Common Purpose / 1 September 2023

Senior and young professionals come together to bring greater impact to the new economy field in new Academy

"I feel more empowered, more connected, and more supported."


In today’s world, working at the cutting edge of economic thinking and practice is challenging, and new ideas are not always recognised or well received when they go against the status quo. To help address this challenge, Partners for a New Economy (P4NE) was set up to fund and support organisations that are working to redesign the economy for nature and all people to flourish. In 2023, they collaborated with Common Purpose and Mowgli Mentoring to launch an exciting international leadership programme for the field.

The inaugural New Economy Leaders Academy, brought 27 senior and young professionals together from 11 countries. They’ve taken part in a powerful 10-month journey with their peers, forming new connections and practicing powerful leadership skills and capabilities.

Jo Swinson, Director at P4NE believes that to bring about a fair and green future for both nature and all people, we need leaders who can work across sectors and different disciplines in order to transform the economy: “We hope that this Academy gave people in this nascent field some space and support to develop these skills and help to weave closer connections between these new economy leaders.”

Francesca Gater, Strategic Communications Manager for ZOE Institute for Future Fit Economies, took part in the Academy and was inspired by the programme’s concept of Leading Beyond Authority (LBA): “If you think you want to be a leader but [you don’t want to] follow the example of most so-called leaders you see around you, then Leading Beyond Authority is a great place to start. I feel more empowered, more connected, and more supported.”

The practice of LBA gives participants a new way of thinking about their role as leaders in the new economy space, and the movements it intersects with.  This includes a deeper understanding about how to broaden their impact by adapting to new situations and contexts, as well as new ways to work with a wide range of stakeholders and to break down silos and barriers to achieve the change they seek.  

Another major element of the programme is within its cross-organisational mentoring module, which matches young and senior professionals. This has unlocked mutual benefits, fresh perspectives and valuable insights, ultimately fostering a culture of continuous growth and further enhancing the development of both the individual and their organisations.

The Academy also weaves stronger connections between people across the new economy field. This ultimately enables a space where ideas can be traded and strategies compared, where a sense of solidarity and a shared vision helps to sustain movement and continued efforts to bring about change for people and planet to flourish. 

Ben Allen, Research Director at the Institute for European Environmental Policy, pointed out that this is particularly crucial in the sustainability sector.

“Being able to step out of the day-to-day, share thoughts and develop together as peers has been more important than I had imagined. I'd encourage anyone feeling lonely in their sustainability journey to take such an opportunity if they can.”

Applications for 2024 are now open. Discover more details about the programme schedule and apply here.


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