Common Purpose South Africa

Common Purpose is a global leadership organization devoted to developing leaders who can cross boundaries. Both at work and in society.

We deliver open programmes as well as customized, in-house programmes. Our career entry level is with students, and we deliver programmes for new graduates, staff in early to mid-career, as well as senior leaders. 

500 Leaders campaign

2019 marked the 25th anniversary of our democracy and our election year. These 25 years have taught us that nation building is not easy. But this election year presents an opportunity to look to the future and to renew our efforts to create the South Africa we want.

500 Leaders is a way of doing this. It is a three-year campaign that targets 500 of our brightest and best emerging leaders in early to mid career, from across business, government, and the non-profit sector. In sectorally diverse groups of 50 participants at a time, the participants undergo our streetwise mba leadership training to develop their skills as inclusive and agile leaders.

This growing and diverse network of young leaders is then tasked to rise to the challenges of their own organizations and to become a powerful inter-sectoral network, contributing towards solutions to some of our current major national challenges. They will have ongoing, privileged access to key leaders in South Africa, who will engage them in robust inter-generational dialogue around key issues, and involve them in addressing these matters.

Organizations become campaign champions by sending 10 participants a year for 3 years. To sign up, click here.

Individuals join the campaign by signing up to attend the streetwise mba. Find out more about the streetwise mba here.

Find out more about Common Purpose South Africa, our people and our governance.


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

Common Purpose delivers leadership programmes in 100 cities around the world. Learn more about the impact our programmes have on individuals, organizations and society.

Lindiwe Mavuso, Founder, Afro-Optimist

"I’ve met people I never would have met, I’ve realized that entrepreneurs and leaders go through the same challenges as I do, I’ve been inspired by people’s achievements, resilience and ability to overcome adversity. I now have a new and valuable network I trust and I can tap into!"