Ardern takes up three tech governance, leadership roles at Harvard

Sydney, Australia, Apr 26 (EFE).- New Zealand’s former prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced Wednesday that she will take up three new roles at Harvard University, where she will speak and learn about tech governance and leadership.

Ardern will join Harvard Kennedy School in the US state of Massachusetts later this year as 2023 Angelopoulos Global Public Leaders Fellow and as a Hauser Leader in the Center for Public Leadership, as well a fellowship at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School.

“Harvard have been a really important partner in the Christchurch Call work, and my semester there later this year will also be an opportunity to take up the first tech governance leadership fellowship at the Berkman Klien Center,” Arden announced on Facebook.

“Not only will this be a chance to work collaboratively with the center’s research community, but also work on the challenges of the growth of generative AI tools,” she said.

Ardern created the Christchurch Call, bringing together more than 120 governments, the tech sector and civil society organizations, two months after the March 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings in which a white supremacist killed 51 people and wounded 40. Australian Brenton Tarrant livestreamed his massacre on social media and posted his manifesto online.

Earlier this month, Ardern left New Zealand parliament to take up an unpaid position as the country’s special envoy for the Call, telling local media that the world should be thinking about safety mechanisms for new technologies such as AI in advance.

The unregulated mass use of AI tools, such as ChatGPT and Midjourney, which have the capacity to produce a large volume of content, including fake images, but which is credible and difficult to filter, are causing concern among experts and governments.

Kennedy School Dean Douglas Elmendorf said “Jacinda Ardern showed the world strong and empathetic political leadership.”

“She earned respect far beyond the shores of her country, and she will bring important insights for our students and will generate vital conversations about the public policy choices facing leaders at all levels,” he added.

Ardern, who in 2017 became the world’s youngest female head of government at the age of 37, has been recognized worldwide for leading the response to the Christchurch terror attack with empathy, as well as for her hardline stance against the Covid-19 pandemic and her Wellbeing Budget.

The former leader announced her shock resignation in mid-January, saying she didn’t have “enough left in the tank to do the job justice,” and at the beginning of the month she gave her final speech before parliament in her typical sensitive leadership style.

Since her departure from politics, Ardern, now 42, has also joined the board of trustees of the Earthshot Prize for contributions to environmentalism, established by Britain’s Prince William. EFE


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