Leadership programmes


Programmes for leaders who want to increase their impact at home and in their place of heritage – and build bridges between the two.

Common Purpose has worked with diaspora leaders for many years – we run programmes for specific diaspora communities and for leaders across the many different diaspora of the world.

Will Somerville, UK Director, Unbound Philanthropy

“We supported Common Purpose because we were impressed by their programmes for diaspora leaders. What was most inspiring was the quality of the people taking part, and the way that the programmes unleashed their creativity and new energy to tackle the challenges in their communities in the UK, and their countries of origin. The value that diaspora leaders can bring was really evident.”



Read the Pakistani Diaspora Leaders Impact Report.

Examples of our programmes

Our first United Diaspora programme brought together young and emerging diaspora leaders across the many different diaspora of the world.
Syrian Diaspora Leaders Programme | Common Purpose and Penny Appeal 2019
Samara Atassi, Co-Founder & Board Member, Souriyat Across Borders – Participant, Syrian Diaspora Leaders Programme 2019

“This is the first workshop, of many I have attended, that gave me a huge amount of positive energy, changed my perspective and encouraged me to put new plans in my life. It increased my capability, gave me many new skills and increased the possibility of collective future work in the diaspora.”

Our work has shown us that diaspora leaders – because they have feet in multiple places – are often natural interpreters. We see how diaspora leaders add value both where they are and in their places of heritage. We believe that they are uniquely placed to be bridge builders at a time when there are many forces of fragmentation.

To help diaspora leaders to fulfil their bridge building promise, we design and deliver leadership programmes that:

  • develop their cross-boundary leadership skills, drawing on our thought leadership in Leading Beyond Authority and Cultural Intelligence
  • enable them to increase their impact and social capital where they live, in their places of heritage, between the two and between each other
  • amplify their efforts – by growing a community of people who support, challenge and collaborate with one another.

Our aim is to generate more effective, inspired and co-ordinated diaspora effort in the world.

Siobhan Flax, Social and Cultural Officer, British Virgin Islands (London Office) – Participant, United Diaspora 2019

"Diaspora has a new meaning for me since the United Diaspora experience. I have enjoyed the richness of the range of participants and I am inspired by the shared ideas. United Diaspora is one of the most meaningful programmes that I have attended, two days well spent.”


A programme for young and emerging diaspora leaders across the many different diaspora of the world.

A programme for Syrian leaders in the diaspora that aims to build their capacity to contribute to Syria and to the diaspora community.

A programme for Pakistani diaspora leaders, to build their capacity to contribute to Pakistan and to the diaspora community in the UK.

A programme for leaders who want to increase their impact in Bangladesh and the UK – and build bridges between the two.

A programme for emerging civil society leaders in Lebanon.


Common Purpose International is governed by an independent Board of Trustees.