Linda Hogan, Finding The Light

Prof Linda Hogan Sustainable Leadership in Difficult Times

Has there ever been a time when ethical leadership has been more needed? From sustainability, to climate change, the management of the pandemic and of course trusted sources of news, ethics and integrity are being seen as vital now in our changed world.

In this podcast we hear from Professor Linda Hogan who is a Fellow of Trinity College Dublin and a Professor of Ecumenics. She believes that far from being a philosophical abstract topic, ethics should be front and centre in all aspects of research and thought leadership and that they have never been more relevant.

“The COVID19 crisis has caused us to pause and ask ourselves is this the kind of society we want to live in, what kind of future do we want for future generations and is the lifestyle we have adopted sustainable.”

Blue Sky Research

Prof Hogan sees a vital role for colleges not just to be centres of excellence for teaching, but engines of research and ethical thought leadership. This has to be adequately financed however and society benefits from blue sky research she believes. “One can’t know in advance where research is going to lead so although we can talk about great discovery and great impact at the end of a research process, there has to be the investment upfront in the early stages of research, some of which might go nowhere, but it’s that commitment to the process of discovery and often serendipity that is really vital for universities.” It’s an area she would like to see government policy evolve on.

Looking for the Light in Sustainability

Prof Linda Hogan was Vice Provost of Trinity College during the financial crisis which was a tough time all round and one when there were lots of competing pleas for funding and consequently many knotty problems. “I remember reading the autobiography of fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg who said to ‘look for the light and build around it’. From years of working, it struck me as a pearl of wisdom. It has to be about finding the light and building around it even when I am dealing with knotty problem.”

Prof Linda Hogan has long been a fan of fashion and is known for her shoes. She reads widely about designers and their stories and she believes like every other aspect of life now, that there is a need for an ethical rethink in the fashion world when it comes to sustainability. “I think it is becoming a really interesting issue in terms of fast fashion and the sustainability of the fashion industry. I see a lot of innovations in terms of pre-loved fashion now and really changing that industry in a way to return it to the fundamentals about quality, design and durability.”

Lessons in Resilience from the Greats

Later in the podcast she talks about her love of music and the great women singers of the past like Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington and Ella Fitzgerald and Linda says they teach us so much about struggle and resilience.

Financial Self Care

Her money advice for women is to be independant and knowledgeable about your finances and if you can, chose a career where you will be able to take care of yourself.

Angela Mezzetti
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