The cultivation and preservation of trust are widely held to be central to social and political life, and of utmost importance when it comes to leadership. It is concerning, then, when surveys report that trust in the key institutions of business, government, media and even the charitable sector, is in marked decline. If, as one report put it, ‘trust is in crisis around the world’, then building trust is a central task of contemporary leadership. However, as with many seemingly simple concepts, are we clear what trust actually is? What do we understand of how trust can be developed?
The concept of trust is the theme for our first ‘Arts of Leading’ event of 2018, where we seek to illuminate the nature and practice of good leadership with perspectives from the humanities. Our speaker will be Tom Simpson, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government and BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinker. Tom is an expert on the philosophy of trust, and an experienced leader with 5 years service as an officer in the Royal Marines Commandos serving in Northern Ireland, Baghdad, Iraq, and Afghanistan. This is a joint event sponsored by the “Engaging with the Humanities” programme at SBS and the Oxford Character Project’s TORCH network on the 'Arts of Leading'.