Wednesday, 27 June 2012

London and Shanghai a tale of two cities for next-generation leaders

Common Purpose
Next-generation leaders meet in London for the inaugural
 Dao Xiang Venture organised by Common Purpose.
It'll be a tale of two cities when next-generation leaders from both London and Shanghai get together in the UK's capital.

The 30-strong group of the brightest and the best young leaders aims to tackle the social challenges common to both cities.

And they'll have the support of the mayors of London and Shanghai, Boris Johnson and Han Zheng.

The inaugural Dao Xiang Venture, run by international leadership development organisation Common Purpose, will take place early next month at Devonport House and City Hall.

During the four-day Venture, beginning July 2, participants will be set the challenge of developing collaborative practical methods to tackle social challenges caused by ever increasing urbanisation in the two cities.

The group will also meet Mayor of London Boris Johnson at City Hall where he will host a reception for the participants.

Mr Johnson, who is also a member of the Dao Xiang Advisory Group, said, "Dao Xiang is a great project. Bringing together the brightest and best young leaders from Shanghai and London is a fantastic way to learn from each other and strengthen the developing bonds between our two great cities.

"I know previous Common Purpose Ventures have delivered some creative, innovative solutions to different problems and I can't wait to see the ideas that are produced this time."

Julia Middleton, Chief Executive and founder of Common Purpose, said, "Both London and Shanghai have long history, dynamic entrepreneurs, young and growing populations and huge challenges in common.

"Getting the next generation of their leaders together to tackle common problems seems only right. The outcome will strengthen relationships which defy the cultural differences. Our Ventures reveal just how small the world is."

Participants are from organisations including UBM Sinoexpo International Exhibition Co. Ltd, Constructing Futures, UBM China, UBM London, British Council Shanghai, Small Axe, Shanghai Cultural Square, PwC, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Southbank Centre, The Royal Bank of Scotland Group and CBN weekly.

International sponsors supporting the Venture include Cisco, PwC, UBM and GlaxoSmithKline.

Jennifer Duvalier, Group People and Culture Director at UBM, said, "For UBM, supporting the development of leaders of our businesses in China and in the UK is an important enabler of our strategy for growth.

"We also believe that experience is the best classroom, and that bringing leaders from different cultures and backgrounds to learn together is very powerful in creating positive outcomes. Dao Xiang is a great vehicle for this kind of development experience, and UBM is proud to be involved."

For more than two decades, Common Purpose, an independent international leadership development organisation, has designed and delivered courses helping people at all stages of their career to become more effective leaders in society.

It was founded by Julia Middleton in 1989 and currently delivers leadership development opportunities in nearly 40 cities across 12 countries, including France, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, MENA, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey and the UK.

There are 35,000 Common Purpose alumni around the world and each year, 3,000 people complete a Common Purpose course. To attract the widest range of potential participants from a diverse range of backgrounds, Common Purpose provides approximately 600 bursaries a year for those who could not otherwise afford to attend.

The courses give people from the private, public and not-for-profit sector the inspiration, skills and connections to become better leaders both at work and in society. Common Purpose helps people, organisations, cities and regions to succeed, by broadening the horizons of their leaders and developing their ability to work together and lead complex change.

Dao Xiang, meaning 'direction' in Mandarin, is part of a series of Ventures run by Common Purpose to expand, enrich and energise relations between two or more locations.

Other Ventures Common Purpose is currently delivering include Dishaa (India, UK), Itijah (Europe and the Arab World), and Kompas (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania), with further Ventures in development including Phambili (South Africa, UK), Yon (Turkey, UK), and Dou Heung (Hong Kong, Scotland).

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