Kennedy School Goes Global: Ash Institute to host inaugural conference on Democratic Governance and Innovation

Contact: Doug Gavel
Phone: 617-495-1115
Date: April 07, 2005

Cambridge, MA — More than 150 international leaders, scholars and practitioners will convene April 12-14 at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government for the 1st biannual Global Network Conference. Participants will discussnew ideas for improving the delivery of services to citizens or, at their best, to reverse societal problems such as crime, violence, and poverty.

The conference, titled “Making Democratic Government Work: Connecting Principle and Practice,” will focus exclusively on government’s experience in directing or catalyzing innovation. The event is sponsored by the Kennedy School’s Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation.

Sessions will focus on four key areas:

* Innovations in structure, law and policy in divided societies;
* Innovations in citizen involvement;
* Innovations in service delivery reaching the poor and excluded; and
* The innovation process itself.

Keynote speakers include:

* Lawrence H. Summers, President, Harvard University
* David Ellwood, Dean, Kennedy School of Government
* Hon. Geraldine Fraser Moleketi, Minister of Public Service and Administration, South Africa (Fellow ‘96, Institute of Politics, Kennedy School)
* Hon. Mani Shankar Aiyar, Federal Minister for Local Government, India

Other speakers include mayors of municipalities in emerging and developing nations, and state and national-level leaders, including:

* Antanas Mockus, former mayor of Bogotá, Colombia
* Roy Stephenson, Office of the Prime Minister, UK
* Ronald MacLean-Abaroa, former Mayor of La Paz, Bolivia, now the World Bank Institute
* G.L. Peiris, former Minister of Constitutional Affairs, Sri Lanka
* Principal Chief Chad Smith, Cherokee Nation
* Jesse Robredo, Mayor of Naga City, the Philippines (MPA ‘99, Kennedy School)

Also to be introduced at the conference is the new Government Innovators Network, an online portal, developed by the Ash Institute, which is host to a wealth of content centering on examples of innovation. Many of the featured cases will be discussed at the conference. One of the purposes of the portal is to support the relationships being formed within the Global Network and through its conferences and workshops.

“The purpose of this conference is to widen the network of government leaders dedicated to innovation, to encourage replication of exemplary programs when relevant, and to facilitate two-way learning and creative thinking on the part of public leaders,” comments Gowher Rizvi, director of the Ash Institute and convener of the event.

Journalists are invited to attend all open sessions. Please phone the Kennedy School Communications Office at (617) 495-1115 to make arrangements.

Background on the Ash Institute

The Kennedy School’s Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation is dedicated to fostering democratic governance and innovation worldwide. By linking theory and practice, the Ash Institute seeks to increase understanding of democracy in diverse societies around the world, and disseminate best practices to public sector leaders to make governments innovative and responsive to citizens’ needs.

The Ash Institute sponsors the Global Network, a worldwide community of leaders dedicated to creative and effective government. Sister programs are Brazil, Chile, China, East Africa, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, and the Native American tribes in the U.S.

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