In every society, there is an invisible, vital 'space'. It lies
between the individual and the state, between the immediate
responsibilities facing each individual and the institutional
responsibilities of the government. It is a place where people come
together and act for the greater good. And it is open to everyone,
from every sector of society.
In an unhealthy society, this space is empty. People leave the
decisions to governments. They are active in their private lives,
but passive towards the world around them.
In a healthy society, this space is full. It teems with
individuals, businesses, community organisations and political
groups. It is alive with energy and entrepreneurial activity.
People hold institutions and the powerful to account. They oppose
and propose. And, free from the short-term pressures, they can
think and act for the longer term and in the wider interest of
At Common Purpose, we have a passionate belief in the importance of
this space. In our view, this is at the core of society. Active not
passive. Involving the best leadership from all parts of the
Our aim is to fill this space with as many people as possible-
people who may not see themselves as leaders in a traditional
sense- and to give them the knowledge, inspiration and connections
they need to be effective. To encourage all kinds of people into it
- and to see all kinds of initiatives come out of it. To discover
new leaders in the bustling crowd - and to show the lone voices
that they are not alone.
We develop leaders who can lead beyond their direct area of
authority. Who can sustain broader perspectives and who are
confident in making connections between quite different groups of
people and reconciling different worlds.
We believe that they will then be able to counterbalance the forces
of fragmentation in society, getting communities to work better
together. They will be better at using and combining scarce
resources. And though they may only seldom produce huge shifts,
they will deliver the accumulation of many small ones from which
most change emerges.
As we create a common educational experience within and across
many countries, Common Purpose remains independent and non-aligned.
We are always balanced and owe no historical or other allegiance to
any other group. Our independence is reflected in our governance,
finances, partnerships, behaviour and curriculum.
Professional teams create innovative and ingenious ways of working
to ensure that all Common Purpose activities are high quality,
stimulating, imaginative and fun. The internationally recognised
Chatham House Rule is respected on all programmes as an aid to free
discussion. We draw on the widest possible variety of sectors,
areas, beliefs and social groups. We would only exclude
organisations or individuals if they deliberately promoted the use
of violence or incited race or religious hatred. We aim to be
self-financing but work hard so that inability (as distinct from
unwillingness) to pay is not a barrier to involvement in our
Common Purpose staff behave as leaders themselves, delivering
quality, taking risks, building on successes, adapting and evolving
as society does across time and place and context. They seldom give