Sky Blue

/skʌɪˈbluː/ n. 1. The colour of the unclouded sky at noon

Sky Blue is an online leadership programme for people who are working on our environmental challenges.

To tackle these challenges, we will need to re-imagine and transform the systems that support our way of life. This will require a multi-disciplinary approach.

We need leaders who can cross the boundaries of sector, generation, professional discipline and belief, and who can build cross sector collaborations that deliver results.

Sky Blue brings together a dynamic group of leaders from around the world, from many different fields, who have a common focus – our environment.

It gives them the cross-boundary leadership skills and broader networks to increase their impact, and a community of practice that enables the exchange of experience, ideas and strategies with their peers.

David Miller, Director of International Diplomacy, C40 Cities

"Sky Blue brings together leaders from all sectors and backgrounds to work collaboratively on our environmental challenges. Building these networks of collaboration is the only way to address our big challenges: Sky Blue is an idea whose time has come."

Why collaboration matters

Collaboration – between sectors, organizations and individuals – is hard. The different agendas, objectives and motivations of the parties involved means that they often fail. Or, they may succeed on the face of it, but the original ambition is lost because relationships deteriorate or the priorities of the partners become more important than the collective vision.

Collaborations that tackle environmental challenges are no different; many of the issues are extremely complex and cannot be solved by any one individual, organization or sector, working alone.

The reward for effective collaboration is undeniable; and if we want people and our environment to flourish we need collaboration to work.

Sky Blue gives leaders at the heart of tackling these issues the skills, connections and peer-support that will increase their chances of success. Enabling them to create the quality of collaboration that is needed if we are to deliver sustainable, and socially just, solutions for both people and nature.

The aim, with this programme as the first step, is to convene a community of leaders around the world who are committed to our environment and who are working collaboratively, across sectors, to create a sustainable future.

Find out more

Find out more about Sky Blue and its impact.

O’Brian Kamwale, Senior Wildlife Policy Officer, Department of National Parks and Wildlife

"Sky Blue has helped develop my leadership and improve my communication skills. I am able to reach out and talk to the neighbouring community members, as well as the clans and tribe elders about the functions, values and benefits of the eco systems and biodiversity that we conserve in the park."

What is cross-boundary leadership?

For 30 years, Common Purpose has developed leaders who can cross boundaries – between sector, specialism, geography, generation, background and belief. We will bring our cross-boundary leadership knowledge to Sky Blue.

Leading Beyond Authority (LBA)

The ability to produce change beyond your direct circle of control. People who develop this ability are more effective in unfamiliar territory, where the authority (or credibility) gained in their own organization or sector is often not present.

Cultural Intelligence (CQ)

The ability to cross divides and thrive in multiple cultures. Our simple and empowering CQ framework helps leaders unpack their own culture and confidently work with others.

Emma Reiss, Project Development Engineer, Jenx Ltd

"The cross-boundary aspect of Sky Blue has made it one of my most valuable educational experiences to date. We were really encouraged to challenge assumptions and collaborate well to tackle complex issues."

What the participants say about Sky Blue:


feel better prepared to work collaboratively


feel better prepared to make an impact on environmental challenges


would recommend Sky Blue to another person

Stefano Tronci, Associate Principal, Woods Bagot

"I have changed my approach to promoting sustainability across my industry. Attending Sky Blue has helped me strengthen the way I communicate sustainability in design and the way I impact my team and our sustainability effort across the company."


We want to gather an exciting and dynamic mix of people from different disciplines, geographies and generations. Diversity is important to creativity (and resilience) and we aim to convene a group of people that will inspire, challenge and support one another to develop existing projects and create new ones.

Is Sky Blue for me?

This programme is for you if you are:

  • working on a project, idea, challenge, or issue related to the environment that requires you to work with people from other sectors
  • want to connect with leaders from different generations, fields and disciplines from around the world who are working on environmental issues
  • prepared to bring your ideas, expertise and experience and share them with your peers.

Application deadline: Sunday 2 July, 2023 midnight BST

Programme start date: Tuesday 5 September, 2023

Language: Sky Blue is conducted in English. You will be discussing leadership issues live online so proficiency in spoken English is required.

What will it cost? The fee for Sky Blue is £1,995 for those who are able to pay. We want to ensure that our participant group is as diverse as possible and ability to pay should not prevent anyone from applying. Bursaries are available - if you would like to apply for a bursary or you will have difficulty in paying the full fee please complete the relevant section on the application form. Applicants from the Global South and those from not for profit organizations will be given priority when awarding bursaries.

Want to find out more? If you would like to discuss the programme please contact us.

Lynda Mansson, Director General, MAVA Foundation

“We wanted to work with Common Purpose on the MAVA Leaders for Nature Academy because of their track record, and their expertise in cross-boundary leadership. It has proved to be a very successful and fruitful partnership. It is hugely important that leaders working in conservation, and the wider environmental movement, are able to work collaboratively with leaders from other fields.”