Henneke Sharif is an independent public affairs consultant. She is an adviser and board member to a number of think tanks. She is also a Visiting Lecturer at The University of Greenwich. Her core interests are the public realm and the culture of politics. Henneke divides her time between London, Paris and Nairobi.
We face a set of extremely serious challenges in society - on welfare, the economy, our international standing - and a handful of organisations are busy creating a quiet revolution by bringing together a group of fresh faces to forge new relationships and come up with new solutions.
So cleverness is, of course, necessary. But it is only part of the answer. What we desperately need in our leaders and advisers and what we desperately lack is something more subtle; it's an understanding of how people live, bolstered by brains, but leavened with a great big dash of humility.
We shouldn't worry about lobbyists because the industry is actually in its death throes. It is poised to disappear with the power shift from politics to wider society which will take secret decision making, unofficial advisers, and funny handshakes with it.
24/10/2011 13:59 BST
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