Many of us find it hard enough to affect change in the communities where we live. So what if your community was spread across continents? What if your community was no longer your home? How would you seek to affect it for the better?

Common Purpose recently ran a leadership development course for thirty diverse Diaspora leaders of African origin who wish to build their capacity to produce change for African communities in the UK and in Africa. The programme, sponsored by Comic Relief, is part of a larger project - Diaspora ChangeMakers - which also involves RSA and Unbound Philanthropy.

The programme focussed on how Diaspora leaders can gain a greater strategic understanding of some of the key challenges in international development, particularly in relation to Sub-Saharan Africa. Participants also developed their Cultural Intelligence - the ability to cross divides and thrive in multiple cultures

The participants, all of African descent, hail from a broad range of sectors including the arts, the financial sector and higher education. By bringing together leaders from different cultures to work on common problems, the programme sought to find new solutions through collaboration and gave leaders the skills and aptitude to cross boundaries.

As one participant remarked -

I want this course to change my life, I want to be able to look back on this course and say "This was a seminal week in my journey because it was the final piece of the jigsaw which catapulted me towards truly owning my leadership"


The Common Purpose Diaspora Leadership course was run in London from 20 - 23 May 2014 with two follow-on days in July and November.

You can keep up to date with the course on Twitter through the hashtag: #DiasporaChangeMakers As one participant wrote on just the first day of the course:

"My life has changed in just 8 hours :) #diasporachangemakers Thank you"