PPLA began through informal conversations between faculty seeking more space for collaboration, research support, and exchange on campus. Over time, these informal conversations expanded to include various stakeholders in the Wellesley community (including alumnae, students, administrators, and like-minded colleagues at peer institutions), with the aim of building programming around research and practice related to these topics. The faculty leading these initial conversations are listed on our “People” page.
The mission of the Project on Public Leadership and Action is still evolving, and will be shaped by the work that we do in the pilot year. Through our early conversations, however, we have identified three core principles that guide PPLA’s work. PPLA is: (1) Public-facing, (2) Values-driven, and (3) Action-focused.
- Public-Facing: The Project on Public Leadership and Action should be a public leader in developing, defining, and maintaining a dialogue about the civic and democratic practices needed to address public problems and help individuals be agents of social change. Thus, we imagine that the Center will broadly focus on a cluster of ideas including leadership, global citizenship, democratic practice, inequality, collective action, civic engagement, agency, and power.
- Values-Driven: The agenda of the Center for Public Leadership and Action focuses on the kinds of leadership and collective capacity we need to meet the common challenges our society face in a just way.
- Action-Focused: The Center for Public Leadership and Action is committed to creating a community where scholars and practitioners cross borders and break down traditional silos of research, teaching, and practice. Scholars and practitioners will work together to co-create usable knowledge while maintaining the highest standards of academic rigor. The Center will work by creating a collaborative community of learning and experimentation to model new ways of working across borders that divide scholars from practitioners, and scholars from each other.