Leading in the Post-Truth World Where Facts Don’t Matter


Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 4:10pm to 5:30pm


Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Suite 200N, 124 Mt Auburn Street, Cambridge


Join us for our next seminar with Baroness Tessa Jowell as she leads a discussion entitled: "Leading in the Post-Truth World Where Facts Don’t Matter."

Good public policy requires attention to facts and to the best science. Yet, in areas like health, environment, planning, and media, facts are often disputed and the science challenged. Successful policy development and implementation requires not just science and analysis, but small “p” politics to make sure that policy is connected to good science and facts in the face of opposition. How can public leaders navigate and get things done in such an environment? What are the political skills and approaches that policy makers need in order to make sound policy?

This discussion will be moderated by Archon Fung, Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship and HKS Academic Dean.

About the Series
Making Democracy WorkIn a series of four seminars, Baroness Tessa Jowell will reflect on the threat to progressive politics from the anger that is driving “populist” politics on the left and right. She will discuss the challenge to progressive politics and policy created by the division between the alienated 90% and the hostility to the 10%, “the elite” whose leadership and decisions in politics and business they hold responsible for failing to improve living standards and create social and economic opportunity. This increasing distance between citizens and political leaders threatens established parties, claims to evidence and science, and to the openness and optimism that define progressive politics. On what basis can progressive optimism be rebuilt?

About the Speaker
Baroness Tessa Jowell is currently a Menschel Senior Leadership Fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where she also serves as an expert advisor to the Ministerial Development Programme. She stepped down as a member of Parliament after 23 years in 2015. She now sits as a Labour Peer in the House of Lords. She served in the Labour government for all its 13 years holding Ministerial positions in Public Health, where she established the Sure Start early nurture programme together with national programmes to tackle health inequality. As employment and women's minister she introduced, inter alia, new maternity rights and paternity leave. She is also a Professor in Practice at the London School of Economics and a Board member of the Economist.

Division of Policy Translation and Leadership Development  |  Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Harvard TC Chan


HKS British and Irish Caucus

British and Irish Caucus