Cranlana News

The ‘impossible’ challenge of leadership in the digital diaspora?

Kim Williams delivers the second address in this year's  Alumni Speakers Series on 21 July 2016.


Few, if any, countries currently enjoy good, reliable and effective leadership.  

We see in the Philippines the rise of a demagogue, a blatant ‘kleptocracy’ at rule in Russia, the absolute rule of personality cultism in China, and in South Africa, Mmusi Maimane and his Democratic Alliance party espousing a radical fundamentalist challenge to democracy.  

In the US the presidential contest is dominated by contenders who each exhibit deep character flaws. Closer to home, the four primary parties in the coming election display an absence of enduring purpose. All are found wanting when tested for reliable performance. 

Why is leadership so challenged?  Has it ever been this serious? And what is the cause?

There is an insidious torpor affecting the developed world, one where the populace is tuning out. Our politicians are rarely held to effective account because of all-too-frequent national memory failure.  Slogans rule and acronyms are the lingua franca of political discourse. 

It points to larger issues in our society – the unhappy trifecta of changing media, digital technology and growing community isolation – resulting in a phenomenon of the unwavering march of the general ignorance.  

What is to be done? 

Kim Williams will offer a considered view as to the strands of contemporary leadership challenges and make some tentative suggestions as to avenues towards recovery.


6.00–8.30pm, Thursday 21 July 2016

Cranlana, 62 Clendon Road, Toorak

Alumni are encouraged to bring friends and colleagues.

Refreshments will be provided.


Tickets are $50 and can be booked via the form below or by clicking here.




Kim Williams AM is a media executive and composer. He is currently Chair of the Copyright Council and a Commissioner of the ALF. He has been CEO of News Limited, Foxtel, the Australian Film Commission and Musica Viva, and had a distinguished career in the arts, serving on the boards the Sydney Opera House Trust, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and of the Australian Film Finance Corporation.

Current other boards include the Australian National Academy of Music, the University of Western Sydney Foundation and the Myer Foundation. He was appointed to the board of the Cranlana Programme in early 2016.


The annual Alumni Speaker Series presents lectures by eminent thinkers from diverse backgrounds exploring their perspectives on the good society and contemporary issues. The intimate events include an extensive Q&A, allowing alumni the opportunity to engage with the speakers and their ideas.