As a philanthropist it’s important to see that my investments make a significant impact.

I recently contributed at this year’s Global Philanthropy Forum in Washington DC. As well as it being an opportunity to talk about the work I have done with the Prior Park School and my own organisation, the Mowgli Foundation, I was also pleased to speak about Common Purpose Global Leader Experiences (GLE).

In 2014, when Common Purpose was first developing GLE programmes for students, I made a strategic philanthropic investment so the project at a very early stage could grow and become sustainable given the appropriate investment. The programme seeks to develop the next generation of leaders so that they are able to collaborate and lead across geographies, sectors, backgrounds and generations. And this was to happen in 50 of the Magnet Cities of the world - an ambitious target!

I believed in the GLE concept. Cultural Intelligence (CQ) is such an important issue for the next generation because more and more of the problems we face will be global and will be spread across multiple cultures. We need to get the next generation out of their comfort zone to work collectively on the major issues of the world.

Students making presentations at a GLE in Oxford

Over a year on, I’m delighted with the immediate impact I’ve seen. The free programme has run for students in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore, London, Trinidad, Boston, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Bristol, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Johannesburg, Oxford and Montreal. Students have developed their leadership skills with peers from other cultures – both on the programme itself and then as part of an energetic alumni community via the Common Purpose MOIC.

As Common Purpose looks towards the remaining Magnet Cities, I’m optimistic that the team will continue to deliver excellent programmes and that Global Leader Experiences will challenge and inspire many more students to become global leaders in the future.