Alison (Ali) Goldsworthy is CEO of The Depolarization Project and an advisor to the Conflict and Polarization Lab at Stanford. Ali has spent over 20 years active in politics and campaigning. She led the team at Which? that built the fastest-growing campaigning organisation in the UK and was Deputy Chair of the Liberal Democrats while the party was in coalition government. Ali is Vice-Chair of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust and sits on the board at Open Democracy. Born and brought up in South Wales she moved to the States in 2017 to become a Sloan Fellow at Stanford. Ali continues to live in California but returns to the UK frequently. A frequent media pundit, Ali co-hosts the Changed My Mind podcast and has written for the Telegraph, The Times, New Statesman and Financial Times.
Her debut non-fiction book, Poles Apart, will be published by Penguin Random House with co-authors Laura Osborne and Alexandra Chesterfield in 2021
What are you working on now?
I'm principally working on issues around political polarization - what causes it, its advantages and disadvantages and what can be done to course correct when it becomes too extreme.
How has your career to date led to this?
I used to be known for being as rebellious as possible. Now it feels like the best way to do that is suggesting people who disagree politically could co-exist.
What one thing would you most want someone to learn from what you’ve done or are doing now?
When you are involved in innovation it can be intoxicating and exciting - as can bringing about change. But it's worth taking a moment to stop and think about its wider societal effects and how to counteract them. Moving fast and breaking things has consequences, you need to make up for them.
What do you think of Jesus College and the Intellectual Forum?
Jesus is a fabulous, inspiring and reflective place. It's a place to come, pause, and think deeply. Its ability to meld old and new helps encourage you to think about how to respect the past and make the best of what the future could offer.