Leaders Link Episode 12

A conversation with Lindsay Levin and James Harding

Leaders Link

13 July 2020

Welcome to a new episode of Leaders Link: a series of live-streamed conversations with leaders who have special reflections to share on some of the greatest challenges of our time.

Episode 12 features James Harding, former Director of BBC News and Current Affairs, and former Editor of The Times newspaper. His 2018 venture, Tortoise Media, aims to build a different type of newsroom, for slower, wiser news.

A few years ago, James was sitting in the BBC’s newsroom – which employs 8,000 people – when he realised that current affairs was moving so fast that it was just a blur of headlines. He recognised that journalists had lost their ability to ask why things were happening – and had become better at covering events, rather than developments.

In response, he launched Tortoise Media, basing it on three journalistic ‘heresies’: slow not fast, open not closed, interested in what happens next.

In this wide-ranging discussion, James tells us that he believes COVID-19 has exposed the ‘scale and cruelty’ of our problems (the economics of race, age, education and opportunity, and the influence of tech, amongst others).

Yet he feels the world is increasingly looking for genuine leaders, and the calibre of leadership – in business, NGOs and, to an extent, politics – is regaining its value. For James, it’s vital that we figure out how to convene global leadership, to remind all of us that we can do so much if we put our minds to it.

Our next Leaders Link features Lindsay Levin and Jimmie Briggs (US journalist and LQ Associate) talking to Damien Howard, Executive Vice President of Social Ventures, at Per Scholas in New York. Damien, has been with Per Scholas for more than 19 years. He is the creator of Diverse by Design: a national conversation series focused on increasing diversity and inclusion in the tech workforce. Together, we'll explore the cultural shifts that we need – inside and outside the office – to put diversity and inclusion at the heart of what we do. 

To join this episode on Monday 20 July at 8 AM (PT); 11 AM (EDT); 4 PM (BST), you can register here. These sessions are free and open to everyone, so do invite your networks to join!

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