In honor of the opening of the 2023-2024 Academic Year for Nyenrode Business University, prof. dr. Annemieke Roobeek was asked to speak. Inspired, among others, by Alkibiades (by Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer), Professor Roobeek chose the theme of Democracy and Leadership.
Democracy and Leadership
We are at an extraordinary juncture where new political leadership is emerging. At the same time, the societal, economical, and geopolitical challenges are enormous. Sustainability, housing for masses of people, opportunity inequality and broad social welfare are topics for a coherent political narrative with which political leadership can profile itself. Broad-based future perspectives are needed. This is the perfect time to reflect on Democracy and Leadership. How has democracy and its institutions come under pressure? What are the remedies to get the basis of democracy, the citizens, actively involved again in the strategic choices to be made in times of transformation? Can the substance of arguments in democratic dialogue regain space over unsubstantiated opinions and populist framing? This is a reflection on the need for a learning society, about concrete examples of how change can be done in a participative democratic way, about the networked fabric that makes democracy come alive. There is an urgency for ambitious new leadership based on the democratic values of cooperation for the common good. To democratize is a verb. It is about taking democracy to a higher level and securing the democratic freedom of citizens now and in the future.
The full publication of Democracy and Leadership is digitally available.