Governance determines how a society functions. Improved governance is about creating a perfect society, a transparency society, that is free of corruption has a strong framework and is accountable. The question of improved governance really is a question of leadership. The world can only be transformed by enlightened leaders and is about the manner in which we educate our leaders. These leaders are the elite, their actions and decisions matter and, when they fail, a society really suffers. Lawyers, doctors, civil servants – these are some of the people in society that are responsible for ethical leadership. They must be trained in critical thinking and ethical service for improved governance.
Strong teaching about ethics and responsibility are missing from our curriculum. Very little emphasis on ethics is put on schools and university in our part of the world. Without it, we foster a stronger sense of entitlement than responsibility. When I think of governance, three things come up; corruption, weak institutions and the people who run them – the leaders. These people must be appropriately trained to have courage to solve complex problems and know their role in society. Innovative thinking has to do with what is yet to be built; innovators must be educated to think creatively and look at things from different perspectives. Ethical leaders need to hold the government accountable for the use of public resources.
I believe building liberal art schools and universities across the world that teaches its students not only a broad curriculum but also ethics and critical thinking could solve the problem of weak governance. Every society must be very intentional about educating its leaders. The way we educate our leaders really matters to me. If every country had a liberal arts college, I can imagine the many problems that could have been solved.