"The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all us and incorporated into our common life" - Jane Addams

To my knowledge I believe that there is an ardent desire in most individuals to imbibe quality teachings, which would go a long way in helping them grow and influencing others for a positive change. Leadership development programmes provide forums for individuals to mould and nurture their abilities in the greater interest of the community.

I have often heard about leadership programmes and the productiveness derived out of them but have never had a chance to participate. So, when I got to know about a Common Purpose Global Leader Experiences programme being held at my university, I applied for it right away. Common Purpose provides individuals across places with the skills, networks and above all the inspiration to serve as better leaders in all aspects of life.

The morning of 4th August was greeted as usual by showers, yet my spirit was not dampened. I picked up my name card and walked into the room filled with then-strangers and tried to strike up a conversation only to find that all of them were very welcoming and pleasant. I discovered many others who were in some sense like me yet in many other senses very different. Over the four days of the event, I came to learn new perspectives and realize new aspirations, which I probably would not have done had I been in the safe arena of a comfortable set of friends.

What makes a City Smart? - The Global Leader Experiences Challenge

The world today is all about becoming smarter and living a more efficient life. The programme was geared towards finding the new innovations which do the same and hence, the challenge that was put before us was "What makes a city smart?"

'The city that never sleeps', 'the financial hub' and 'the city of myriad dreams' - Mumbai has many shades and - it being our host city - we focused on how to make it smarter. In order to address issues we visited many institutions - from large multi-national corporations to the small NGOs who, with their enigmatic leaders, were contributing within the limits of their means to make Mumbai better. Working in our groups we hunted for a single problem that we wanted to rectify. But even as we proceeded to work on that - we being a pool of students from different cities with differing perceptions of the problem - our antidotes were as diverse as we were. On the final day, after rigorous sessions with our respective mentors, we presented our ideas in a creative yet impactful way. The teams tried to address a whole set of issues relating to energy, transportation, waste management, better amenities and even corruption alleviation.

The Global Leader Experiences programme came at a time when I had only been living in Mumbai for one month - and I was still haunted by apprehensions of moving to a new place. Never did I imagine that I would be presented with so many wonderful people under one roof who, over the four days, had become good friends.

Besides instilling in me confidence, the Global Leader Experiences programme in Mumbai taught me how to work in a team, be a team leader who listens, and how to analyse, envisage and realize goals for society at large. It has helped me in recognizing that there is energy all around us and what is actually needed are the skills to harness and use the energy in the best way possible. I believe that life is an echo - the positivism of today reverberates through our future and all times to come. Many thanks to Common Purpose - My Mumbai Diaries are off to a brilliant start!

Common Purpose is running Global Leader Experiences in the 50 Magnet Cities of the world. A Magnet City has students from over 100 countries studying in it. So that students don't just graduate as Economists and Engineers. They are also networked, responsible, global leaders with Cultural Intelligence.