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Episode 8

From Mandela to Mars: Lessons From Isolation

"Mandela’s comrades, like the astronauts created a routine and a potent cocktail of realism and optimism to navigate long periods of adversity and isolation."

Returning to our normal lives still feels like a long way off for many of us facing lockdown extensions. So how can we learn from those who have coped in true isolation? Jeremy reflects over his conversations with anti-apartheid campaigners Ahmed Kathrada and Denis Goldberg, who were imprisoned alongside Nelson Mandela for over 20 years. We also hear key insights from Professor Gro Sandal, an expert in the psychology extreme environments such as the International Space Station and mindset needed for an 18-month round trip to Mars.

Balancing realism and optimism is essential to navigating challenging times and as we continue the Covid-19 lockdown, these compelling insights foster our inner resilience and hope.