Former Prime Minister Dame Jacinda Ardern announces new venture about political leadership with kindness and empathy

  • 18/06/2024

Former Prime Minister Dame Jacinda Ardern has announced a new venture, where she'll be working with global political leaders on a programme about leading with kindness and empathy. 

Dame Jacinda took to Instagram to announce the 12-month programme, named Field, saying she hadn't "quite managed that cup of tea and a lie down just yet" - despite taking a step back from public life. 

"Field is hosted by Global Progress and will create a network of like-minded political leaders who use pragmatic idealism, speak to people with hope and optimism rather than fear or blame, and want to unite, rather than divide as we look to solve the challenges ahead," she said. 

"Field is an incredibly humbling and exciting project to be leading. [It's] all part of my ongoing mission to help rehumanise leadership, and just be useful!  

"More updates to come." 

Dame Jacinda said the first cohort from across Europe will meet in July and the project will broaden over time. 

The announcement was met with mixed comments, with some calling her "an inspiration" and praising the "amazing initiative". 

However, the comments on her post were also flooded with calls for the former Prime Minister to address the ongoing war in Gaza. 

"You can't be talking about kindness and empathy and say nothing about Palestine," one commenter said with eye rolling emojis. 

"Rehumanising leadership needs to start by having world leaders acknowledge the suffering in Palestine, Congo and Sudan," another wrote. 

Dame Jacinda has previously addressed the situation, though, calling on world leaders to "remember our shared common humanity" amid the Israel-Hamas conflict. 

Speaking at the Harvard Kennedy School's Institute of Politics last year, Dame Jacinda stated the "only way to find long-term peaceful resolution to difficult and complex conflicts is if you find a way to end the violence and grief in order to give yourself the space to then have those conversations".