Conflict, Trust, & Polarization
While the polarization of our current moment may feel unprecedented, its root causes are fundamental to the human condition. In this plenary, we discuss what is new and what is old about the conflicts which communities and organizations find themselves, how technologies of the 21st century have helped the advancement of some while harming many others, and look at the possibilities of building trust among people and institutions.
Collective Leadership & The Road Ahead
The world’s most difficult challenges won’t be solved by individual actors working in silos. Rather, we need leaders to come together to collaborate and sustain impact for the long haul. This plenary wrapped up the themes of the week with clear calls to action and provided practical ways to channel our energy in service of a brighter future.
Why Are We So Polarized?
What are the root causes of conflict and polarization? Are they fundamental to human nature or byproducts of the systems we have engineered for ourselves? Hear how people get into high conflict situations and what it takes to transcend them to connect across difference from Eric Liu, Writer & Founder of Citizen University, Executive Director, Citizenship & American Identity Program, Amanda Ripley, author of High Conflict, and Rima Maktabi (Middle East Leadership Initiative Fellow), Bureau Chief in London, Al Arabiya.Watch the conversation.
Leading Through the Pandemic of Disinformation
We are living through a time where faith and trust in our institutions – and each other – are actively being eroded. How is the spread of mis/disinformation contributing to that breakdown of trust? Watch this discussion moderated by Vivian Schiller, Executive Director of Aspen Digital, with members of the Aspen Commission on Information Disorder, Yasmin Green, Director of Research and Development at Jigsaw Alphabet and Marla Blow (Henry Crown Fellow), President and COO of Skoll Foundation, and Govindraj Ethiraj (Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellow), Founder-Editor of the data-driven digital news site IndiaSpend and explore the roles of digital platforms, leaders, and users in combatting the pandemic of "truth decay."Watch the conversation.
Financial Security and Social Stability
Inclusion happens by design, not by default, and it matters very much who the designers are. In this conversation, hear from two AGLN Fellows who are working to design more inclusive economic growth. Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth Founder Shamina Singh (Henry Crown Fellow) and newly elected St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones (Rodel Fellow) talk about the connections between financial security – for individuals, households, and small businesses – and the imperative to build more equitable, sustainable, and stable communities.Watch the conversation.
How Do We Build Trust?
The social fabric in many of our societies has been stretched to its limit. In some cases, it is completely torn. How do we weave it back together and build trust among our communities? Ana María Vallarino, Executive Director of #TODOPANAMA (Central America Leadership Initiative Fellow) and Ashley Bell, Co-founder of the National Black Bank Fund and Foundation (Civil Society Fellowship, A Partnership of ADL and The Aspen Institute, Fellow) share insights on building the kind of societal trust that is fundamental for a more free, just, and equitable world from their personal experience doing it in their contexts.Watch the conversation.
Exploring Your Social Change Ecosystem
What does your social change ecosystem look like? What roles are you playing as you work to have an impact? In this conversion with Adria Goodson, Director of Ford Global Fellowship at the Ford Foundation, Deepa Iyer, Strategic Advisor at Building Movement Project, Director of Solidarity Is, and designer of the Social Change Ecosystem, breaks down the Ecosystem and explains how the tool can help sustain leaders in the long haul that is creating lasting social change.Watch the conversation.
Collective Leadership: What is Required of Us?
There’s a lot to unpack behind the simple definition of collective leadership. Henry Crown Fellow Cheryl Dorsey says it takes co-created goals, identification and pooling together of unique gifts and talents, shared decision-making and accountability, and authenticity. In this conversation with Manoj Kumar, Founder & CEO, Naandi Foundation, Cheryl shares what she’s learned about moving networks from cooperation all the way to collective impact.Watch the conversation.
Collective Leadership and the Aspen Global Leadership Network
Henry Crown Fellow and 2018 McNulty Prize winner Mehrdad Baghai has developed an innovative learning model to inoculate young people against hate through his venture High Resolves. Founded in Australia, the program has spread across contexts and continents to deliver high-quality experiences for youth around the world. The proliferation of High Resolves is an inspiring example of how one Fellow tapped the network to scale a highly effective solution. In this conversation with filmmaker and collaborator Diane Robinson, hear Mehrdad on how he, alongside other AGLN Fellows, have taken the High Resolves model global.Watch the conversation.
Connection and Collaboration
Refreshing Perspectives in Seminar Dialogues through Circl.es
Leaders across the AGLN community also participated in classic text-based seminars to reflect on the challenges we've experienced this past year and the road ahead. Readings included selections from See No Stranger, by Valarie Kaur, [the] north[ern] [of] ireland by Pádraig Ó Tuama, and the Social Change Ecosystem designed by Deepa Iyer. The texts prompted discussion around the perception of differences, one's role in change-making, and what it takes within each person to build collective leadership.
Sparking Collaboration on Fellow-led Impact Efforts on Agora
During the Action Forum, Leaders hosted more than a dozen meet-ups to collaborate on pressing issues and work toward making an impact together in Agora. People met on overcoming inequities in a polarized society, combatting climate change, the future of education, closing the racial wealth gap, spreading tools for good governance, and more.
This is just the beginning. The Agora space on the AGLN website is open year-round to bring the network together. There are upcoming sessions on eradicating modern slavery, modernizing the benefits system for workers, and creating progress around health care, governance, and the economy in East Africa. Have an issue you want to gather others around? Post a meet-up in the space to call in other leaders to join you.