Certainly is an art…particularly for these times in which a legal framework is not enough to sustain political goals based on individual guarantees, joint action and accountable and transparent leaders.
Rouhani, Macron, Trudeau, Verhofstadt, Figueres, etc, there are all leaders that are showing a strong personality to face uncertainty. Yes, an instable world in which populist leaders without an accountable message mark the road of a new political era, personal skills become paramount for getting ahead a national and global agenda. Indeed, think of a political goal exclusively under national terms is a paradox that is challenging minimum standards of what means pursue goals that go beyond and search for resilience, precisely in a historical moment in which the world desperately need it.
Climate change is not the interest of just one sector of the society –remember those times of the birth of green parties-, now there are –or should be- an essential part of any political party. Sadly this awareness only comes from a worsening impact of climate change that generates additional crises- e.g. a new category of refugees-. The process of adaptation that those crises demands supposes a new approach in politics and leaders, however even if this process seems logical within a natural evolution, is facing a strong resistance. The most important leaders that are currently pushing for reshaping the system towards more accountability, openness and sensibility are standing a particular violent opposition that differs from ten years ago in which the idea of joint action “turn on” and gain popularity. In the sense of Albert Einstein: “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”
Which has made this process so abruptly changed? Anti-globalists and nationalists. Is it true, globalization bring pros and cons. In the context of a global financial crisis, corruption and rigid systems, not always works and in many cases it leads to stagnation. Is it here where nationalists enter in action displaying a ultra conservative and defensive agenda in a pseudo call for “anti-establishment” and a disproportional defense of national sovereignty. I agree that we urgently need to reshape the entire system, but it is also true that go back to old codes of isolationism is not the way to get out from these crises. Is it just an opportunity to impose a nationalist agenda although not the correct ideological path to become resilient. But let´s be practical: ideologies are not the same as leaders. The hidden interests that makes funds one party/leader, like hedge funds with Brexit, or Russia with Trump´s or Marine Le Pen´s campaign shows that financial interests go above ideologies. The goal is not just move forward towards specific goals of sustainability -in the broadest sense- but go against a global project that is claiming for transparency and accountability.
That is the reason why I stress the fact that individual skills are the pillar for building leaders able to achieve changes and not hold this reactionary political attitude that repetitive we are seeing in this new isolationist stage of the world.
Education is becoming key and the only hope that could make the difference towards building leaders with strong convictions and a determinate will to carry on a global project and at the same time a total reshape of the system. Anyone could say that is obvious and educated leaders are a key factor that is always at the service of the political system. However this not true or at least it doesn’t apply to current times. Deny climate change is not a possibility and certainly not a good excuse for avoiding investment. Education is what marks the difference and shows the direction. Even if educated leaders have always been a key element in politics, in current circunstances it becomes not just an element but also the essential pillar to rely on. Current political context is contaminated by a weakened and threatened system without a focused leadership. Once the institutions fail, leaders become the engine for changing. Global leaders are facing this particular challenge without support not only from institutions but also from a no consistent and educated citizen engagement, which exacerbates their role more than ever.
If leaders are not educated and committed and citizens are not well-informed and engaged, a vicious circle is created that results in demagogy and ineffectiveness.We are constantly bombing by an anti-establishment message that is not accompanied by a tangible alternative model. In addition to a no accountable system that is not taking responsibility for leaders that are guiding the population through opportunistic messages based in “anti” but “not in pro of”.
Lets be grateful to all those global leaders that are making of their management an entire strategy based on the search of tangible solutions.A focus based on the only logical and feasible way to change effectively: reshape current global system with the strength of leaders with vision and personal courage.
*Penny Hardy, “Blown away”