“The only remaining superpower is international public opinion,” says Simon Anholt, an independent policy advisor who has helped more than 50 countries engage more productively with the rest of the world. He believes that public opinion cannot be shifted on the surface, but only moves when a government makes real changes in its values and behavior by rolling out enlightened policies, developing dynamic exchanges with other nations and committing to global betterment.
Simon Anholt has worked closely with heads of governments in countries ranging from the Netherlands to Botswana, from Jamaica to Malaysia. In his home country of the United Kingdom, he is a member of the Foreign Office Public Diplomacy Board and he frequently collaborates with multilateral institutions like the United Nations.
As a researcher, Anholt creates international surveys that inform policy. His latest project, The Good Country Index, is the first to measure exactly how much each country contributes to the planet and to humanity. He hopes this “national balance sheet” will inspire governments to operate less like independent islands and to think of themselves as highly interconnected, with ultimate responsiblity to all the citizens of the world.