Case Studies

Antonia Swinson

Common Purpose alumna innovates ‘ethical workplace’ scheme

Whilst Antonia Swinson has always been passionate about social change, it was through Common Purpose she discovered how to become a leader who could make an impact. Initially a business writer, Antonia worked on early Common Purpose programmes in London in 1993 and has been an active member of our alumni community since then. Now she is a pioneering social entrepreneur launching a new ethical workplace accreditation.

“The learning I took away from Common Purpose turned me from a business feature writer into a columnist, capable of maintaining an award winning weekly column for a leading regional broadsheet (Scotland on Sunday). Because I knew how cities and the systems within them worked I was able to run many successful social campaigns on topics such as homelessness and ethical investment. I was able to take this one step further when launching Social Enterprise Scotland and now I’m back living in London, with my most recent social enterprise – the fairplace award. The Common Purpose approach is enormously helpful to leaders who want to innovate new ideas and put them into practice.”

Antonia’s new initiative, the fairplace award, aims to become a ‘FairTrade Mark’ standard for ethically run workplaces. Fairplace has been awarded so far to workplaces run by RBS, Sodexo, Kingston Uni and CAFOD.