A small group of Dishaa alumni met the UK Prime Minister David
Cameron at a reception in Mumbai, on his current visit to India. As
you all will remember, the Prime Minister launched Dishaa on his
first visit to India in July 2010. We are delighted that we were
able to reconnect him, the Patron of Dishaa with some of the Dishaa
alumni on his second trip to India. Some of the alumni who met him
were - Raj Gilda, Founder, Lend-A-Hand (also a
CSCLeaders participant); Vandana Saxena-Poria,
Chief Executive, Get Through Guides; Vidya Shah, Founder, EdelGive
and also Board Member of Common Purpose India. She is also a
participant on CSCLeaders; Will Muir, Chief
Executive, Equal Communities Foundation; and Arup Dutta, Associate
Director, PwC India.
Vandana Saxena Poria, Founder CEO of Get Through Guides (GTG)
and Co Chair of the British Business Group in Pune, India said,
"David Cameron launched Dishaa to help build networks between the
next-generation of leaders of UK and India, which genuinely leads
to innovation, collaboration and sharing. It in effect catalyses
business for both countries and beyond. Through the people I met on
the Dishaa Venture, GTG now has a growing publishing presence
in Africa, providing affordable materials to pass exams. If
this is just the result of 3 years since the start of Dishaa
Ventures, imagine the success stories we will have in the next
Raj Gilda, Co Founder, Lend-A-Hand India and Dishaa alumnus said
"being a Common Purpose alumnus has already helped me to establish
the NGO Lend-A-Hand India in the UK and also find British partners
for the skill development program for youth that we carry out in
rural India. Having David Cameron as a patron provides a great role
model for international leadership and helps raise the profile of
this important Venture."
In March 2013, almost 100 leaders from across the Commonwealth
gathered in the UK for CSCLeaders 2013 Part One,
delivered by Common Purpose.
Watch video highlights now, including
speaker sessions, post-session conversations with the speakers, and
daily participant video diaries.
On 16 March a group of 100 exceptional senior leaders drawn from
governments, businesses and NGOs across the 54 countries of the
Commonwealth will gather in London for the first
CSCLeaders, a renewal of the Commonwealth Study
Over 8 days they will receive briefings from global leaders on
global trends, and in small groups will visit different UK cities
to investigate the challenge: How do people from communities
which have spread across the world become bridge-builders in the
global networks of the future?
Through proven Common Purpose techniques and the innovation
process, participants will overcome the inevitable barriers and
start to form into high performing diverse teams that develop
responses to address the challenge which are presented to a Dragons
Den panel, and are then reviewed three months later in very
different environments: Mumbai
The participant group so far is impressive in its seniority,
diversity and just as importantly, the mix: a Presidential adviser
from Malawi, a gold-medalled Australian paralympian, the CEO of a
Malaysian bank, a senior Jamaican diplomat, a poet from Bangladesh,
the CEO of an international NGO, an NHS consultant, the Canadian
Director of a global agricultural firm, a private Prison governor,
a trade unionist from Sierra Leone and a well-known British actor
of Pakistani origin.
You can follow the outcomes on the CSCLeaders
website, Twitter via @CSCLeaders and #CSCLeaders, YouTube and Vimeo.
This is the end of my first year as CEO of Common Purpose in the
UK. It has been a long year!
Keeping focused as the UK has struggled, delivering our courses
which seem ever more relevant as we continue our efforts to connect
leaders locally and nationally across UK cities and taking
advantage of the growth of Common Purpose internationally to forge
new links for the UK around the world.
It's incredibly exciting that in my first year as CEO of the UK,
we successfully launched two new Ventures - Dao Xiang (between
London and Shanghai) and Itijah (between cities of the Arab world and
cities of Europe) in addition to Dishaa (between India and the UK) - to link
leaders in the UK with leaders in other countries. I am truly
delighted with the continued support of Prime Minister David
Cameron as Patron of Dishaa and Mayor Boris Johnson as Advisory
Group Member of Dao Xiang.
All this could not have been possible without the help of our
alumni, Advisory Groups and supporters giving us your valuable time
to speak and contribute on our courses. Thank you very much, and
all of us at Common Purpose UK look forward to working with you in
In October 2012, we ran a free online leadership event "Leading
Beyond Culture - exploring Cultural Intelligence".
Three global contributors shared their experiences of adapting as
a leader when operating in different cultures:
Each session lasted an hour, during which they explored how
successful leaders can make positive change happen even when
operating in unfamiliar territory.
To watch the sessions back, visit the Common
Purpose 360 website.
Throughout the three day course the students met a wide range of
senior leaders from organisations including ITN, Big Lottery Fund,
Princes Trust, NHS East Midlands and HMP Lowdham Grange who shared
their leadership stories and insights with the group. Visits
included YMCA, Geldards LLP, Groundwork and One Nottingham,
exploring the real life leadership challenges those organisations
are facing with the students challenged to find possible solutions
to help them move forward.
We were lucky enough to welcome one of the participants of the
first Frontrunner for Disabled Students course as a contributor on
the last day, Suzi Rees, who has won several awards for her
groundbreaking campaign to improve the accessibility of adventure
sports. Her charity iDID hosts events all over the UK introducing
disabled people to a myriad of different sports. Suzi and three
other participants on the course came up with the idea for the
charity during the course itself, and it was formed shortly
The feedback from the participants was excellent and it
included:"This course has been the best thing I have done in my
adult life. I can honestly say I have never felt so positive about
myself. I have to say I have never met such a group of
inspirational speakers and I know I have made friends for life. I
can't thank you enough for this opportunity."
The Frontrunner for Disabled Students campaign aims to develop
the leadership capabilities of disabled students, empowering and
inspiring people who have faced difficult obstacles in their lives.
In a recent survey of alumni of this course, 98% said they would
recommend the course to other disabled students. The next course
will be taking place in Liverpool in February 2013 and we are
already excited about continuing to reach out to students with this
Between 13-16 November, 26 participants from various
not-for-profit organisations across the UK will explore
collaborative leadership, one-to-one coaching and personal and
organisational branding, developing some of the key skills required
for effective leadership in the third sector.
American Express, in partnership with Common Purpose, are
running the American Express Leadership Academy in the UK as part
of a 5-year initiative to develop emerging leaders who have the
potential to become senior leaders in the not-for-profit
"At American Express, we appreciate the impact that talented
leaders have on business, the community and society," said Timothy
J. McClimon, President of the American Express Foundation. "We are
committed to providing current and future not-for-profit leaders
with opportunities to build and hone leadership skills that are
critical to the sector."
Laura Smith, Acting Head of Global Xchange, VSO, attended the
2010 Academy which was also run in partnership with Common Purpose.
She described it as "a valuable opportunity to reflect on your
strengths and weaknesses as a leader and identify clear goals for
development, both professionally and personally, with the
opportunity to build a network of support and contacts".
Since June 2011, Common Purpose has been running a European
Union programme of capacity building support in Libya.
This programme financed by the European Union's Instrument for
Stability was set up to respond to early Libyan requests for
support with training on leadership, organisational and other
Twenty eight courses and workshops have been run over the first
twelve months of this programme and over 1,000 people have
participated. Of the people who attended the courses 58% were
men and 42% women. Courses have been run in Benghazi, Derna,
Tripoli, Al Bayda and most recently Misrata.
For the most recent update on the programme, please download the
Why not read the article published in October 2012 in the
Libya Herald on the project?
For more information about the project, please email Alison Coburn, CEO of Common Purpose
For press enquiries, please email Isabella
Betkowski or call +447958560943.
With employers often frustrated that they cannot find suitably
skilled new talent despite the millions of unemployed in search of
jobs, how do we ensure appropriate skills development to bridge
this apparent gap between education and employability?
This is the challenge that participants on the Dishaa Venture,
run by leadership development organisation Common Purpose, will be
tackling this week in Mysore, India. Dishaa aims to expand, enrich
and energise relations between India and the UK by investing in the
development of the next generation of leaders from the two
Many of the participants are from member organisations of the
India UK CEO Forum (Established by Prime Ministers David Cameron
and Manmohan Singh to strengthen economic ties http://ukindiaceoforum.com),
their presence showing how crucial tackling this challenge will be
for stimulating global economic growth.
Business sector participants will be working with those from the
public sector and NGOs to foster discussion and build shared
approaches to this challenge. The diverse group of participants, 19
from the UK and 19 from India, are skilled and respected
practitioners in their fields and looking to effect change both in
their organisations and wider society.
Organisations participating in Dishaa include:
During the Venture, based at the Infosys Leadership Institute in
Mysore from 2 October to 6 October, participants will meet with
Through experiential visits to organisations including Bosch,
Raman Fibresciences, Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement and
Labournet, participants will meet and learn from the leaders who
are tackling this real-life challenge on a daily basis.
The group will undertake research tasks beforehand, develop
their thinking and work together to come up with innovative
approaches to the challenge. They will then present their findings
and models to a cross sector group of policy experts from the UK
and India, potentially leading to future policy change that could
help tackle one of the defining problems of the 21st century.
The Dishaa Venture is run in partnership with the British
Foreign & Commonwealth Office and sponsored by United Business
Media (UBM), Tilda, Cisco, and PwC. British Prime Minister David
Cameron is patron of Dishaa and launched the Venture in July
"What the world needs today is a compelling vision to drive
and deliver change," says Deepak Kapoor, Chairman, PwC India.
"It's a matter of pride for PwC India to be associated with the
Dishaa Venture, which is doing this by bringing together diverse
groups of young leaders from the UK and India to collaborate and
work for a better tomorrow."
Common Purpose India
T: +91 (080) 41123339
M: +91 98455 27836
Senior Course Manager
Common Purpose UK
M: +44 (0) 7557 679506
Common Purpose is an independent international leadership
development organisation. Over the past 21 years, Common Purpose
has designed and delivered courses that help people at all stages
of their career become more effective leaders in society.
Common Purpose runs courses that give people from the private,
public and not-for-profit sector the inspiration, skills and
connections to become better leaders both at work and in society.
Common Purpose helps people, organisations, cities and regions to
succeed, by broadening the horizons of their leaders and developing
their ability to work together and lead complex change.
www.commonpurpose.org and www.commonpurpose.org/ventures
Common Purpose in Scotland recently organised a day on
leadership for 48 young women post-grads from universities across
the UAE, who were in Dundee for a summer school at the Al Maktoum
HE College. The Chief Constable of Tayside Police, the Development
Director of 'M' Technologies (Glasgow, London, Chicago), the Chief
Executive of Aberlour Childcare Trust Scotland, and the Vice
President HR for Fairmont Group Europe took part in the discussions
which explored attitudes to leadership, best attributes of leaders,
and how people become leaders.
A fantastic day all round!