Jared Diamond2

Jared Diamond on Personal and World Crises

Jared Diamond

What is a crisis? How have countries dealt with them previously, and how should they deal with them? From personal crises to national and global ones, Jared Diamond explores the similarities in crisis management between people and nations.

  • Jared Diamond

    Jared Diamond is a distinguished geographer, historian, ornithologist and author.


About the Course

 "Crisis is what suppressed pain looks like; it always comes to the surface. It shakes you into reflection and healing". - Bryant McGill

Almost everyone at some point in their lives has dealt with a personal crisis; whether it be the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, or a broken marriage. To overcome such crises we must shed the mantle of victimhood, accept responsibility for our actions, selectively change aspects of ourselves and be honest in our own self appraisal. The question, however, is can this type of crisis management also be applied to nations, kingdoms, empires and even the world at large? 

Join distinguished geographer, historian and ornithologist Jared Diamond as he explores the parallels in crisis management between individuals and societies, both on a national and global level. Diamond will take you on a fascinating journey through common psychological practice, the Chilean Coup D'état, 19th century Japan, and the U.S.A., as well as highlighting the most pressing issues that face us today and how we can solve them.

By the end of the course, you will have learnt:

  • How a national crisis is similar to a personal crisis
  • How countries get through crises
  • An example of how not to deal with a crisis
  • The most pressing world crises facing us today
  • Whether we should be optimistic about what the future holds


IAI Academy courses are designed to be challenging but accessible to the interested student. No specialist knowledge is required.


About the Instructor

  • Jared Diamond

    Jared Diamond is a distinguished geographer, historian, ornithologist and author of The Third Chimpanzee; Guns, Germs, and Steel; Collapse, The World Until Yesterday, and Upheaval. Diamond is known for drawing from a variety of fields, including anthropology, ecology and evolutionary biology.

Course Syllabus

  • Part One: National Crises
    All nations experience crises of different kinds. From the Chilean Coup D'état to the Meiji era in Japan and the breakdown of political compromise in the U.S., what do all these crises have in common? Could a helpful parallel be drawn to personal crises?
  • Part Two: World Crises
    We face multiple threats as a species: from the risk of nuclear war to the depletion of natural resources. How should we respond to them? Should we be optimistic about our capacity to solve these crises in the near future?