Public policy - David T Ellwood

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Public policy - David T Ellwood

  1. 1. “Acting in Time: Educating Leaders to Solve Our Greatest Global Challenges” David T. Ellwood Dean Harvard Kennedy School Davos IdeasLab January 2011 0
  2. 2. Predictable Crises Demographic Shifts Climate Change Pandemics, Avian Flu, H1N1,Earthquakes,Tsunamis, Floods,Hurricane, Typhoons WATER Terrorism Budget Poverty and Deficits Inequality Nuclear Proliferation 1
  3. 3. Acting in Time Problems Foreseeable Future Problem There are Credible Solutions Acting Sooner Rather Would Be Vastly More Effective and Cost Much Less YET LEADERS AND NATIONS OFTEN SEEM UNABLE OR UNWILLING TO ACT 2
  4. 4. Theory 1: The Problem is People Humans Are Short Sighted Humans Are Incredibly Bad at Dealing with Risk and Uncertainty Humans Blame Others for Big Problems 3
  5. 5. Theory 2: The Problem is Business Profits Ignore Externalities The Competitive Disadvantage: Business Knows When “Acting” Will Cost Them – Use power, money and influence to avoid action – “The science is weak” – “We are not to blame” – “There are better solutions” 4
  6. 6. Theory 3: The Problem is Governments The Next Election Dilemma—Is Democracy Inherently Short Sighted? Emphasizing Hard Challenges and Taking Tough Action is Rarely A Good Career Move for Government Officials 5
  7. 7. Theory 3: The Problem is Governments  Weak or Distant Victims Versus Powerful Interests Who Gain from Inaction Collective Action Across Multiple Governments— “Competing Narratives” and the Free Rider 6
  8. 8. But Sometimes Nations Do Act In Time The Ozone LayerLessons: Vividness Unusual Alliances—Aligning the Interests of Business, Government and Civil Society 7
  9. 9. But Sometimes Nations Do Act In Time H1N1 (Swine Flu) and Bird FluLessons: Clearly Accountable Leaders--Health Ministers Credible, Independent Institutions With Strong Scientific Focus 8
  10. 10. But Sometimes Nations Do Act In Time The Marshall PlanLessons: Global Orientation Reinforcing Foresight Among Exceptional Business and Government Leaders 9
  11. 11. Lessons For Acting in Time Exceptional Long Term Leadership and Clear Responsibility Make Tomorrow’s Problem, Vivid Today Seek Out “Unexpected Partners”; Forge Unusual Alliances Among Affected Parties. Strategies that involve collaboration between government, business, and civil society Build Trusted Institutions of Accountability With a Long Term Focus 10
  12. 12. Finding and Educating Leaders Who Act in Time Attract Exceptional Public Leaders From All Sectors – Character – Intelligence – Creativity – Deep Concern with the Public Interest, Not Just Private Interest Educate Students to Solve Real World Problems Create Capacity to Work Across Sectors and Across Nations Skilled in Communication and Technology 11
  13. 13. Finding and Educating Leaders Who Act in Time Educate Them to Solve Real World Problems – Integrated Problem Oriented Not Just Separate “Stove Pipe” Discipline Courses – On the Ground Real Time Problem Solving – Able to Understand and Shape Politics and Institutions – A Culture of Accountability and Effective Management 12
  14. 14. Finding and Educating Leaders Who Act in Time Create Capacity to Work Across Sectors and Across Nations – Recognize and Admire Unique Capacity and Cultures of Different Sectors – Understand How to Reshape Incentives To Create Common Gains – Global Perspective, Local Understanding 13
  15. 15. Finding and Educating Leaders Who Act in Time Help Them Become Skilled in Communication and Technology 14

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