Common Purpose is 30

What kind of leaders do we want our generation to become?

UK101 Online Programme

In 1948, leaders across the UK started the National Health Service. It was a bold act that created what has since become a symbol of the values that unite the UK. They were remarkable leaders.

Young people today will be the leaders when the NHS turns 101 years old, in thirty years’ time. Inspired by the visionary leaders who founded the NHS, UK101 has asked young people from across the UK "What kind of leaders do you want your generation to become?” The result is the UK101 leadership model, which was co-created by over 1000 young leaders in the UK.

The free, online UK101 programme brings this model to life. It helps you build your UK101 leadership competencies, so that you can match the ambition of the leaders in 1948 and create your generation’s own unique legacy. Those who complete the programme will also receive the UK101 Leadership Badge: an online badge you can use to set yourself apart as a UK101 leader.

UK101 is part of Legacy – a global campaign by Common Purpose.

There are no dates set for a future programme at this stage. However, we are currently running our place based programmes in Newcastle, Lancashire, Leeds, Bradford and Sheffield which may be of interest to you.

Nikhwat Marawat, Founder and Co-Director, The Delicate Mind

“The NHS was revolutionary. How will we rival such an act? Our generation will need a more nuanced understanding of each other if we are going to.”

What is UK101 Leadership?

We asked 1000 young people across the UK what kind of leaders they want to become. We condensed the insights we gained, and the result is UK101 Leadership.

As RADICAL leaders, we will:

  • Get to the root causes of issues
  • Take risks, matching the scale of our actions to the scale of the problems
  • Take both individual responsibility and collective action

As EMBRACING leaders, we will:

  • Value what makes ourselves and others different
  • Share power of position, influence, and access
  • Create the environment to hold difficult conversations and reconcile difference.

As STRATEGIC leaders, we will:

  • Mobilize people, power, and technology with a clear message and plan
  • Use, share, and receive data responsibly.
  • Have the humility to change our minds and learn from our mistakes.

As RESILIENT leaders, we will:

  • Know our self-worth and cope with pushback when it comes
  • Celebrate progress to overcome overwhelm at the scale of the problems
  • Forgive – mistakes, differences, the past – and move on

UK101 is a fresh, new perspective on what it means to be a leader, entirely co-created by and for the younger generation. UK101 Leaders combine and strike a balance between four elements: being Radical, Strategic, Embracing, and Resilient. The young people we consulted want to become Radical leaders, to create a legacy as game-changing as the NHS. But they also want to be equal parts Embracing, so as to engage others and see all the angles and perspectives. Similarly, to get take-off on their Radical ideas, they want to be Strategic to move from talk to action. They’ll also need to be Resilient to commit to the long haul of being Strategic, and cope with the uncomfortable views they hear while being Radical and Embracing. Without Radical, they’ll lack scale; without Resilient, they’ll burn out; without Strategic, they’ll get lost; without Embracing, they’ll not build momentum.

Curious to learn more about what it means to be a UK101 Leader? Let us know and we'll sign you up when we run our next cohort of UK101.

To learn more about our Online Legacy Programmes and the co-creation of leadership models, please refer to the document on the Legacy Programmes page.

Programme outcomes

Social capital

Over the years, a diverse generation of young leaders will emerge who see themselves as UK101 leaders: thinking beyond tomorrow and connecting beyond their part of the UK.

Youth action

As UK101 alumni begin engaging as citizens, they will use their leadership skills to develop ideas together. A few ideas will emerge which will turn into reality.

Leadership vision

The UK101 alumni will communicate their vision and language of leadership through local and national media and discussions with senior leaders. 

Global connectivity

UK101 alumni will forge links with the alumni of the many other Common Purpose Legacy Programmes worldwide. 

Luke Batten, National Sales Manager, Hermes

“Legacy starts now. Now is the time to act if we want to have had an impact in 20 to 30 years.”

More information

What is UK101?

UK101 is a free, online leadership development programme that explores the concept of UK101 Leadership. As a participant, you will learn alongside a diverse group of peers to develop your own UK101 leadership skills through interactive exercises, engaging articles, and discussion forums. You will also hear stories of UK101 leadership from a wide range of senior and emerging leaders, such as a migrant rights activist, a social entrepreneur, a scientist, an Extinction Rebellion organizer, a former NHS doctor, a mother and daughter duo, and the head of a university business school. The programme takes between 4-6 hours which you can complete at your own pace during the 6-week cohort.


After completing the UK101 programme you will: 

  1. Gain the awareness and confidence to call yourself a UK101 Leader
  2. Learn skills and tools to practice UK101 Leadership in your own context
  3. Build connections with your peers -- other leaders from across the UK
  4. Earn a digital UK101 Leadership Badge that you can display on your LinkedIn profile and CV
  5. Become part of the Common Purpose alumni network
  6. Have the opportunity to receive free, personalized leadership coaching sessions

Register for UK101

Who can take part?

UK101 is open to all young people in the UK, ages 18-25.

The only thing these young people will have in common is their generation; some will be in employment, some not; some studying, some caring; some finding their way, others already making their way. Some in cities, others in rural communities. Many will be passionate activists, others will be discovering their own causes or quietly volunteering.

How can I take part?

You can register your interest in the next cohort of UK101 here.

Coaching sessions

We are delighted to offer free digital UK101 coaching sessions to some of our UK101 alumni.

Offered in partnership with the UK Chapter of the International Coach Federation, and with LevelUp powered by Know You More. During these coaching sessions, you will meet with their very own personal coach over three 1-hour virtual conversations. The coach will provide you with resources and tools to amplify your UK101 learnings. These confidential sessions will be with an ICF credentialed coach from Know You More, and matched to you through Know You More's platform. The sessions are designed to help you build on what you've learned from the programme, develop ideas to translate UK101 into action, and maximize your impact as a UK101 leader. Each cohort, we are able to offer a limited number of coaching sessions to UK101 programme alumni. To learn more, click here.

Kate Ashworth, Student Development Manager, Lancaster University Students’ Union

“I see lots of amazing young people who need real world confidence. They need help in problem solving rather than just sending messages.”

Bharat Mehta CBE, Chief Executive, Trust for London

“The Trust for London is pleased to be one of the UK Foundations supporting UK101. The creation of the NHS was a bold, brave and unifying act undertaken by a broad base of leaders across civil society of its day. And it happened just after the UK had survived a very bruising period in its history. The NHS has become a huge binding force in the UK and an inspiration to the world. Enabling today’s young people to become leaders who will match this ambition in their own way in very different times is inspired."