Common Purpose and the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement have partnered on a global leadership programme as part of the University's inaugural Civic Leadership Academy‎, which prepares emerging and high-potential leaders in non-profit and local government organisations in Chicago for greater civic leadership.

In June, a group of Fellows from the 2015 Civic Leadership Academy class travelled to Johannesburg for a five-day programme to explore civic leadership from the perspective of another country and city. The main objectives of the programme were to expand the horizons of the Fellows, develop their Cultural Intelligence (CQ) and their ability to Lead Beyond Authority and in the process build long-lasting relationships with their peers from Johannesburg.

The programme included visits to organisations across the city, including the Constitutional Court, Helen Joseph Hospital, the City of Johannesburg, Phuthaditjaba Community Centre, Alexandra Renewal Project and Corruption Watch. The Fellows explored civic challenges with senior leaders from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.‎ It was a chance for leaders from both cities to exchange experience, knowledge and ideas.

“The University launched the Civic Leadership Academy to invest in rising leaders, cultivate cross-sector collaboration among nonprofits and government, and encourage new approaches to solving urban challenges,” said Derek Douglas, Vice President for Civic Engagement for the University of Chicago. “The Fellows’ trip to South Africa provided a unique opportunity for them to learn about civic leadership from an international perspective, which will help them make a greater impact in their own communities. We chose to partner with Common Purpose because of the depth of their experience and their understanding of civic and city leadership.”

The Civic Leadership Academy is a certificate programme developed through a partnership of the Office of Civic Engagement and the University’s professional schools: Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, the School of Social Service Administration, Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies, Chicago Booth School of Business and University of Chicago Law School.