People I talk to often think they are well-networked but in most cases, they are well-networked with people in their own industry or sector – lawyers with lawyers, academics with academics and so forth. What I love about Common Purpose programmes, and especially CSCLeaders, is that the participants are truly diverse.

In May, after months of recruitment and planning, it was fabulous to finally meet the CSCLeaders 2017 participants. Drawn from 20 countries across the Commonwealth, the group span a wide range of industries, sectors and cultures. Seeing the Director of Education from Monash University, the Group Treasurer of global engineering firm Weir Group, and the Founder of Masoom – a charitable trust transforming night schools in Mumbai – share ideas and learn about each other’s approaches, challenges and leadership styles reminded me why I love what we do.

The group started the programme in May as strangers and were immersed in London visiting different organizations to investigate this year’s challenge: What could be the future of energy in Commonwealth cities? At the end of the first part of the programme, participants formed strong relationships across cultural boundaries.

Coming up soon is the next part of the CSCLeaders 2017 programme, which we will reconvene in a different Commonwealth city. This time, in Mumbai, participants will explore leadership, innovation and the challenge in a very different context.

Some of the CSCLeaders alumni will also join the group, providing a fabulous opportunity to the participants to further develop their global network, and build valuable long-lasting relationships with senior leaders from all walks of life across the Commonwealth, and create a truly diverse network.