Strong democracies need an effective civil service, quality politicians and a participatory population. Revitalizing governance so that it serves people and the planet will require strengthening all three parts of this “democracy flywheel”. The Apolitical Foundation has been asking, “what if we loved politicians?”, “”what would that look like?””, and “”what would it take?”. In her talk on the main stage, Apolitical Foundation CEO Lisa Witter explores links between politicians and bureaucracies and the future of their intertwined relationship. She draws on her 25 years in political training and experience as co-founder of public-servant learning platform Apolitical.co for this evidence-driven and thought-provoking presentation that will leave you believing that politics can be different. Apolitical.co serves 160,000 public servants from more than 170 countries and was named one of the Most Innovative Companies in the World by Fast Company in 2018. Lisa and her co-founder, Robyn Scott, received the Creative Bureaucracy Festival Award in 2020.
Lisa Witter is co-founder of Apolitical, a global learning network for government, named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in the world. She co-founder CEO of the Apolitical Foundation, a not-for-profit founded by Apolitical to advance the revitalization of democracy by building better politics. The foundation’s keystone project, Apolitical Academy Global, helps prepare a new generation of transformational political leaders via a network of non-partisan political training academies. She’s a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, co-chairs the Forum’s Council on Agile Governance. She is a former public servant with deep experience in gender and behavioral science and has founded numerous political training academies over the last 25 years. She was awarded the 2020 Creative Bureaucracy Award and named a BMW Foundation Futurity Fellow in 2022. She loves wearing dresses, her childhood nickname was ‘Animal’ from the sports fields, and dreams of being a stand-up comedian (but might not be funny enough.)