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Democracy works — we just need better leaders - Lindiwe Mazibuko

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Democracy Lab

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South Africa transitioned to democracy in the 1990s with a visionary constitution, but the promises of that constitution are largely unfulfilled to this day. Lindiwe Mazibuko explores how poor leadership failed to deliver a better life for the country's citizens — and shares her mission to cultivate a new generation of ethical leaders who can revitalize democracy in South Africa and beyond.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

Mazibuki’s talk about South Africa's journey towards democracy underscores the critical importance of ethical leadership, active citizen engagement, and the realization of democratic potential. Learn more about her work to strengthen South Africa’s democratic leadership and citizen engagement through her organization Futurelect. 

For further exploration of the themes explored in Mazibuki’s talk, check out Fred Swaniker’s talk “The leaders who ruined Africa and the generation who can fix it,” examining different generations of African leaders and how to develop the leadership of the future. In her TED Talk, Siyanda Mohutsiwa discusses how young people across Africa are using social media to overcome borders and circumstances.  

In “The Spirit of Democracy,” Larry Diamond examines how and why democracy progresses, as well as the causes of “democratic recession” in various places around the globe. 

To further explore youth disillusionment with democracy and what to do about it, read this thoughtful perspective from Freedom House. Check out this report from Cambridge University’s Centre for the Future of Democracy, based on findings from the largest-ever global dataset of democratic legitimacy. 

To stay updated with current developments and research in democracy and governance, websites like the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) and the Center for Ethical Leadership offer a wealth of resources and information. 

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About Democracy Lab

As democracies worldwide face mounting challenges, communities across the globe are mobilizing to reform systems and reignite civic culture. A key component of any healthy democratic society is quality civics education. Through content and supporting lesson materials curated and designed by experts in the field, Democracy Lab is designed to give users a strong understanding of what democracy is, but also the roll that engaged participation plays in helping it thrive.

Meet The Creators

  • Video created by TED
  • Lesson Plan created by Myra McCormick

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