CSCLeaders 2014 concludes in Delhi

Delhi is a city that bridges two different worlds. Old Delhi, a maze of narrow lanes lined with crumbling mansions and formidable mosques, and the city of New Delhi, with spacious, tree-lined avenues and imposing government buildings created during the British Raj. Delhi is a city that can challenge a leader; navigating its complex challenges, seeing the real opportunities and getting under the skin of what really makes this city tick demands a balance of patience and humour - and immense Cultural Intelligence.


DSC_2938.JPGWhen senior leaders from across the Commonwealth  spent four fascinating days in Delhi last month for the final stage of CSCLeaders 2014, they were exposed to a wide range of leaders with diverse perspectives on Delhi and India - sparking much debate about India's future! Amongst many of the highlights were Sanjaya Baru, Director for Geo-economics and Strategy, International Institute for Strategic Studies and former spokesperson and media advisor to the Prime Minister of India, who shared his thoughts on India's challenges and opportunities, defining India as CSC (Civilizational, Subcontinental and Crossroads of Asia) and reiterating a phrase he had coined in the former PM's speech "The sun never sets on the Indian diaspora." He was joined by Harpal Singh, Chairman Emeritus, Fortis Healthcare Ltd; Founder Chairman of Nanhi Chhaan Foundation; Chairman of Governing Council, Save the Children India, who said "Diversity is the cultural thread that holds India together." He further urged us not just to build "best practice", but to create "next practice" to stay ahead of the curve.

The participants also spent two days immersed in a wide range of organisations in Delhi, from across the social, public and private sectors. One of the most interesting of these was the visit to UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India), an initiative that has given Indian citizens in even the remotest parts of India a unique demographic and biometric identity. The visit gave participants a real insight into the vision and scale of one of India's most innovative and game-changing projects.


DSC_2965.JPGOther highlights included a visit to Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) with its urban cultural renewal initiatives of the world heritage site Humayun's Tomb and Nizamuddin Basti, which has brought technological innovation to schools and taken major strides in building partnerships with the government and Goonj, an organisation working on relief activities in disaster prone regions and a unique initiative to tackle some of the personal hygiene challenges seen in rural areas. Further visits to Fortis Hospital provided an insight into leadership, technology and innovation, while Airtel gave participants an understanding of the pioneering initiatives and innovation along with a social responsibility that are core to its business.


DSC_3189.JPGParticipants said of their experience at CSCLeaders 2014 in Delhi:

"The entire programme really was different to any other senior management development that I've participated on. The breadth of visits and the diversity of the delegates provided a genuine learning opportunity."

"Thank you again for the precious time we spent together, for listening, sharing, advising, inspiring and for laughter, dancing, eating, wondering, exploring and resolving."

Applications are now open for CSCLeaders 2015.



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CSCLeaders is the renewal of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Study Conferences - first run in 1956 – for the 21st Century, a partnership between international leadership development organisation Common Purpose and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Study Conferences (UK Fund).

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