveries? Through interviews with experts, policymakers and community leaders, this book examines past recoveries and investigates implications for the future. It explores what went well, what we should do differently and what the implications might be for the recovery ahead of us.

With governments prepared to lead, listen to expert advice and involve communities in decision-making, not only is a successful recovery possible, we can also choose to re-evaluate many of the things that we thought were fixed. The COVID-19 crisis gives us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build back better.

‘A book to give you hope. Wear shows we really can build a stronger and more sustainable economy after COVID-19’ Polly Mackenzie, CEO of Demos

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