Masterclass: 21st Century Public Leadership - Ethics, Empathy and Efficiency

This Masterclass addresses critical leadership, social and political issues that the local government sector will face in the next five-ten years. Based on lessons we can learn from the intensity and challenges on local government in London including austerity, Brexit and multi-sector creative collaboration, participants will discuss the demand for new capabilities for the next generation of leaders, with a particular focus on empathy, ethics and efficiency.

  • 01 Aug
  • LDC, 88 Lambton Quay, Wellington
  • 1.00 pm - 4.00 pm
  • $240.00 excl. GST. for members
  • $290.00 excl. GST. for non-members
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Council CE Barry Quirk will start with an outline of the intensity of challenges on local government in London. He will explain how London councils are focused on a peculiar mixture of austerity, Brexit and multi-sector creative collaboration. This Masterclass will not simply look at the challenges of “what’s next?” (the urgency of solving today’s problems); but will also focus on “what’s after, what’s next?” (i.e. the importance of setting foundations for solving deeper and long run problems). The Masterclass will then become participative in discussing the demand for new skills and capabilities for next generation leaders.

Next, this Masterclass will work through the themes of the Three Es for the next generation of local government leaders: empathy, ethics and efficiency. Barry will set out the issues for each theme; while being critically challenged by the former CE of Europe's largest council, Katherine Kerswell. The efficiency theme, for example, will cover the subjects of commercialisation; demand and supply management; as well as strategies for productivity improvement and optimising cost-effectiveness. Participants will work through examples of each theme in a facilitated workshop setting.

Who should attend?
Tier 2 and Tier 3 managers from central and local government.
Chief Executives are also welcome to attend.

What are the benefits of attending?

  • Challenge and be challenged in your thinking to create new paradigms.
  • Hear about the critical skills you will need to solve both today's challenges and those of the future.
  • Learn about the key skills and capabilities that will be required of the next generation of local government leaders.

Registration is from 12.30pm and the forum will wrap up at 4pm.


  • Barry Quirk

    Barry Quirk has been the chief executive of the London Borough of Lewisham for nearly 25 years. With an ethnically diverse population of 300,000 people, the Council has a directly elected mayor and 54 councillors. Barry has been a Non-Executive Director on HM Revenues & Customs and has been involved in two independent reviews of HM Treasury. Barry is the lead chief executive in London on workforce planning and leadership development across London’s 33 Councils. He conducted the Brexit vote across London in 2016. He has a BSc in Geography, a PhD in political and social geography, is on the board of Goldsmiths, University of London and in 2011 his book, Re-imagining Government, was published to critical academic acclaim.

  • Katherine Kerswell

    NHS Partnership Director

    Katherine Kerswell has experience working at CE level in three different sectors. Katherine has fourteen years’ experience as a chief executive in four different councils in England (including Kent, the largest Council in Europe, with a population of 1.5 million and employing some 15,000 staff). Katherine was the Director General for Civil Service Reform in the period 2012-14 working directly to the Cabinet Officer Minister the Rt Hon Frances Maud MP, and the Head of the Civil Service. Katherine now works in the private sector as the NHS partnership director for Capita’s growing health business. Katherine has a BA in English & Philosophy, an MSc in Industrial Relations, and an MBA.