The Dragon’s Heart Institute is thrilled to announce the names of the three teachers who will be delivering the Climb Wales leadership programme for the 2021/22 cohort.

Alongside teaching from some of the best in Wales, these three international teachers will guide the recently selected 30 Climb Wales delegates through the 10-month course, which begins at the end of October 2021.

They are Hahrie Han, Director of the SNF Agora Institute and Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University, Professor Sir Muir Gray, Honorary Clinical Researcher at the University of Oxford’s Centre for Evidence-based Medicine, and Mark Prain, Founding Director of the Hillary Institute of International Leadership.

As the Director of the SNF Agora Institute and Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University, Hahrie Han specialises in the study of organising, movements, civic engagement, and democracy. She has published four books, most recently Prisms of the People: Power and Organizing in 21st Century America.

Her award-winning work has been published in the American Political Science Review, American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and numerous other outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and elsewhere. Through her research, she has partnered with a wide range of civic and political organizations and movements around the world, including those in the United States, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere. In all of this work, she seeks to develop the leadership of younger scholars and practitioners, especially women and people of colour.

Hahrie also acted as co-convenor of a Policy Advisory Committee for the 2008 Obama campaign and served as Chair of the Advisory Committee to the EAC Agency Review Team on the Obama-Biden Transition Team and also as National Issues and Policy Advisor to Senator Bill Bradley’s presidential campaign in 1999-2000.

For the inaugural year of Climb Wales, Hahrie will focus on the principles of community organising, equipping people to learn to work with each other to make the world as it should be a reality by identifying leaders, creating community around those leaders, and then drawing power from that community to make change.

Hahrie said, “We at the SNF Agora Institute are looking for like-minded people and organizations around the world, with critical eyes and hopeful hearts. That is why we’re absolutely thrilled to be working alongside the Dragon’s Heart Institute which was born out of the COVID-19 response in Wales, recognizing we cannot simply go back to the way things were. Instead, together we can collectively take a step forward into the future of healthcare, one in which health services a co-produced with the people who use them, and one in which we all have access to the levers of change.”

Professor Sir Muir Gray as worked for the National Health Service in England since 1972, occupying a variety of senior positions during that time, including serving as the Director of Research and Development for Anglia and Oxford Regional Health Authority, and first establishing and  then being the  Director of the UK National Screening Committee.

He founded the National Library for Health, and was the Director of Clinical Knowledge, Process, and Safety for the NHS (England) National Programme for IT, serving as the Director of the National Knowledge Service.  He was the first person to hold the post of Chief Knowledge Officer of the NHS (England), also serving as the co-Director of the Department of Health’s Quality Innovation Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) Right Care Programme.

Sir Muir is an internationally renowned authority on healthcare systems and has advised governments of several countries outside the UK including Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and Germany.

For Climb Wales, Sir Muir will be focussing on population medicine, culture and knowledge management. Sir Muir said, “Our mission is to develop management and leadership and we need a new approach to management. We need well-managed institutions, but we also need systems for every segment of the population, each with a local network and a defined budget. Even more, we need leadership to develop the culture of stewardship and the transformation to value-based healthcare, the new paradigm to ensure the sustainability of universal healthcare.”

A graduate of Toi Whakaari, New Zealand’s premier Theatre Arts academy, Mark Prain spent 15 years as a professional actor, director, playwright and opera singer, in NZ, Australia and Europe. He then spent much of the next 15 working in NZ and the USA on Sustainable Leadership. After five years with Greenpeace (1990-94), he became Executive Director of the not-for-profit Sustainable Cities (1995-2000) and then of the Redesigning Resources Business Leadership Group (2000-04). He is the author of two books on sustainable best practice.

Since 2006, Mark has served as Founding Director of the Hillary Institute. Inspired by the late Sir Edmund Hillary, the Hillary Institute of International Leadership takes on the challenge of searching the globe for exceptional leaders, and providing them with prestigious recognition and ongoing celebration of their work. The Hillary Institute exists to inspire through its Laureates, each of us to put our full potential to work in service of our planet and, in so doing, unlock the Hillary Step in us all.

Mark said, “Our mission of the Institute is to recognise, reward and nurture great leaders currently in play, who will provide answers to such challenges as climate change, poverty, disease, peace and justice.”

For Climb Wales, Mark will help our candidates to explore their personal and cultural identities, and support them to unleash this as part of their leadership capability.

Alongside the three teachers, Peter Hillary, New Zealand mountaineer, philanthropist, writer, and son of Sir Edmund Hillary, will also support the Dragon’s Heart Institute in the delivery of Climb Wales, focussing specifically on the conference event at the programme’s end. Further exciting updates on Peter’s involvement will be available soon.

Jonathon Gray, Director of Innovation and Improvement at Cardiff and Vale UHB and lead for the Dragon’s Heart Institute, said, “All of us at the Dragon’s Heart Institute are beyond thrilled to have secured these teachers for the Climb Wales programme in its inaugural year.”

“There will be other announcements made about Climb Wales’ first year soon, including a number of other guest speakers. However, the core of the course will be formed by and shaped around these three teachers’ respective areas of speciality. Hahrie, Sir Muir, and Mark are all very excited to meet our 30 Climb Wales delegates and, with them, take a collective first step on this programme towards the future of leadership in the Welsh health and social care sector.”

Climb Wales is part of the All Wales Intensive Learning Academy for Innovation in Health and Social Care and is delivered by The Dragon’s Heart Institute.