The stirrings of thought-leadership

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VENUS UPADHAYAYA

EVERYBODY thinks, feels and talks but every thinker, every poet and every speech giver isn’t a thought leader!

Leaders don’t happen randomly. In today’s age of interdependent, fast-paced economy and technological innovation, leadership is as researched as organisational psychology and both of these can today be designed, trained and cultivated towards certain goals.

I have often thought about Kashmir, more often than I have about any other matter. I have reported from here, read and heard varied contradictory viewpoints on the subject. I’m a full-time beat reporter on geo-politics and I’m also a student of western and eastern psychology and currently an enrolled researcher on thought leadership.

I’m talking from an informed viewpoint when I say that Kashmir needs thought leadership and the annual Kashmir Central Conclave is a potential platform for it.

  • What’s thought leadership?

Thought leadership is purposeful, informed, constructive, inclusive and oriented around a vision. These are all democratic concepts.

Thought leadership could be an individual or an institution or a community – it defines its mission and is aware of its short-term and long term goals. But above all, this leadership is led by a “value system” that motivates both its business goals as well as its thinking, motivations and actions.

Yes, business goals are a must for sustainability and development and open societies evolve only when their institutions evolve and sustain.

Responsibility towards the self and towards others is key to this concept of “thought leadership” and the idea of change through constructivism is essential.

  • Potential of the KC Conclave

The potential of Kashmir Central’s annual conclave lies in its ability to gather diverse thinkers from within the intellectual community both from within Srinagar as well as from other parts of India on a shared platform.

These intellectuals deliberated upon certain sensitive issues waiting for constructive, public discussion for a long time. And such occasions help break politically held stereotypes and other narratives that are often, in conflicted societies, propagated as a cognitive warfare.

The strongest way to break free from stereotypes and propaganda narratives is to encourage facilitation of such platforms as Kashmir Central Conclave.

However, bear in mind that anything without structure and organisation is prone to be hijacked this or that way.

I give my support to the annual Kashmir Central Conclave and I hope that it grows in its vision, ideas and solution-orientedness as a potential institution for future peace and development. May it achieve its potential and may it turn into an example that can lead more such endeavours.

(The writer is a correspondent with Epoch Times, New York)

 

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