United Diaspora

United Diaspora brings together young and emerging diaspora leaders across the many different diaspora of the world.

Common Purpose has worked with individual diaspora for many years. This has shown us that diaspora leaders – because they have feet in multiple places – are natural interpreters. We see how diaspora add value where they are and in their places of heritage. We believe they are uniquely placed to be bridge builders across the world at a time when there are so many forces of fragmentation.

Now we are bringing many diaspora together. Because we have found that they have much in common. They can learn from and support each other’s work and sometimes combine their efforts to achieve even more.

We first convened 60 different diaspora in Armenia – home to one of the oldest and most inspiring diaspora – in 2017. United Diaspora – run in London – brought together 85 young and emerging leaders in 2019. We plan to run United Diaspora in cities around the world over coming years.

Lauren Le Franc, Founder, The Little Coffee Company, and Chair, United Diaspora Advisory Group

"United Diaspora is a rare opportunity for young diaspora leaders to learn together, challenge each other and share their knowledge, skills and experiences."

United Diaspora 2019 | Common Purpose

Vimla Appadoo | United Diaspora 2019

How will it work?

Through a dynamic and well-tested process, participants will learn from one another and from established diaspora leaders from around the world.

There will be two guiding themes:

  • Leadership – they will develop their cross-boundary leadership through the Common Purpose learning frameworks of Cultural Intelligence and Leading Beyond Authority
  • Practical action – they will share with one another concrete examples of diaspora initiatives and examine success factors, pitfalls and lessons learnt. From this, they will help each other to develop their ideas or co-create new ones.
Nilufer Atalay, Trustee, Turkey Mozaik Foundation – Participant, United Diaspora 2019

“This programme was an incredible opportunity to meet with a very diverse group of diaspora leaders. It showed us that no matter where we come from or which identity or label we carry, our "stories" are very similar.”

Who is it for?

Why take part?

By developing the leadership skills and growing a multi diaspora community of bridge builders, participants will: 

• Learn how to lead across boundaries
• Help each other to find their own identity and purpose
• Share experiences and strategies for diaspora action
• Develop ideas for collaboration across diaspora.

As a result, they will have an ever-greater impact, sooner, as bridge builders across the world.

Who takes part?

Young and emerging leaders who have spent their lives with multiple geographical or cultural identities and become natural interpreters and bridge builders; who are interested in more than themselves.

As they contribute to multiple societies, they will have made things happen for the benefit of others.

© Bill Knight

Learning to Become Culturally Intelligent at United Diaspora

Chidinma Okorie (BA, MSc.), Doctoral Researcher at Loughborough University, reflects on her passion for inspiring and motivating other Afro-Caribbean diaspora, as well as some of the obstacles she faces as a diaspora leader. Chidinma shares her learnings from the 2019 United Diaspora programme and how Julia Middleton’s talk on CQ stimulated questions and conversations that enabled her to become more culturally intelligent.

© Bill Knight

How Rua raised diaspora voices

When reflecting on some of the challenges she has faced as a diaspora leader, Rua Alshekh, Media and Sociology PhD graduate, notes that meeting members of other diaspora groups with similar experiences to her own has proved difficult. Leaving her country of origin at sixteen years old, Rua was keen to meet other diaspora leaders to explore how to contribute to both her country of heritage and a new culture. Attending the United Diaspora  programme allowed Rua to interact with different diaspora of the world, sharing experiences and strategies for diaspora action.

United Diaspora 2019 Impact Report

Find out more about the impact the 2019 United Diaspora programme had on participants. 

© Bill Knight

Find out more

United Diaspora was held in London, on 30 April & 1 May 2019

If you are interested in future United Diaspora programmes, please contact Joanna Hancox, Business Director.

Antoinette Mthabela, Associate, Bank of America Merrill Lynch – Participant, United Diaspora 2019

"A great way to meet emerging and established leaders and to learn about the impactful initiatives they are leading to drive a change in their diaspora communities."

© Bill Knight

© Bill Knight