Building on the success of our annual Global Leader Experience programme in Boston with Harvard, MIT and Brown we’ve recently run a very successful Global Leader Experience in Chicago in partnership with the University of Chicago and BP for students from the University of Chicago, Northwestern, DePaul and others. 100 students from over 20 nationalities spent 4 days developing their Cultural Intelligence, networks and ability to tackle complex global issues, in this instance they tackled the Challenge: ‘how do you prevent city sprawl?’

The programme highlighted what Jonathan Donner, Chief, Capability Development, World Food Programme and Chair, Common Purpose Student Experiences says about students in his home country of the US, that they: ‘have a different perspective to any generation before them and have a huge hunger for experiences outside of the university setting’. This is mirrored by Shuvo Saha, Director, Google Digital Academy and Trustee, Common Purpose Student Experiences in his article in Times Higher Education where he talks of a new type of graduate talent he sees at Google and on our Global Leader Experiences who are self propelled learners, comfortable with ambiguity, connectors with a thirst to learn from, and with, people who aren’t like them.

Beyond Boston and Chicago we will shortly be launching our programmes in New York. The University of Leeds are sending their students on a Study Abroad programme to New York in June 2016 and in January 2017 we will be running a Global Leader Experience with New York University for students at NYU and across the city.

“The fact that everyone came from such culturally diverse backgrounds challenged me to adapt my behaviour in a way that was sensitive yet productive. The roundtable activity we had on the first day, in which we discussed our individual perspectives toward a wide range of issues, showed me how incredibly unique each person is and how easy it often is to dismiss diversity as a hindrance to collaboration and productivity. However, after working with a diverse team and coming up with an amazing solution to our problem by the end of the conference, I witnessed firsthand how cultural diversity can be leveraged as a powerful asset in a team environment, and have certainly adopted a new outlook toward cultural difference.” Jing Lee, Student, Northwestern University and Participant on Global Leader Experience Chicago