After the tragedy of their ship being trapped, crushed and sunk by the Antarctic ice, Shackleton and his 22-man crew on the Endurance were forced to reinvent their goals.

To survive, they hauled lifeboats across unforgiving ice in the brutal cold for 180 miles. Then, their world-famous and heroic ocean journey to South Georgia 800miles away in the 22-foot long James Caird. Shackleton kept his promise to those they left behind and returned to save them.

The crew were on their own for nearly 18 months, and the conditions largely drove their decisions:

  • When and where to drag their lifeboats;
  • When and who would sail for South Georgia; and,
  • Balancing the risks of an overland crossing of the island (never done before) with the chances of survival. 

Shackleton’s family motto captures it all. ‘Fortitudine vincimus’ (by endurance we conquer).

COVID19 has created risks and opportunities for far more than 22 people. Compared to the Endurance crew’s starvation and isolation, our lockdowns, cabin fever and addictions to sourdough bread feel pretty small! 

Their lessons of reinventing goals and shifting the compass bearings is beautifully relevant. Economies, businesses and people have been forced to adjust. 

We’ve summarised 10 up-to-date economic data points to help you understand the conditions in New Zealand. They reveal both risks and opportunities.

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