Next week, 100 Commonwealth leaders come to the UK as part of the CSCLeaders programme. Their challenge is to think about: “What would produce a step change in how the public, private and not for profit sectors work together?”

And where better to think about that challenge than in two of the UK’s great core cities—Manchester and Glasgow. Both are cities with long histories of collaboration, partnership and ambition—cities that have reinvented themselves when the industries that they were built on no longer served them well. They did that by creating civic friendships across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. And of course, both hosted some of the best Commonwealth Games of recent years.

At Common Purpose, we’re proud to have played our part in both cities: helping leaders to cross boundaries by introducing them to people and places that they never knew existed; showing them that through partnership and collaboration they might do things differently.

Both Manchester and Glasgow are interesting, exciting and complex places. Our visitors will experience some of that excitement themselves as they visit everything from Coronation Street to the National Graphene Institute, from the Kelpies to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. They will see the legacy of the Games in each city—the social and economic as well as the physical infrastructure of the stadia and sports complexes.

I’m looking forward to joining them in both Manchester and Glasgow. I’m certain that the stories each city has to tell will provide valuable perspectives as this international group of leaders work together to tackle similar challenges in cities around the world.

Follow @CSCLeaders on twitter for the latest updates on the programme.