The streetwise mba®: London

A programme for leaders who want to be more inclusive: to lead diverse teams, serve diverse customers and work with diverse stakeholders.

Modern organizations need modern leaders.

Leaders who are inclusive and agile. Leaders who can lead diverse teams, serve diverse customers and work with diverse stakeholders. That’s why Common Purpose is running the streetwise mba.

Inclusive leadership: the next step

For modern leaders, the next step in their leadership development is Cultural Intelligence (CQ).

CQ doesn’t just encourage inclusive thinking, it translates it into action. CQ enables leaders to work across different cultural boundaries: geographies, generations, sectors, specializations, backgrounds and beliefs.

The best place to develop CQ is in the great cities at the points where cultures collide. That’s why the streetwise mba takes participants to learn from the leaders operating at these points of collision, who, through their leadership, prevent crashes and create sparks of energy and creativity.

Participants work within a group that could well be the most diverse community they will ever be a part of. In doing so, they begin to unpick their own culture—and the blind spots it may have created—in order to become agile, inclusive, culturally intelligent leaders.

Mike Brown, Commissioner of Transport for London

"Common Purpose creates experiences so powerful that the things you learn about leadership and yourself will last a lifetime.” 

Who is it for?

The programme is for emerging leaders in London. They could be leaders who are:

  • about to move to a global role
  • leading colleagues from many different cultures
  • being challenged to operate outside their specialism
  • working with customers or stakeholders from different sectors
  • in transition and know they need to adapt fast
  • determined to succeed despite ambiguous environments
  • acting as innovators—even disruptors—of systems

Every streetwise mba includes up to 50 participants: all from different backgrounds and with hugely varied experiences; all leaders from across the public, private and NGO sectors.

The outcomes

The streetwise mba develops leaders to become inclusive and agile, with the CQ to work more effectively with diverse colleagues, customers and stakeholders. They will:

Develop as leaders

Becoming inclusive leaders, with the skills and the understanding to inspire different people in uncertain, complex environments. 


Make better decisions

Participants learn to recognize their biases and blind spots—and even move beyond them—so they can make better decisions.


Gain broader networks

Seeing the world through other people’s eyes; and forging new relationships with a broader range of people.


Drive bold innovation

Learning how to lead diverse groups to create innovative solutions by seeking out difference and even discord, instead of avoiding them.


said they are better able to engage with people who are different from them.


said they are better able to adjust their behaviour in culturally diverse situations.


said they are more likely to seek input from multiple diverse sources when making key decisions.


said they are better able to recognise their blind spots and minimise their effects.

Jonathan Harvey, Managing Director – Global Head of Talent and Culture, Barclays

“What do we need from the next generation of leaders? I believe we need adaptability, a genuine love of—as opposed to comfort with—change and ambiguity and a broad intelligence encompassing the practical, the emotional and the cultural. The capability is there, but we do need to hone it.”

The programme

Throughout the streetwise mba, participants investigate CQ. They use the core and flex® framework to digest their learning, explore their own culture (its strengths and weaknesses) and translate this learning into changed leadership behaviours. Most of all, participants learn from each other, in possibly one of the most diverse groups they will ever be a part of. They use the core and flex language to hold difficult conversations with peers from very different backgrounds.

(Six hours)

Our online accelerator allows time-poor participants to maximize their eventual face-to-face experience. The accelerator requires participants to work as a group but can be completed in their own time. They also take the streetwise assessment, which helps them to identify their leadership strengths and areas for development.

(Four days)

Our participants want maximum access to London and leaders in London; each day is hosted in a different venue in a different part of London. 

Masterclasses allow participants engage with leaders in London who have learned to work in places where cultures collide. They may have had to overcome the constraints of their own culture, recover from knocks, reconcile worlds, stand up in difficult situations or adapt and flex without compromising on who they are.

Immersions place participants at the London’s cultural collision points, to learn from the successes and the failures of the people who lead there— whether that’s bankers, police, artists, activists or religious leaders.

Peer coaching allows participants to unpick leadership challenges—and reflect on their streetwise assessments—within a group of people from different backgrounds, who approach problems in completely different ways

The streetwise mba sustains the impact of the programme as participants apply their learning back to their organization. Our light but structured post-programme follow-through allows them to:

Translate (face-to-face: one evening)
Participants attend with their line manager, mentor or coach, who will be helping them translate the learning back into the organization.

Exchange (online: four hours)
Participants reflect on their learning and share challenges and insight through an online platform. This is a chance to reconnect with peers who approach problems in completely different ways.

Re-assess (online)
Participants complete a second streetwise assessment three months later to identify where they need to place renewed energy.

Network (continuous)
Participants become Common Purpose Alumni, continuing their learning in a community of over 60,000 leaders worldwide

Richie MacDonald, Royal Mail

“The learning from the course has enabled me to significantly challenge myself, and my team, to work more collectively and inclusively.”

Rakesh Khurana, Dean, Harvard College

“In our ever more complex and interconnected world which has no obvious historical parallel, Common Purpose has developed a breakthrough idea about the importance of Cultural Intelligence (CQ) in order to navigate both this new world and its contradictions.”

Programme Information


Upcoming programmes:


Online accelerator: 23 October 2017 
Face-to-face programme: 14-17 November 2017
Translate: 24 January 2018


A diverse group of up to 50 emerging leaders on each programme from different sectors, specializations, backgrounds and beliefs.

If you are interested in this programme please contact: 
or call +44 (0) 77 6965 6550