Maryam Forum: From rulership to leadership

See our Global Policy Lab page here.

See the Maryam Forum Launch booklet here.

See recordings from each of the Maryam Forum Launch sessions here.


The problem we’re trying to solve

The world faces multiple, urgent and complex challenges on an unprecedented scale. From climate change and oceans to global growth, financial architecture, human mobility and disinformation, courageous leadership is needed to navigate our future. Yet, many parts of the world are characterised by conflicting national interests, a lack of accountability and corruption. The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the world, reminded us of the crucial role of leadership, and made clear the gap in transparent, inclusive and accountable leadership.

Transformative leadership must be grounded in evidence and exercised by leaders from and representing the full breadth of our global communities. For it to emerge, we need stronger links between research and policy, alongside an ecosystem that encourages meritocracy, accountability and inclusion.

See the full programme here

From rulership to leadership

Maryam Forum is a multi-year programme aimed at accelerating the kind of leadership the world needs urgently. A product of the LSE Institute of Global Affairs (IGA) and the School of Public Policy (SPP), it has been conceived as a collaboration between policy makers, students, academic researchers, business leaders and media. Driven by deep engagement with faculty and students, the Maryam Forum builds on LSE and IGA’s strong track record in research, policy engagement and capacity building. To create this ecosystem, it will chart a new and ambitious trajectory through action-oriented public policy research, a fellowship programme, an online platform for knowledge sharing, executive leadership courses, private working group events and an annual global event. It will facilitate peer-to-peer learning among its partners and comparative analysis across emerging and advanced economies. Year round working groups will help bring research from LSE and its partner universities into focus, creating opportunities for the Forum’s broader network of business leaders to engage deeply and for researchers to tap into their expertise.

Maryam Forum also presents an unrivalled opportunity for students to meet and work alongside global leaders and influential professionals, developing valuable connections for the future. To help build the leaders of tomorrow, students from LSE’s School of Public Policy are central to supporting every part of the Forum’s activities. The experience will inspire, motivate, and support development of real world understanding in their fields of interest. At the same time, it will promote the importance of engaging with the full breadth of global communities in the development of policy.

The road ahead in 2020

Introduced on the global stage in Davos during the World Economic Forum (WEF) in January 2020, Maryam Forum is a collaboration between policy makers, academics, business leaders students and the media that engages the LSE across departments and disciplines. Together with our students – the leaders of tomorrow – we will convene Maryam Co-Labs, leading up to our first annual Global Conference in December 2020. From climate change, health crises and other global emergencies, to industrial policy, populism and migration, these year-round working groups will tackle the most urgent challenges of our time - providing opportunities to exchange expertise and shape solutions, and unlocking the potential for inclusive and sustainable leadership across all regions of the world. We will have the London “virtual”launch on 2nd July 2020. Activities this year will build towards its first ever annual global event, to be held in December 2020 alongside media partners The New York Times, Caixin Media and content partner Kite Insights.To support its launch in 2020, Maryam Forum is developing a community of fifty founding individual members who will provide their input to the annual agenda and collaborate in the Forum’s working groups from February onwards. Activities this year will build towards its first ever global event, to be held in December alongside media partners The New York Times, Caixin Media and content partner Kite Insights.

The virtual “London Launch” of the Maryam Forum took place on Thursday 2nd July 2020, between 13:00 - 20:00 BST, titled From Rulership to Leadership: What Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic?

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged humanity like no other shock in recent memory. Every country and every individual in our deeply interconnected world have felt the impacts, with its twin health and economic crises creating widespread social disruption and unprecedented uncertainty. Even before COVID-19, it was clear many of the challenges we face today demand system change that cannot be achieved by self-interested rulers. It is urgent that we overcome this leadership gap.

Since March 2020, IGA and SPP have been examining the pandemic and its policy implications via a dedicated webinar series. This event will draw key lessons for leadership on global challenges, from multiple disciplinary perspectives and across emerging and advanced economies. 




Maryam Forum Davos Launch:

From rulership to leadership: who will lead the transformation?

Monday 20 January | Davos, Switzerland

Hosted by Professor Erik Berglof, and moderated by Stephen Dunbar-Johnson of the New York Times, our panel brought together voices from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Kishore Mahbubani, Lindiwe Mazibuko, and Khalid Abdulla-Janahi each shared their critical reflections on the urgent need for just, accountable, and transformative leadership across all regions of the world, to effectively address pressing global challenges. We hope you found the conversation rich and inspiring.


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Maryam Forum Virtual 'London Launch':

From Rulership to Leadership: Early Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Thursday 2 July | Online Event

The virtual London launch of the Maryam Forum brought together 15 sessions taking stock of the global response to the intertwined medical emergency and economic crisis - how COVID-19 intersects with several other global emergencies, and how it manifests itself in different regions of the world. 

Building on insights from the thematic and geographic sessions, and together with our students – the leaders of tomorrow – we will convene Maryam Co-Labs, leading up to our first Annual Global Forum in December alongside our media partners The New York Times, Caixin Media and content partner Kite Insights.


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Global Policy Lab publication:

Defeating COVID-19: The pandemic that struck the world

Published Thursday 2 July 

Our latest Global Policy Lab publication was released in conjunction with the virtual London launch of the Maryam Forum. In this issue, academics and policymakers discuss the lessons learned so far from the pandemic. Coming from different disciplinary perspectives and based on varying geographic contexts, they identify a rich set of policy conclusions.


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Financial Reforms During the Crisis

Tuesday 7 July 

The Former Governor of National Bank of Ukraine, Mrs Valeria Gontareva, had a conversation with our Student Leader for the LSE Maryam Forum, Jintao Zhu, regarding the Financial Reforms during the COVID-19 crisis.



Driving transformative leadership through research-based policy and collaboration