Cultures Collide

Welcome to our free lecture series where leaders explore the challenges of colliding cultures.

Cultures Collide is a unique interactive lecture series, which offers the audience unparalleled insights from renowned leaders. Speakers take a deep dive look at a time they faced the challenge of colliding cultures, and the impact this had on them as leaders.  

The extensive and diverse Common Purpose network provides Cultures Collide with distinguished hosts and compelling speakers from all sectors; providing our audience with rare access to authentic stories of leadership journeys.

Speakers take the audience on a journey through their career path; exploring how they have crossed boundaries and overcome barriers. Our speakers reflect on their points of collision and examine how they navigated through to success.  Hosts generously provide exclusive access to their thought-provoking and inspiring spaces.

Upcoming lectures:

Keynote speaker:

Shamil Thakrar, Head ‘babu’ at Dishoom

Shamil will take us on a journey from Bombay’s old Irani cafés to today’s restaurant powerhouse with a strong charitable ethos.


Toufik will welcome Cultures Collide into the Muslim Welfare House; a community space which aims to promote awareness and understanding. 

Shamil Thakrar, Co-Founder, Dishoom

Shamil Thakrar co-founded Dishoom in 2010. Dishoom now has five restaurants in London and one in Edinburgh, and employs over 750 people. Before 2010, he had, amongst other things, been a management consultant for five years and worked in the food industry for eight years. Shamil and the Dishoom team care enormously about creating beautiful and democratic shared spaces which pay homage to the old Irani cafés of Bombay. They also care deeply about creating a company which is an awesome place to work.

Dishoom has been awarded the Best Small Group award by the Good Food Guide UK in 2017 and The Sunday Times ranked it #36 in its ‘100 Best UK Companies To Work For’ list in 2017. It has also been voted Best Restaurant in the UK by Yelp! users in 2015 and 2016, and the Cool Brands expert panel voted it the ‘Coolest UK Restaurant’ in 2016.



Date: 02 May 2018 

time: 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Location: Muslim Welfare House, 233 Seven Sisters Road, London, N4 2DA

Please register your details to attend.

Javed Khan, Chief Executive of Barnardo’s—audience member at October 2017 Cultures Collide

“He [Mike Brown] gave me a jolt today. Reminding me of the need to be absolutely resilient and determined. To prepare yourself for those collisions and not let them take you off your path” 

Previous lectures:

Mike Brown, Commissioner Transport for London – October 2017

Mike brought the audience on a journey through the challenges of preparing London’s transport network for the 2012 Olympics and the difficult process of closing the ticket offices. Mike spoke candidly about the collisions he experienced and the lessons he learnt from these experiences. Our audience asked Mike a range of challenging questions and explored the future opportunities for TFL. 

Audience member at Mike Brown’s Cultures Collide lecture, October 2017,

“The honesty and candour was fantastic, especially around mistakes.” 

Want to learn more about leading at the point of collision?

As our Cultures Collide speakers demonstrate through their talks, to succeed as a modern leader we must be agile and inclusive. Common Purpose specializes in developing leaders and giving them the Cultural Intelligence (CQ) tools to tackle complex problems.
To learn more about our programmes, including the streetwise mba, please contact
or call +44 (0) 78 8965 0275