Public Leadership Crisis

The Need

There is a global need to diversify and increase the pipeline of talented, ethical and effective women and men working as public officials across countries and political organisations. Succession planning and leadership renewal are essential to stimulate new ideas and innovation at the frontiers of public policymaking.

In addition to the problem of widespread apathy amongst younger voters, perceptions of governments and the public sector as slow-moving, corrupt, and incompetent drive away talent and limit opportunities for socially-minded leaders to bring their values and expertise to bear on on the most stubborn policy challenges. Routes to election into public office for talented alternative candidates are also often opaque and rife with gatekeeping.

Youth Participation
73% of countries around the world restrict young people from running for houses of parliament.
Generational Gap
The average age in Africa today is 19 years old, yet the 10 eldest presidents average 76 years old. Political leadership is experiencing a crisis of representation.
Trust Deficit
Millennials increasingly view political parties as prone to making empty promises and failing to deliver. This feeds deficit in trust and representation.
Gender Equality
Globally, women make up 49.7% of the population but hold only 22% of government and public offices.
Partisan Politics
Young people are turned off by excessively partisan politics. Entering public service is seen as risky given long-term career ambitions.
Voices Unheard
In many European countries, more than 65% of citizens feel that young people’s views are largely ignored by their political leaders.

The Opportunity

We want to support the development of a diverse, strong network of public leaders to contribute to the development of open, creative and vitally democratic societies everywhere. By engaging and training people to participate in the public life of their countries, Apolitical Academy hopes to revive trust in politics and government and revitalise democracies everywhere.