Skip to content

Control how you feel: listen, learn and lead – Alison Goldsworthy, CEO, The Depolarization Project

About This Episode

Alison Goldsworthy joins Michael this week from across the pond. Born in Britain, the CEO of The Depolarization Project now ploughs her trade on the Pacific Coast where she looks to tackle one of the questions of our time – why in the world are we so divided? The motto is ‘Listen, learn and lead’ – the three things that have often been forgotten in a world that is less about compromise and more about conflict. Formed out of a project at Stanford University in 2016, The Depolarization Project looks to build bridges in societies around the world where people are more tied to their tribe than ever before. She says: “Depolarization is about trying to enable different groups to recognise that there can be merit in working together, and actually, sometimes, somebody from a different tribe might have a better idea to you, or one rooted in different experiences.”

Alison Goldsworthy

Ali is CEO of The Depolarization Project. A former Deputy Chair of the UK Liberal Democrats, she previously led the team that built the fastest growing campaigning NGO in the UK. Ali is Vice Chair of the grant-giving Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, and sits on the board of global media outlet Open Democracy. Born and brought up in Wales, in 2017 she was a Sloan Fellow at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, co-creating its first depolarization course. Ali is a frequent media pundit, and has written for the Telegraph, Times, Independent, New Statesman and Financial Times.

Listen on all your favourite platforms

Lockdown List

What is a book that has changed your life?

Once in a House on Fire by Andrea Ashworth. I have also co-written a book, Poles Apart which is due for release in June 2021.

What are you watching in lockdown?

I’m about to start watching the latest series of The Crown and can’t wait. Other lockdown highlights have included the Norwegian/ French collaboration, Occupied and Will Ferrell’s Eurovision film.

What is your lockdown soundtrack?

Wham – Careless Whisper

Disturbed – The Sound of Silence

Girls Aloud – Sound of the Underground

Crazy World of Arthur Brown – Fire

Tori Amos –Cornflake Girl

In one sentence, describe your new normal

“Another night in is it?”

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

I don’t really believe in role models. If you put people on a pedestal, all they do is fall off.

What is your best tip for life ?

No one, and I mean no one, should have more control over how you feel than you do.

Subscribe to Change Makers Podcast