New vaccines and a new White House administration are promising to finally lift us out of the crushing effects of the pandemic. Some people, however, are still questioning the safety and efficacy of vaccines that were developed so quickly.

To dispel myths and set the record straight, these five renowned thought leaders explain what factors led to the speedy development and approval of certain vaccines, provide scientific and data-driven perspectives on why they are safe, and highlight why eradicating the coronavirus must be a collective effort.


Karim Lakhani and Marco Iansiti

Global Authorities on AI-Enabled Business and Operating Models That Helped Moderna Successfully Develop Its COVID-19 Vaccine

“AI-enabled systems allowed Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna to confirm its COVID-19 vaccine’s efficacy and safety, which led to the successful development of a vaccine with 94.5% efficacy levels that can remain stable at standard refrigerator temperatures,” says Harvard digital transformation architect Karim Lakhani who also focuses on breakthrough innovation experiments.

“But the reality is, contributions from all players – traditional big pharma and cutting-edge, AI-powered biotechs – will also be necessary,” adds “Competing in the Age of AI” co-author Marco Iansiti. “With a target market of 7 billion vaccine recipients, multiple COVID-19 vaccines will be needed to supply the world. Or, as Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel puts it, ‘We are confident in our vaccine, but with a view on achieving the needed scale, we are rooting for everyone.’”

Dr. Larry Brilliant | Pioneering Physician, Epidemiologist and Leading Public Health Expert

Larry Brilliant, MD

Pioneering Physician, Advisor, Epidemiologist and Public Health Expert Who Helps Organizations Develop Plans for Safely Conducting Business During a Pandemic

“There is no way to stop the risk that I have or you have unless we stop the risk everywhere in the world. Bear in mind, we need a vaccination campaign in 220 countries and it has to be coordinated,” says Dr. Larry Brilliant, who was part of the team that eradicated the Smallpox virus in the 70s. “You would think a pandemic, of all things, would bring us closer together – and it may yet. But this virus will continue to go back and forth and re-infect us until we finally figure out that we are better off working together than working alone.”

Dr. Robert Wachter | Futurist and Global Leader in Health Care Safety, Quality, Policy and Digital Technologies That Improve Delivery of Care

Robert Wachter, MD

Globally Recognized Physician and Futurist Focused on Improving Health Care Safety, Quality and Technology, Leading Disseminator of COVID-19 Public Health Information, and Father of the Hospitalist Field

Dr. Robert Wachter, who has been a key opinion leader in several areas of medicine, has emerged as one of the most powerful and respected voices during COVID. In January, in an editorial in The Washington Post, he argued that the U.S. should consider a strategy of deferring the second dose of vaccines in order to vaccinate more people more quickly. In another editorial, in The New York Times, he and his coauthor argued for a new vaccine allocation policy – using age first, and then a lottery. Wachter has argued that when it comes to making plans around the vaccine rollout, we need to embrace the Mike Tyson principle: “Everybody has a plan until they’ve been punched in the mouth.”

We simply have to be more practical and nimble, says Wachter.

These and other pieces have earned him a passionate following, with 165,000 followers on Twitter. He recently became guest host of the podcast, “In the Bubble,” when host Andy Slavitt was named senior COVID advisor to the Biden Administration. The podcast has about 1 million downloads each month.

Wachter’s talks include a variety of COVID updates, as well as a futurist’s view with a particular focus on which changes will – and won’t – endure. As author of a bestselling book on digital health, he also speaks to why it may finally be time for optimism in the nation’s long and painful path toward digital transformation.

Bart De Langhe | Data Scientist at the Intersection of AI and Human Decision Making

Bart De Langhe

Leading Digital Marketing Scientist Who Helps Organizations Optimize Data So They Can Better Understand and Serve Customers and Markedly Drive Growth 

“The year 2020 will enter the history books as the year in which a new deadly coronavirus brought the world to a halt. Pharmaceutical companies jumped to the rescue with major investments in vaccine research and development, and in recent months one company after another released insights about the efficacy of their candidate vaccines,” marvels Esade behavioral economist and data scientist Bart De Langhe, whose AI-driven models help organizations optimize data to drive growth. “While these announcements have major implications for the world’s economy in 2021, they also provide valuable lessons for managers who want to use data to make better decisions. Data is often hailed as an antidote to the biases of human intuition, but effectively using data for decision making actually requires that we intelligently harness our intuition.”

Life Beyond COVID for Businesses, Governments and Communities

As the vaccine campaign ramps up, organizations will be making plans to rebuild, readjust and reenter an unfamiliar marketplace, well-aware that a new economy presents a new set of challenges. Organizational leaders looking for insights, frameworks and strategies for success may want to access the expertise of top thinkers who can help them achieve their goals – realizing, as Dr. Larry Brilliant says,“we are better off working together than working alone.” 

Navigating uncharted territory? Contact us to explore ways thought leaders can help your organization prosper amid the challenges.