Diving deeper into complexity, kindness and collaborative learning

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

After eight years in the role, I am into my final few days as Executive Director of Global Integrity. Yesterday, the Winter solstice where I sit, felt like a good day to close one chapter and to open a new one full of uncertainty, promise and potential.

Image from my 2014 post on “Opening Governance; Doing Development Differently

As I prepare to move on, I am in a reflective mood. There are many things that we might have done differently, and that I could have done better, but overall I depart with some satisfaction at the contribution we have been able to make to the evolution of the governance and development agenda. The various blogposts I’ve put out over the last eight years trace some of that evolution, from openness and data revolutions, through power, politics, protest and the pandemic, to complexity, conflicts, crises, systems and locally-led development, with adaptive and collaborative learning the strand that links them all.

I am grateful for the relationships that we have developed, including with partners across Latin America and Africa, and proud of the support we (my wonderful colleagues more than me!) have been able to provide as our partners have sought to address the challenges they’ve faced as regards corruption, the use of public resources and the delivery of public services. 

I’m pleased that we have contributed to the evolution of the transparency agenda, and to an emerging consensus that locally-led, politically-savvy and adaptive approaches are needed to address development challenges that are in many cases complex and systemic. The days of “west knows best” are gone, and that is for the good.

And I’m happy that Global Integrity – having weathered the pandemic and moved to a wonderful new Open Gov Hub over the last few years – is in a good place to work with our partners to craft and test an approach to addressing governance and corruption that embraces complexity, prioritizes local leadership, takes a systemic perspective, and leverages collaborative learning.

Our Board – chaired by Ania Calderon – has found a successor, with news of that to be made public in January. My Global Integrity colleagues Andrew Haupt and Raquel Rubio are stepping up to be joint Executive Directors until my permanent successor is able to join, and the team is excited about moving forward with new leadership.

On a personal note, I’m looking forward to taking some time to rest. Once I’ve recharged my batteries, I’ll be excited to explore some new ways in which I can contribute to the emergence of social systems that are better able – because of the ways of being that they support, the relationships that they sustain, and the collaborative learning that they foster – to address the complex challenges we face, in creative, kind and compassionate ways. If this sounds intriguing, check out my piece on systems, stars and constellations, and feel free to get in touch.

Happy holidays, whichever solstice is yours, with warm wishes and thanks for your support and engagement over the years. I look forward to staying connected!


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