The HKU-Common Purpose programme is an immersive experience that takes students out of their comfort zone and into a new city to develop their Cultural Intelligence (CQ): the ability to cross divides and thrive in multiple cultures.
“I learnt the art of self-reflection, taking your own actions and thoughts into consideration, drawing inspiration from the amazing people around you and trying to integrate all of these things to be a better version of yourself.”
"Hong Kong is - and will continue to - experience a time of significant transition, and for that, there is a need for a new approach to leadership that fosters collaboration and expands the potential for the private, public and not-for-profit sectors to work together for the benefit of the community."
“My work with my organization involved working with different stakeholders, all of whom had very different goals. We had to find an equilibrium in regard to all of their goals, allowing us to have a taste of making complex decisions.”
In March you will join over 200 selected students on campus for a one-day launch workshop. The workshop will prepare you for the Programme ahead; setting out the objectives and key milestones in the months between March and October. You will be placed into a pre-assigned group of 10 students from various backgrounds and disciplines; you will continue to work with this group throughout the entire Programme.
To prepare for your immersion into a new culture, you will first complete a two-week online course on Cultural Intelligence – the leadership approach that underpins your immersion in either Bangalore, Shanghai, Yangon or Manila. The course will help you develop the CQ to collaborate with a diverse range of people, broaden your horizons by engaging with a diverse network of your peers, understand how CQ helps leaders make better decisions and learn how to adapt in unfamiliar environments.
Week 1: Arrival in, introduction to and immersion into the city (Bangalore, Shanghai, Manila and Yangon)
The programme will start with a week-long immersion into your destination city. We will set the framework for the programme, continue to build the group and help you to understand the context and learning journey.
Facilitated workshops will build connections and explore the diversity of experiences, backgrounds and perspectives in the group. You will explore techniques of effective questioning and active listening - insights, tips and techniques on powerful conversations and how to actively listen and ask the right questions.
You will hear from senior leaders and visit organisations across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors to explore the city – how does it work, how do leaders and organisations operate and collaborate within it, what are the biggest challenges and opportunities and how does it fit into the wider country and community?
Finally your host organizations will join us to introduce themselves, share what you will be working on with them and set expectations for the following two weeks.
Weeks 2-3: Host Organizations
You will spend two weeks working with a host organization. Each host organization will have a project or challenge for you to work on - big enough to test you but small enough to be tackled meaningfully in two weeks. The organizations come from a range of fields, including professional services, the voluntary sector and the Civil Service.
The final two days: Presentation and feedback
You will reconvene as a whole city group for the final two days. Spend a day preparing presentations on your findings, outcomes and leadership learning which you will present the following day. Sessions will explore how leaders resonate with diverse audiences will prepare you for the presentations.
Each group will present to their host organization and get feedback, both on learning and presentation skills.
Reflection sessions on the whole learning journey ensure you are able to interpret, internalise and articulate the learning and development.
All four immersion groups will get back together in Hong Kong, along with alumni of past Hong Kong University Leadership Development Programmes. Reflect on your experience and development, share how far you have come since your immersion and consider “what next?”.
“This programme taught me to appreciate and understand opinions from different people, analyse them critically and make better decisions.”
“A unique opportunity to learn about the limitless options of leadership and bring positive change to society.”
“One of the most intense things I’ve done but also the most satisfying.”
“In our ever more complex and interconnected world which has no obvious historical parallel, Common Purpose has developed a breakthrough idea about the importance of cultural intelligence in order to navigate both this new world and its contradictions. It has important implications and raises questions about our current systems for those of us involved in educating and developing our future global citizens.”