About us

Common Purpose runs courses which give people the skills, connections and inspiration to become better leaders both at work and in society.


Common Purpose is an independent, international leadership development organisation. We give people from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors the inspiration, skills and connections to become better leaders at work and in society. We develop their ability to work together, innovate and to thrive in different cultures - this helps people, organisations, cities and regions to succeed.

Founded in 1989 as a not-for-profit social enterprise, Common Purpose is both local and global. We run local courses for leaders in  cities across the world, and global programmes bring together leaders from over 100 countries across six continents.This year, 4,000 leaders will become Common Purpose alumni.


"Of all the leadership programmes that I know of, those run by Common Purpose are by far the best, you only have to see the lasting effect on those who have participated in them to know that they work and work well. Civil society in a wide range of countries has benefited hugely from Common Purpose."

Professor Charles Handy, Management writer and broadcaster

An introduction to Common Purpose

"It is because women have been kept out of many positions of power they have got better at leading beyond authority and working on the margins. They have learnt to create power."

Roisin McDonough
Chief Executive, Arts Council of Northern Ireland