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ANU Crawford School of Public Policy

The art of stakeholder engagement

One-day short course


9th April 2015


ANU Crawford School of Public Policy


Paul Porteous



In this course at The Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy, you will learn the art of stakeholder engagement as it applies to matters of community unease, conflict or high political sensitivity and to policy issues of a complex or intractable nature.

Course overview


Stakeholder engagement is now an integral part of the policy development process and informs ministerial policy advice as well as serving to optimise policy implementation and service delivery. However, emerging complex and interconnected policy challenges such as poverty or climate change require more than dated formulaic approaches or prescriptive solutions.

These complex new challenges require ‘adaptive’ approaches where fresh policy ideas, perspectives and solutions emerge and evolve in shared ‘ownership’ with stakeholders. In this course, Paul Porteous, a thought provoking leadership theorist and practitioner, will explore the fine art of stakeholder engagement in managing conflict and finding solutions to intractable policy issues.

Too often, stakeholder engagement is reduced to passive consultative processes in the rush to find solutions, without any real or deeper appreciation of the underlying challenges being faced. Groups pursue competing agendas and the usual suspects engage in stale debates attempting to coerce, intimidate, influence or otherwise convince their way to a solution.

In this context, stakeholder engagement becomes a joint learning and experimentation process – building partnerships, analysing the undercurrents, teasing out the contradictions, assessing the opportunities and threats, crafting critical interventions and preparing for the inevitable resistance and attacks.

Course convenor


Mr Paul Porteous

Paul Porteous is Executive Director of the Centre for Social Leadership. He has delivered seminars and courses on leadership for ANZSOG since 2010 and continues to deliver specialised training in Australia and overseas for senior government executives and leaders. Paul’s experience includes work as a senior diplomat and international lawyer, representative to numerous international organisations including the United Nations and International Court of Justice, and as a consultant in the United States, South East Asia, China, Middle East, Europe and Africa. From 2005-2009, Paul was Senior Adviser to the President of Madagascar. Paul has been both Visiting Faculty at Harvard Kennedy School and a Fellow at Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership where he received the ‘Dean’s Award for Excellence in Student Teaching’.

Course date: 9.30am–4.30pm 9 April 2015
Venue: #132 Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, ANU
Cost: A$1,100 GST incl; Group discounts applicable

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