Juan Manuel Santos, former President of Colombia, in conversation

We were delighted to welcome back the former President of Colombia and Nobel Peace Prize laureate for a distinguished public event ‘In Conversation with Juan Manuel Santos’ on Wednesday 8 May at the Blavatnik School of Government in Oxford.

In conversation with President Santos was the Director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), Sabina Alkire. The session then moved to dynamic exchanges with the gathered assembly, moderated by the host, the Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government, Professor Ngaire Woods.

This was a wonderful opportunity to learn first-hand from a former world leader, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016 for bringing a civil war lasting over 50 years to an end. In a session of piercing clarity and realism about leadership and governance, President Santos touched on the importance of reducing poverty to create a sustainable peace, the threat of climate change and how to maintain one’s personal resilience and tenacity while engaged in public life.

President Santos began a three-year Visiting Professorship at OPHI and the Oxford Department of International Development last year. OPHI is delighted for the opportunity for further exchange with President Santos, who during his term in office broke new ground in leading national and global efforts to reduce multidimensional poverty, and who co-founded the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network (MPPN) in the presence of Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, with OPHI as Secretariat. The MPPN is now a flourishing South-South network of policy-makers involving nearly 60 countries and 20 international agencies all focused on ending poverty in all its dimensions.

The conversation was recorded and is available here.