Case Studies

Alan Thornburrow

"It helped shape my world view and give insight to issues I had previously been blind to."

Name: Alan Thornburrow

Position: Scotland Director

Company: Business in the Community

Industry: Not-for-profit

Programme and year attended: 2008, Meridian

Hometown (City, Country): Edinburgh, UK

My Aha moment, Alan Thornburrow

"My Aha moment was doing Common Purpose Meridian over a decade ago and finding myself in Edinburgh Prison talking leadership challenges with the governor. It hit home to me how we all share very similar challenges in life and that by working together to learn and grow with each other, we are far more than the sum of our parts. I credit the role I am in today with my early engagement with Common Purpose and am eternally grateful as a result. I believe I've become a more socially and environmentally conscious leader by understanding the wider ecosystem around me and collaborating with partners I would never have thought of. To this day I often talk of leading beyond authority. Keep doing what you do, Common Purpose. Here's to the next 30 years."

  1. What are you most passionate about?
    Mobilizing action towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals. I am particularly passionate about the climate crisis and the need for urgent action.

  2. What/who inspires you?
    Too many to number! Inspiration can be found almost anywhere. From people trying to change the world such as Greta Thurnberg to someone starting a couch to 5K. The important thing is that we try – I think that is what ultimately inspires me.

  3. Why did you choose to attend a Common Purpose programme?
    I was a relatively new CEO at the time and wanted to learn and meet others who were in a similar place. To this day I still remember many of the shared experiences we had, the leadership insights and deep dive’s into other sectors, geographies. It helped shape my world view and give insight to issues I had previously been blind to.