05 December 2019 - 07 December 2019

Trust: in leaders, experts and institutions. Where and why has it gone and what can we do to renew it?

Chair: The Hon. Raaheela Ahmed and The Rt Hon. The Lord Evans of Weardale KCB DL
Image


View the event album here

Executive summary

Context and why this was important

How accurate is the diagnosis of a loss of trust in established institutions? Is a sense of loss of trust justified? Concern about a deterioration in trust in political leaders, parties and in national and international institutions is commonplace. An ambivalence amongst the majority of the population about the legitimacy, effectiveness and relevance of institutions is considered to undermine governance and the narratives and shared assumptions that underpin the basic systems of society, including scientific knowledge and expertise. If trust in established institutions is weakening, is it because these systems have in some sense failed?

Is trust growing in other areas such as friendship networks? Is the hope for a renewal of trust in traditional institutions realistic or essentially backward looking? Instead, can institutions, and the ways citizens relate to them, change fundamentally to take account of the deeper social shifts and aim for new forms of social consensus?

People

This Ditchley conference was very deliberately convened with co-Chairs with different perspectives. A broad discussion of the condition of trust required more than a single vantage point. The Hon. Raaheela Ahmed manages leadership programmes for New American Leaders, a non-profit that aims to bring forward leaders from minority groups into the processes of American democracy, and The Rt Hon. The Lord Evans of Weardale KCB DL chairs the Committee on Standards in Public Life. Alongside them we gathered a diverse set of people, with areas of expertise including work against corruption and management of UK prison and health services. The conversation benefitted from the insights of behaviouralists, opinion pollsters, senior politicians, civil servants and representatives of major journalist organisations, old and new, from the US and UK and we had representatives from business and finance, youth work, policy think-tanks and tech companies, including those working at the forefront of digital political campaigning. The discussion also benefited from survey data provided by Ipsos MORI on public trust in the media, business ethics and trust in organisations and professions.

Analysis  

Withholding trust is a rational and sensible response when people and institutions are not trustworthy. We face primarily a crisis of lies, to which a crisis in trust is a natural response.

This was in part a conceptual discussion rehearsing definitions and characteristics of trust and trustworthiness; the social functions of trust for society; and trust in relation to political leadership and between citizens. But it was also forward looking: the time for restoring lost trust has, it seems, gone. The question now, is how to cope with the ‘crisis of lies’ and to create new forms of trust between citizens and institutions of governance.

Discussion of the nature and consequences of a crisis in trust was grounded in North American and UK perspectives and there is more work to be done to explore wider global views. In the Transatlantic community there was a general sense of increasing social fragmentation and a weakening of the common ground at the national level that brought with it risks of a loss of shared purpose and common endeavour. Most participants agreed that there had been a loss of trust in leaders, experts and institutions but that trust wasn’t in decline everywhere.

Trust was defined as a desirable quality only when an entity, person or process is worthy of it. The aim is not to unconditionally increase trust where trustworthiness is low. A key clarification made of trust was its function in connecting our expectations and beliefs about what will or is likely to happen in given circumstances: we rely on expectations such as A trusts B to do C. To pin down the nature of trust we must understand what is needed to create relationships of trust in specific contexts. Someone might distrust a leader personally but trust he or she to do a particular thing to champion a particular perspective.

A key question the conference addressed is how best to create trust within democracy as it is re-shaped by the impact of technology. Public education was seen still to be part of the picture but in itself not sufficient for creating the new kinds of engagement between citizens and institutions of governance that might create new forms of trust and consent. The solutions do not lie in simply better educating the public about how democracy should work based on experience to date. 

Technology to increase transparency of the provenance of online content could help users field information and determine the source of online material, the motivation for and means of its further amplification. Trust in business and systems of finance could be enhanced by thoughtful extension of business responsibilities to take account of longer-term societal interests and by a comprehensive assessment and response to the risks of climate change. Better management of the global commons was suggested as a priority for the renewal of the basis of trust.

FULL REPORT

How we build trust in leadership and institutions

The primary importance of trust was seen as its rolein creating social cohesion. The current undermining of trust is linked to the sense that trust and the settled power of the post-war period created a social cohesion that worked in favour of elites. It is charged that the shared post-war value system delivered a peace and stability that benefitted ruling groups the most. This view, widely shared in the conference, is stark. Populist politics is successful at present because it is connecting with a deep unease within Western societies.

The assessment that social majorities are experiencing the distrust and a sense of exclusion that minorities have experienced for decades, was made several times. For some, this interpretation of how trust has shifted signalled a weakening of the deeper roots of liberal democracy; for others, it contained the seeds of hope, highlighting ways citizens and institutions might change.

We can now see that trust in the past was often misplaced. We were wrong to trust absolutely in some institutions and political practices. Past relationships of trust did, in some cases, conceal abusive power relationships in which trust was extracted rather than given. Loss of deference is largely a good thing.

Trust is not equal to truth. Trust was misplaced in the past and is still often misplaced today. What we are now experiencing is a “crisis of lies” where institutional knowledge and expertise is distrusted or ignored in a general storm of scepticism. The generation of lies and untruths feeds a general distrust which undermines the shared knowledge and understanding that are essential for open human societies. There appears to be little consequence in this context for leaders who lie. The sinister question of who benefits from a low trust environment and from the spreading of falsehoods was posed but not fully addressed.

Our current politics is characterised by overpromising, twinned with underachievement, followed by dissembling explanations. This is further contributing to a deterioration of trust. But instead of greater honesty and humility about the complexity of the challenge and capacity to deliver, the response has often been a doubling down, with more urgent political promises to fix what cannot easily be fixed, by decisive action through an autocratic style of leadership. For some, this drive to take back control in order to rebuild trust with an electorate is understandable – it restores predictability and trust in a political leadership aligned with supporters’ identities and interests. For others, a turn to autocratic mannerisms and Leninist leadership reflects a further deterioration of trust when the need is for a better calibration of expectations with the capacity for delivery.

Many further explanations for a weakening of trust were put forward: continual attacks on Parliament as an institution; failure of the political class to explain globalisation; failures of political leadership in general; a breakdown of the social contract between the generations so that material conditions of young people (increased personal debt and low home ownership) are dramatically different from those of baby boomers at the same age; and a deeply embedded paternalism that attempted to direct social attitudes. Whatever the cause, a breakdown in trust and an increase in conspiracy theories is starting to have real material consequences, for example the loss of faith in vaccines resulting in outbreak of disease and in the extreme, loss of human life.

Trust is increasingly limited to relationships of intimacy and proximity, where people have direct knowledge of the person and that person has limited incentives to lie. The list of professions that are trusted the most follows this logic with doctors and nurses at the top and politicians, seen to have huge incentives to lie, at the bottom.

The ways we work, organise and run our institutions may have inadvertently contributed to a weakening of trust. Systems of public management and the culture of managerialism has, it was argued, worked to drive out autonomy and creativity (values of professional cultures) from public and corporate workplaces. Compliance with measures and targets can create a moral blindness where the target matters more than lived reality and truth. In contrast, an approach to work characterised by care, concern and commitment that recognises the world as complex is dependent on trust, and of course in the end these relationships are more effective. Can a greater understanding of these qualities be extended to evaluations of national success? GDP is being challenged as a measure of societal progress, excluding as it does the quality of public discourse and wider social contentment.

Leadership that embodies the norms and behaviours required of healthy open societies has been damaged by a seemingly continuous series of political scandals. Even so, the expectation for better leadership to solve intractable problems is sky high. The damage to leadership is to be solved by better leadership! It is much easier to ask a higher political authority to set the rules of the game than to tackle the really difficult issues directly.

It was asked if the real need now is to motivate, identify and support a new generation of more representative leaders, or if we need a more fundamental shift in what we consider to be leadership, for example with a much more distributed and collective model. The idea for citizens’ assemblies or conventions (now a frequent remedy suggested at Ditchley conferences) was put forward along with references to collective organisation to manage common resources (with reference to the work of Elinor Ostrom). Management of the global commons was suggested as a priority for any renewal of the basis of trust. Failure in dealing with climate change will confirm a loss of trust amongst younger and future generations in current forms of leadership.

The breakdown of trust has been a long-time coming. New kinds of political leadership will include a greater level of trust in the role for citizens in setting political agendas. There was an extended discussion on identity: ‘Trust is eroded if we don’t see ourselves reflected among those in power’. Trust was linked to identity, to changing identities of majorities and the search for identity amongst the young. Trust is different according to gender, minority groups and immigrants and dependent on participation in those institutions and systems. A sense of a cultural mainstream that helps to shape the identities, particularly of the young, was felt to have been lost. There had to be greater acceptance of complexity, humility and allowance of vulnerability within leadership which was now conceived as about unifying and building consensus.

Is there is an opportunity to strengthen third party oversight institutions, such as the Office for Budget Responsibility, or in allowing greater scope for civil servants to push back and ask for clarification of directions issued by politicians? The period immediately following a general election could – in theory – provide an opportunity for change.

Technology and democracy

Choices about the future of democracy relate fundamentally to technology. The digital character of the deterioration of trust is shaking the foundations of democracy. How we respond will determine how democracy evolves. International evidence of social media manipulation in elections (in 70 different countries in 2018) has been established, and what governments can do with people’s data is a matter of growing concern. Three current value systems were summarised: digital authoritarianism in China; a nationalistic US moving away from a defence of the West and promoting national security over privacy; and a rights-based approach to data protection in the EU. The system that exports its values and default settings most successfully will determine the character of the future. The media, internet-based social media and the reach of tech companies through the expansion of digital society continues to transform the nature of trust.

The question is no longer one of restoring trust, it is a question of how best to create trust within democracy shaped by technology. How will we relate to institutions in future? What skills do we need to build a new ethics? Increases in transparency have led to new information and knowledge: can increased transparency also lead to newer forms of trust? There are measures tech companies could take: taking steps to prove provenance of all content; explanation of algorithms behind amplification (was the content shared by humans or bots?); provision of tools to evaluate different news sources (for example, how many contested claims has a specific Twitter account had?); making transparent the assumptions made in recommendation algorithms (much of what we consume is dictated by a recommendation engine). All online content is created for commercial, political or personal reasons but the motivations for amplification or sharing can be opaque. What is being amplified and why? What is the targeting logic behind amplification? We can do more to understand metadata and provenance. Some hope that distributed ledger systems (blockchain) might help fix and record provenance of digital content.

How should we deal with misinformation? The idea that ‘facts’ exist outside a social construct is unhelpful and naïve. No institution can arbitrate the truth. The Electoral Commission, the Advertising Standards Authority, the Committee for Standards in Public Life have all been reviewed and considered not right for this purpose. We cannot fix truth in time – society would stop evolving! 

Google’s past efforts to support a global system of fact checking organisations ran into problems created by human biases. A current Google project aims to provide users and journalists with statistical data sets drawn from government sources to help develop data-driven context for news and information. Can communities be provided with ‘a weather report’ of key metrics on issues such as crime rates, pollution and air quality?

The major tech companies are asking for leadership to set norms and values and to rebuild institutions of open societies. But is that good enough? Don’t we need regulation? Can we get beyond the cul-de-sac of concern that says regulation will stifle innovation? Will national governments have to regulate so that platform companies conform to shared rules? But we don’t yet have the national or international legal structures for regulating tech and the internet.

Digital platforms are designed for profit and have been ferociously successful in platform-based surveillance capitalism. Are there other paradigms for digital democracy? There are models being designed for civic engagement, notably in Taiwan (promoted by Audrey Tang, Digital Minister) and by the Singaporean government to engage with citizens. Can the business models of the Internet be changed? There is no magic formula for media and tech ownership.

Media literacy and citizens                  

Trust in the media, facts and expertise. Individual journalists have become, for some, a focus for trust, mediating understanding and making sense of what otherwise would be overwhelming quantities of information. Trusted sources create short-cuts to understanding. Trust becomes a proxy for the ways we understand the world, but this can lead to confirmation bias: we prioritise sources that chime with what we already know. The growth in opinion pieces points to a reliance on journalists to provide context and insight, blurring further the lines between news and opinion (if the distinction ever existed). The concern over trust in the media is how to manage the proliferation of misleading information, reduce its amplification and increase transparency of the provenance and motivation for online content.

Calls made for better public education (frequently made at Ditchley conferences) often reveal failures in government public communication. Better public education cannot be a substitute for the more difficult task of effectively regulating advertising and political canvassing. This conference considered there to be a communication crisis and that institutions of government could do more to engage citizens in the processes of government and the workings of politics. Civil society was considered strangely absent from this debate, at a time when civil action, focussed on the development and defence of democratic values and practice, is important. The responsibility of the news consumer to check whether the news they’re reading, and more importantly sharing, is from trustworthy sources was emphasised. Greater transparency in the media and tech sectors to reveal explicitly how norms are developed would help.

Can trust be developed in those areas where it is urgently needed? Attempts to promote trust, seen as good for people, were suggested to be perhaps a continuation of past paternalism, already rejected. Rather than promoting public trust in science for example, ensuring the quality of science, its replicability and credibility so that it deserves trust, were suggested to be more effective ways forward.

Trust in business and the financial system

Those in financial institutions who acted recklessly, contributing to the US financial crash in 2008, were not prosecuted. Instead the state bailed out the banks whilst private individuals lost homes. The process of recovery following the global financial crisis was also considered unfair, appearing to favour the banks over people. The resulting economic gains had not been shared.

The premise of an agenda for rebuilding trust in business and the financial system developed in the conference working group was to extend responsibility beyond shareholders to include longer-term societal responsibilities – environmental, social and corporate governance, as well as taking proper account of issues of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Fundamental questions about the future direction of free markets and of capitalism were supplemented by a series of more immediate and practical remedies that included: an international rebalancing of tax, including taxation disclosure; benchmarking climate change risks; keeping data safe; creating the right framework for whistleblowing; addressing excessive pay differentials; and rebalancing the diversity of people in decision-making.

Trust had been damaged as a result of corruption, pay scandals and other bad behaviour but also from the lack of effective governance and regulation and enforcement of regulation. The costs of employment have been shifted onto the workforce in the form of insecure jobs, low pay and lack of retirement security. These were all seen as critical to the rebuilding of trust but solving yesterday’s problems.

To build trust for the future, consumer harm must be a focus for the regulation of tech. Superficial ‘greenwashing’ in relation to climate change was said to be pervasive. The private sector could make greater use of the Sustainable Development Goals to drive a better understanding of development impact. What structures were needed to guide decarbonisation in the economy?

Ideas about a Universal Basic Income (another topical remedy) were raised as an alternative to bank bailouts. Opportunities to ‘put money into people’s pockets’ as opposed to the banks were briefly considered in the 2008 crisis but quickly dismissed. Was there any equivalence between quantitative easing and a universal basic income? Could it help address future crises? Would a form of ‘bottom up’ financing be any fairer?

Recommendations, not consensus

  • For governments and citizens, more participatory politics and participatory policy-making could help to create shared goals in which people felt more ownership and therefore trust. The legitimacy of political outcomes, and trust in them, is linked to credible and robust processes for delivery.
  • Business and financial systems are starting to see themselves as part of wider society and as communities themselves, with a mission to create genuine social value beyond shareholder profit. This change needs to accelerate. Assessing climate risks and the impact of decarbonisation is now a part of the re-framing of business interest which signals a more fundamental reframing of capitalism.
  • For media and tech, much more can be done to increase transparency from the biases created by media ownership to provenance of content and transparency about processes of curation and amplification.
  • The principle that ‘freedom of speech does not equal freedom of reach’ highlighted a need to deal with runaway amplification. Can freedom of expression be protected but amplification controlled?

This Note reflects the Director’s personal impressions of the conference. No participant is in any way committed to its content or expression.

 

 

CO-CHAIRS:  

The Hon. Raaheela Ahmed 

District 5 Board of Education Member, Prince George's County Public Schools System; Manager of Leadership Programs, New American Leaders. Formerly: Federal Financial Consultant, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Regent, University System of Maryland Board of Regents.

The Rt Hon. The Lord Evans of Weardale KCB DL 

Chair, Committee on Standards in Public Life; Chair, Public Interest Committee, KPMG UK; Cross Bench member of the House of Lords. Formerly: Non-Executive Director HSBC Holdings PLC (2013 19); Director General, British Security Service MI5 (2007 13).


AUSTRALIA/UK

Dr Jatinder Singh 

Senior Research Fellow, Department of Computer Science and Technology, University of Cambridge; co‑chair, Cambridge Trust & Technology Initiative; Fellow, Alan Turing Institute; advisory council member, Financial Conduct Authority. Formerly: Secondee to the E‑infrastructure Leadership Council, UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

BRAZIL/CANADA

Mrs Annette Hester 

Principal, The Hester View (2016‑); Senior Data Visualisation Initiative Lead, National Energy Board; Canadian Statistics Advisory Council (2019‑). Formerly: Project Coordinator, Energy Innovation Centre, InterAmerican Development Bank, Washington, DC (2012‑15); Member, Transition Team of Premier Redford, Alberta (2011‑12); Senior Associate, Canadian International Council (2008‑11); Senior Fellow, Centre for International Governance Innovation (2005‑10); Executive Director, Latin American Research Centre, University of Calgary (2001‑04). Former member of the Program Advisory Committee of The Canadian Ditchley Foundation.

CANADA

Ms Susan Gardner 

Founder and CEO, Tiny Ventures. Formerly: Executive Director, Wikimedia Foundation (Wikipedia) (2007‑14); Senior Director, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's website and online news outlets.

Ms Hannah Marazzi 

Stakeholder Officer, Cardus (formerly the 'Work Research Foundation'), Hamilton, ON. Formerly: roles at non‑profit organisations, including Mennonite Central Committee, March of the Living, Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights.

Mrs Marie‑Lucie Morin PC CM 

Vice‑Chair, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada; member, National Security and Intelligence Review Agency; Independent Director, Deloitte Canada; Corporate Director, Stantec Corporation and Chorus Aviation. Formerly: Executive Director for Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean, World Bank; National Security Advisor and Deputy Clerk of the Privy Council; Deputy Minister for International Trade; Ambassador to Norway. Vice‑Chair, The Canadian Ditchley Foundation.

Mr Douglas E. Turnbull 

Vice Chairman and Country Head, Canada, DBRS Morningstar Credit Ratings, Toronto (2016‑); Chairman, Canadian Ditchley Foundation (2017‑); Board of Directors, Canadian Foundation of Economic Education (2019‑) and Provident Healthcare Foundation (2019‑); Advisory Committee, Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation (2016‑). Formerly: Deputy Chairman, TD Securities Inc.; boards: Metrolinx, the Ontario Financing Authority, George Brown College Foundation, the Toronto Financial Services Alliance and ORBIS Canada; Advisory Panel, Canadian Electricity Association; co‑Chair, Canada Assembly of First Nations Joint Working Group on Resource Development.

CANADA/UK

Lady Berners‑Lee 

Non‑executive Director: HSBC UK Bank plc and You Gov; co‑Founding Director, World Wide Web Foundation; fellow, Berkman Center, Harvard University. Formerly: Vice Chair, formerly Chair, World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council of the Future of Internet Security.

FRANCE/CANADA

Mr. Philippe Couillard PC 

Formerly: 31st Premier of Quebec (2014‑18); member, National Assembly of Quebec (2003‑18); leader, Quebec Liberal Party (2013‑18); Quebec Minister for Health and Social Services; university professor and neurosurgeon.

GHANA/UK

Presenter at Opening Plenary: Ms Madeleine Mensah

Student, Generating Genius.

IRELAND

Dr Rachel Carey 

Chief Scientist, Zinc (2017‑); Associate, UCL Centre for Behaviour Change (2016‑). Formerly: Senior Behaviour Change Research Advisor, BUPA (2016‑17), Research Associate, University College London (2014‑16).

NETHERLANDS

Ms Arwen Smit 

EMEA lead, Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative, London (2018‑); author, 'Identity Reboot' (reimagining data privacy for the 21st century) (2019); lead blockchain strategist, MintBit (2018‑); history teacher, The Access Project (2017‑); venture investor and advisor; mentor, Outlier Ventures (2019‑). Formerly: Co‑founder DOVU (2015‑18), International Advisory Board AIESEC (2016); mentor, Virgin Startup (2016‑18).

SINGAPORE

Mr Aaron Maniam FRSA 

Senior Principal Researcher, Institute of Governance and Policy, Singapore Civil Service College; Doctoral Student, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford; Adjunct Faculty Member, National University of Singapore. Formerly: Administrative Service, Government of Singapore: Director, Institute of Policy Development, Civil Service College; Head, Centre for Strategic Futures, Prime Minister's Office (2010‑11); Strategic Policy Office, Public Service Division (2008‑11); Singapore Foreign Service: principal coordinator for Congressional liaison and issues relating to the Middle East, Embassy of Singapore, Washington DC (2006‑08); North America Desk, Singapore (2004‑06).

SYRIA

Mr Amer Baroudi 

MSc Candidate in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance, Worcester College, University of Oxford.

UNITED KINGDOM

Dr Robert Barrington 

Professor of Anti‑Corruption Practice, Centre for the Study of Corruption, University of Sussex. Formerly: UK Head, Transparency International (current board member); advisor, Experts Group drafting official guidance on the Bribery Act, Ministry of Justice; Director of Governance & Sustainable Investment, F&C Asset Management; CEO (Europe), Earthwatch Institute.

Dr Jamie Bennett 

Deputy Director, HM Prison and Probation Service; editor, Prison Service Journal; author, 'The working lives of prison managers: Global change, local cultures and individual agency in the late modern prison' (Palgrave MacMillan2015). Formerly: Governor HMP Long Lartin; Governor: HMP Grendon, HMP Springhill, HMP Morton Hall.

The Hon. Thomas Borwick 

Director, College Green Group. Formerly: Chief Technology Officer, Vote Leave (2015‑16).

The Lord Bridges of Headley MBE 

Life Peer, House of Lords; Vice‑Chair, All‑Party Parliamentary Group on Blockchain; Senior Adviser to the Group Executive Chairman, Banco Santander (2017‑). Formerly: Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Exiting the European Union (2016‑17); Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office (2015‑16); Chairman, Research Department, and Campaign Director, The Conservative Party; Assistant Political Secretary to the Prime Minister (Sir John Major) (1994‑97). A Member of the Council of Management and a Governor of The Ditchley Foundation.

Dr Carl Brookes MA DM FRCP 

Divisional Medical Director for Medical Services, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (2012‑); Consultant Physician and Cardiologist.

Ms Pamela Dow 

Director, Brexit Readiness Unit, The Cabinet Office (2019‑); Board member: Policy Exchange; Weidenfeld Hoffman Trust; Code4000; London Village Network; co‑founder and host, De Beauvoir Debates; co‑founder, Beyond Bars (prison debating project). Formerly: Chief Reform Officer, Catch22, London; Director of Strategy, Ministry of Justice (2015‑16); Principal Private Secretary (and other roles), Department for Education (2007‑14); Director of Operations, Tech City UK; public affairs and corporate communications consultant (including Edelman London).

Dr Anil Gomes 

Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy, Trinity College, University of Oxford. Formerly: Lecturer in Philosophy, Birkbeck College (2008‑11); Researcher, Ministry of Defence (2007‑08).

Ms Deborah Hargreaves 

Editor, Tortoise Media; Chair, London Child Poverty Alliance; founder (2012), director (2012‑16) and non‑executive director, High Pay Centre (non‑partisan think tank that researches inequality and income); author, 'Are Chief Executives Overpaid?' Formerly: Business Editor, The Guardian (2006‑10); Financial Editor then News Editor, Financial Times (1987‑2005).

Sir John Holmes GCVO, KBE, CMG 

Chairman, The Electoral Commission (2016‑); Chair, International Rescue Committee UK (2012‑). Formerly: Director, The Ditchley Foundation (2010‑16); Under‑Secretary‑General for Humanitarian Affairs, The United Nations, New York (2007‑10); Her Majesty's Diplomatic Service (1973‑2006): Ambassador to France (2001‑06); Ambassador to Portugal (1999‑2001); Private Secretary to Prime Minister Tony Blair (1997‑99); Private Secretary to Prime Minister Sir John Major for Overseas Affairs (1996‑97); Head, European Union Department (External), Foreign and Commonwealth Office (1995‑96). A Governor of The Ditchley Foundation and a Member of the Board of Directors of the American Ditchley Foundation.

Ms Rosie Kay FRSA 

Founder (2004) and Artistic Director, Rosie Kay Dance Company, Birmingham; current Associate Company, Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre; research associate, School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford; Board Member and Director; Dance City Newcastle (2017‑) and Dance Consortium (2018‑). Formerly: choreographer, Commonwealth Games Handover Ceremony (2018); choreographer 'Sunshine on Leith' (2013).

Ms Clare Melford 

Co‑founder, The Disinformation Index.

Mrs Elizabeth Padmore 

Chairman, Housing Solutions; governing body fellow, Green Templeton College, Oxford; member (formerly vice chairman), IWF UK; member, Women Corporate Directors; elected Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturing and Commerce; extensive experience at board level in private, public and not‑for‑profit sectors. Formerly: Chairman, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (2009‑18); member of the Board, Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority; Council member, Chatham House; Director, National Australia Group Europe; Director, Clydesdale Bank plc.; advisory board, IMD; Strategy Partner, Accenture. A Governor, a member of the Council of Management and of the Financial and General Purposes Committee of the Ditchley Foundation.

Mr Matthew Rycroft CBE 

Permanent Secretary, Department for International Development (2018‑). Formerly: British Permanent Representative to the United Nations, New York (2015‑18); Chief Operating Officer, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (2011‑14); Director, Europe (2008‑11); Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina (2005‑08); Private Secretary for Foreign Affairs to the Prime Minister (2002‑04); roles at the British Embassies in Washington and Paris and at the Dayton peace talks.

Mr Roy Sefa‑Attakora 

Master of Public Policy candidate, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford.

Dr Hannah White 

Deputy Director, Institute for Government, London (2014‑). Formerly: Head of secretariat, Committee on Standards in Public Life, Cabinet Office (2012‑14); Private Secretary to the Clerk of the House of Commons (2009‑11); Senior Clerk, House of Commons (2004‑09).

Professor Sir Robert Worcester KBE DL 

Founder, Market & Opinion Research International (MORI); former President, World Association for Public Opinion Research; Visiting Professor and Honorary Fellow, LSE (former Governor); Visiting Professor and Fellow, King's College London; Honorary Professor, Warwick and Kent (former Chancellor); Adjunct Professor, University of Kansas; Deputy Chairman, Magna Carta Trust; Vice President, former Chairman, Pilgrim Society; Vice President, International Social Science Council/UNESCO, United Nations Association, European Atlantic Group; Governor, English‑Speaking Union; past Member, Fulbright Commission. A Governor of The Ditchley Foundation.

USA

Mr Jonathan Capehart 

Opinion writer and editorial board member, The Washington Post (2007‑); host, "Cape Up" podcast, The Washington Post (2016‑); MSNBC Contributor (2009‑). Formerly: deputy editorial page editor, New York Daily News (2002‑04); editorial board member, New York Daily News (1993‑2000). Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing (1999).

Mr Michael DiNiscia 

Deputy Director for Research & Strategic Initiatives, John Brademas Center, New York University; Advisory Council member, American Ditchley Foundation. Formerly: Special Assistant to the Chairman, National Endowment for Democracy; Council on Foreign Relations; Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs.

Mr Andrew Fairbairn 

Chief Executive Office, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, London (2016-). Formerly: Senior Vice President, Citizens’ Bank (2015-16); Managing Principal, Fairbairn Ventures (2007-16); Chief Financial Officer, Fullbridge, Inc. (2011-12); Principal and co-Founder, JVKelly Group, Inc. (2002-07); Vice President, Deutsche Bank, London, New York (1998-2001).

Mr Richard Gingras 

Vice President, News at Google; co‑founder, Salon.com; board member: First Amendment Coalition, International Center for Journalists, and Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, Harvard. Formerly: Apple; @Home Network, Excite portal.

The Hon Sarah Bloom Raskin 

Director, Vanguard Group, Inc. and the Vanguard Funds; Chairman and Director, i(x) Investments, LLC; Advisory Director, Promontory Financial Group; Trustee, Amherst College; Governor, The Folger Shakespeare Library; Fellow: Duke University, Global Financial Markets Center and Keenan Center for Ethics; CNBC Contributor. Formerly: Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury; Governor of the Federal Reserve Board; Commissioner of Financial Regulation for the State of Maryland.

Ms Terri Taylor 

Strategy Director for Postsecondary Finance, Lumina Foundation, Washington, DC (2017‑). Formerly: EducationCounsel (2011‑17); English teacher, Kyrgyzstan (2006‑08).