Common Purpose is a global NGO that develops leaders who can cross boundaries. This enables them to solve complex problems in organizations and in cities.

For over 30 years, Common Purpose has delivered experiential programs in cities around the world. Increasingly, Common Purpose is working with partners in the US to develop the Cultural Intelligence of leaders at all levels, so they can cross boundaries of sector, specialization, geography, generation, background and belief. 




participants annually


cities globally

Rakesh Khurana , Dean, Harvard College

"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. This has important implications and raises questions about our current systems for those of us involved in educating and developing our future global citizens."



feel more able to engage with people who are different to them


are better able to create the conditions required for innovation to occur


are better able to navigate complex situations involving multiple stakeholders


are better able to adjust their behaviour to adapt to culturally diverse situations

Last year, globally, we worked with over 1,000 organizations including Harvard University, GE, University of Chicago, American Express Foundation, Boston University, Northern Trust, Chicago Community Trust, Grant Thornton and NYU.

Learn more about the impact we have on individuals, in organizations and in society.

American Express Leadership Academy

A leadership development experience supporting a new generation of Resilient Changemakers across the Americas.


Common Purpose is working with local partners in US cities, including Chicago, New York, and Boston to design and deliver Legacy Initiatives. Legacy is a global campaign by Common Purpose, which invests in young people across the world so they can become a connected generation of leaders with clear vision for what their legacy will be.

Chicago200 2019 | Common Purpose

Our Impact 2018-19 | Common Purpose

Paul Polman, Co-founder & Chair, IMAGINE

“There is no question that this world is changing faster than ever and that the pace of change will only increase. Companies and leaders who will survive – and thrive – are the ones who are agile, resilient and can continually reinvent themselves. They also have a deep sense of their purpose that anchors them. Common Purpose is truly unique in that it focuses on the leadership behaviours that will make this world a better place, for people, organizations and society.”


Our approach to leadership development uses a robust methodology which creates lasting impact.

Timothy J. McClimon, President, American Express Foundation

“Non-profit and social sector organizations are tackling some of our most challenging issues, and we believe fostering a pipeline of talent will help ensure non-profits thrive in the future. Our Leadership Academy programmes created in partnership with Common Purpose have proven to be an effective tool for building the leadership and business skills that are critical to the sector’s success.”