Thriving Or Surviving? Using the Lessons of the Past to Help us Succeed in the Future

Mark Yeomans and Alex Johnston
Jigsaw Research

“If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.” (Pearl S. Buck)

“Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it” (George Santayana, The Life of Reason, Volume 1, 1905)


The overall aim of this paper is to look back into history and assess the extent to which we can learn from what happened in previous recessions to help us to cope with the one we are in now. While the world is a very different place to the one we were living in during the seventies, eighties and early nineties, it should still be possible to learn from the strategies and initiatives that helped us in the past, although as one of our esteemed contributors remarked “the one thing we learn from history is that we often don't learn from history”.