A new partnership issues a global challenge: Protect the world against the next pandemic

It’s been said that the question isn’t “if” another global health crisis will arise but “when.” And as leaders around the world look to reenergize organizations amid the ongoing effects of this one, a new group has already united to ensure we’re better prepared for the next.

The Trinity Challenge, launched today, is a new initiative that aims to use data and analytics to learn from the global response to COVID-19 in order to build greater resilience against future global health emergencies. Convened by Dame Sally Davies, Master of Trinity College at the University of Cambridge and former Chief Medical Officer of England, the challenge will offer £10 million in funding to recognize and reward insights and innovations across areas including economics, behavioral sciences, and epidemiology.

“There will be another COVID-19, the only question is whether we will learn the lessons of this pandemic or be doomed to repeat our mistakes again,” said Dame Sally. “The Trinity Challenge is a recognition by business, academia, and philanthropy of the need for new, breakthrough ideas and approaches to beat future pandemics.”

McKinsey is one of the challenge’s 22 founding members. Spanning the private, public, and social sectors, these leading organizations—including Google, Optum, Imperial College London, HKUMed, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation—are united by the common aim of using data and advanced analytics to create inclusive innovations and build a world that’s better prepared for health emergencies.

COVID Response Center

COVID Response Center

Practical resources to help leaders navigate to the next normal: guides, tools, checklists, interviews and more.

“At McKinsey, we bring a sense of the interconnectedness between the world of solving problems on the health side and what it means for the business community, along with a set of data, tools, and deep research and insight,” said our global managing partner Kevin Sneader. “I hope we’ll be able to bring those capabilities to the task at hand and do so in a way that is vital and brings to bear the power of very different approaches.”

The Trinity Challenge seeks new and practical ideas that could protect health and economic systems from the threat of global health emergencies across three areas: identification, response, and recovery. Selected submissions will be granted access to people and resources from founding members to maximize their effectiveness.

Perhaps most importantly, the challenge calls for these solutions in a robust and inclusive way. Submissions will be fielded globally through an open and accessible online portal, ensuring the best minds and most innovative ideas emerge from around the world.

We know the society that emerges in the wake of COVID-19 will be different, and this is one small commitment our firm is making to ensure it’s also more resilient.

Hemant Ahlawat, McKinsey senior partner

“We know the society that emerges in the wake of COVID-19 will be different, and this is one small commitment our firm is making to ensure it’s also more resilient” said McKinsey senior partner Hemant Ahlawat. “We must draw lessons from the current pandemic response to avoid making the same mistakes 20, 50, or 100 years from now.”

Those who would like to learn more or are interested in participating in The Trinity Challenge can visit https://thetrinitychallenge.org. Formal applications will open in early October. The submission period will close in January 2021.

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