As we grow up, we assume responsibilities. If we don’t do this we run the risk of getting stuck in our own development. As our ability to take on responsibilities grows, we make more and stronger connections with the world we inhabit. Our individual and organisational wealth and wellbeing depends on the strength of our connections allowing us to grow into better, more mature individuals with even greater capacity to engage with ourselves and the people we care for.

This year GGI is 10! It’s a milestone we wanted to celebrate with the people who have contributed to our success thus far, and we have commissioned an Advisory Committee to assess what the future of the public sector will look like 10 years from now, and the role governance will play in this.

‘Good governance because it’s personal’ is the tagline for this year’s Festival of Governance, and our imagery of Narcissus staring at his own reflection might look like we have succumbed to cultural echoes as illustrated by phrases like: “love yourself before you can love anybody else; and if you believe in yourself you can achieve anything.”

If GGI were a person, it would strongly disagree and would go further to say that this position is potentially dangerous and indeed unhelpful to our survival as individuals and as a society.

What is personal is what we choose as individuals to connect to. The strength of these connections is what makes us stronger as individuals, a community and as a species.

Our choices of who and what we connect to, are usually determined by, in the broadest sense of the word, our environment. We evolve, both as people and as a society, when our environment no longer supports the way we were. It is always tempting to go back into the past to recreate an environment where we did feel comfortable, but the genesis of good governance is all about organisations changing through taking sensible risks to achieve benefits for all. Our festival this year draws on the contributions of brave women and men who are not afraid to explore new ways of being stewards in an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world.

Following on from last year’s Festival of Governance we will report on how the leaders of organisations we work with have changed and created systems that collaborate rather than compete. Because if GGI were a person, it would promote good governance not only for and by the people it agrees with, but instead as Professor Mervyn King puts it: “ Good governance is from us all, by us all and for us all.”

This is why we invite you to come and connect and contribute to designing safer, fairer, better places where people can form deep and lasting connections with those who share their immediate environment in places, hospitals, universities, arts, sports and cultural organisations, and in the world as a whole.