02/01/2023

Live To Lead | Presented by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex

A NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY SERIES

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A PRODUCTION BY BLACKWELL & RUTH

IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE NELSON MANDELA FOUNDATION

WITH ARCHEWELL PRODUCTIONS

AND CINETIC MEDIA

Release Date: December 31, 2022

Details: 7 x 25 min episodes

Executive Producers: 

For Archewell Productions: Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex; Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex; Ben Browning; Chanel Pysnik

For Blackwell & Ruth: Geoff Blackwell; Ruth Hobday 

For Cinetic Media: John Sloss

Created by: Geoff Blackwell

Directed by: Geoff Blackwell

Series Synopsis

Extraordinary leaders reflect on their legacies and share messages of courage, compassion, humility, hope and generosity. Inspired by the iconic legacy of Nelson Mandela, Live to Lead highlights the fundamental values, daily disciplines and guiding principles that leaders employ to motivate others and create meaningful change. Featured interviews include: former U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; climate change activist Greta Thunberg; social justice attorney and advocate Bryan Stevenson; New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern; South Africa’s national rugby union team captain and social inequality campaigner Siya Kolisi; feminist icon and social justice activist Gloria Steinem; and anti-apartheid activist and former Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa Albie Sachs. Live to Lead is a Nelson Mandela Foundation project created and directed by Geoff Blackwell, and executive produced by Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

A Statement from Geoff Blackwell

This series was conceived while Ruth Hobday and I were working on a book about Nelson Mandela and his prison letters back in 2018.

As we worked to absorb 27 years of Mandela’s personal correspondence, reflecting on his brave and selfless commitment to the welfare of others, we were simultaneously confronted by a news cycle relentlessly focused on certain international politicians behaving in precisely the opposite way— shamelessly pursuing their own self-interest, using tactics of division and misinformation to serve power and not the people.

This contrast cemented our resolve to honor Mandela’s values by surfacing the stories of leaders who distinguish themselves through their moral courage, the conviction of their ideals and values, and their prioritization of others.

We have been Mandela’s publisher for over a decade and we are fortunate to have a close relationship with the Nelson Mandela Foundation. When we approached them, they warmly agreed to join us in seeking out these inspiring individuals and asking them to agree to be interviewed.

The experience of interviewing them and sharing their stories has been an enriching one for all of us. Through their example, these leaders remind us of our own capacity for leadership and the best part of our humanity at a moment when the world needs true leaders, more than ever.

A Statement from the Nelson Mandela Foundation

The Nelson Mandela Foundation is proud to announce the launch of a new Netflix Series on effective leadership, in collaboration with Blackwell & Ruth and Archewell Productions. Live to Lead is a seven-episode series of compelling interviews with some of the world’s most respected and effective leaders from different walks of life, inspired by the legacy of Nelson Mandela.

Over the past few decades, we’ve seen a proliferation of destructive leaders, who, for instance, control power by closing borders, disseminating misinformation, and stoking fear of people considered to be ‘other’. We feel that there is a crisis of leadership at many societal levels globally.

With Live to Lead we want to inspire a new generation of leaders – leaders that earn respect and trust through the practice of their principles and their commitment to creating power for people, not themselves. We share this vision with our partners at Blackwell & Ruth and Archewell Productions, founded by Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. It is our collective hope that this series will advance the legacy of Nelson Mandela in an innovative way, reaching a truly global audience.

“With the world in the state that it is in, trying to heal from a global pandemic, with the rise of populism and misinformation, the need for effective leadership is critical,” shares Sello Hatang, Chief Executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. “Live to Lead was made to contribute towards inspiring better leaders, ones that are committed to ending poverty and inequity and who show the lead in making the just society of Nelson Mandela’s dreams.”

We are grateful to everyone who participated in this project with us and to our partners who have made this work possible. 

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