'Hugely energising', 'immensely challenging' and 'utterly
life-enhancing' are just some of the words used to describe
CSCLeaders 2015, which launched with seven days in
the UK last month. 87 senior and exceptional leaders from 20
countries and diverse sectors across the Commonwealth came together
for an incredibly exciting experience, broadening their horizons
and developing their Cultural Intelligence as they collaborated on
this year's Challenge: 'What makes a city smart?'
Participants on CSCLeaders are all exceptional
leaders and experts in their fields, including Chief Executives,
Permanent Secretaries, social entrepreneurs and game-changing
community leaders, as well as leaders in health, education,
engineering and experts from the Arts, Science and Gender Equality.
This unique mix resulted in fascinating and challenging
conversations and the development of a network of diverse
Commonwealth talent who can continue to connect and collaborate
beyond the programme.
The 2015 programme featured over 125 contributors and 58 visits
across the week, including the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson;
David Gann, Chair of the Smart London Board and Unilever CEO, Paul
Polman. This year's Study Tours in London immersed the participants
in the local communities as well as offering a great insight to
London as a smart and global city. Participants experienced urban
agriculture on the roof of a car park, sailed along the Thames
with the London Port Authority, climbed down into London's Power
Tunnels and had a ride in Greenwich's autonomous vehicles.
Commonwealth leaders were joined by HRH Princess Anne, President
of the Commonwealth Study Conferences at various points throughout
the programme. The Princess Royal addressed participants, alumni
and guests at the Palace Reception, joined participants on their
Study Tours and on the final day of the programme when participants
presented project proposals in response to the Challenge.
Participants developed their project ideas through a staged
innovation process before presenting them to a panel, which
included Common Purpose CEO Julia Middleton; Volker Buscher,
Director of Digital Arup; Mike Short, Vice President of Telefonica;
The Rt. Hon. Baroness Scotland QC and His Excellency Carlos dos
Santos, High Commissioner for the Republic of Mozambique. Ideas
ranged from an umbrella organisation for youth parliaments to a
Commonwealth social return-on-investment model and a product
valuing and labelling technology that enables citizens of future
smart cities to make responsible choices.
The feedback from participants on the leadership learning
has been deep and insightful. As one participant commented:
"CSCLeaders has given me a deeper appreciation for
the value of bringing a diverse group of people together to create
an environment of robust discussions, free-flowing ideas and
innovative solutions. We often define the success of our decision
making processes by the number of those in agreement - the reality
is that we should encourage a difference of views, openly discuss
our ideas and reach a common way forward through an open mind, open
heart and open will."
Participants will come together for a second time for Part two
of CSCLeaders 2015, which is a choice of
three cities: Ahmedabad, Nairobi or Singapore.
Applications for CSCLeaders 2016 open 26
May 2015. Part One is 10-17 April 2016, Part Two will be three
locations, TBC. The 2016 Challenge is: 'What would produce a step
change in how the public, private and not for profit sectors work