Chief Executive, Common Purpose International

Alison Coburn

Alison is one of the founders of Common Purpose, which now has 75,000 alumni worldwide. Under her leadership, Common Purpose launched in France, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, India, the Netherlands, South Africa and Turkey. She is currently working on the launch of Common Purpose US.

She ran an EU supported capacity building programme in Libya from 2011 to 2013 for 1700 leaders from across the country.

She has worked extensively in Africa and collaborated with Common Purpose South Africa to launch the Africa Venture - a pan African leadership programme for emerging leaders launched at the African Development Bank meeting in Abidjan.

Alison has led many of Common Purpose’s customized programmes working with a range of clients from the British Council to Lufthansa and EY. 

She began her career at the Arts Council and then moved to the media where she worked for the BBC making documentaries and features for national radio before joining Common Purpose.

Alison is a social entrepreneur and pioneering leader who is passionate about developing leaders from all sectors and backgrounds to bring about positive change in their cities and communities. 

She is currently spearheading Common Purpose’s work with diaspora leaders.