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CSC Leaders Alumni Pop-up London May 2017

5 Dec 2019 2:23 PM | Peter Laurent (Administrator)

CSCLeaders Alumni Pop-up London May 2017

Between the 5 and the 8thMay 2017 a group of CSCLeaders Alumni came together in London to reconnect and re-engage. This, our second alumni pop-up, was again entirely made up of contributions from the alumni group and through the course of the weekend we got to engage with up to 30 alumni from the 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 programmes. Some of these alums had come from as far afield as Australia, South Africa and Singapore (and Scotland and Ireland). It was also lovely to have Julie join us, being an alumnus of the Emerging Leaders’ Dialogues Asia 2016 programme.

The weekend was jam-packed with activities, conversations, visits and speakers. Starting on Friday we all met for a drink in the Duke of York Bar, followed by a dinner up the road at the King’s Head. This gave everyone a chance to meet, reconnect and catch up on news.

Thanks to Mary Cloake’s fabulous arrangements, Saturday morning took us out to Rich Mix in Bethnal Green. There we got to spend some time with Eddie Berg, CEO of Rich Mix, a fabulous art project; went on a tour of Brick Lane to learn more about its fascinating cultural history; and spent some time at the Eduardo Paolozzi exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery. We also got to hear about the many projects Mary supports as CEO of Bluecoat in Liverpool. Their work with the disabled was hugely inspiring. This all provided rich food for thought, particularly in considering what leadership and the arts have in common.

The rest of the afternoon was spent at Close-up cinema, where thanks to Mary and Firoz’s planning; we got to watch the movie Sold and Skype with the director Jeffrey Brown. This led to loads of conversation around the nature of wicked problems, in this instance the issue of child trafficking. This was then followed by the tradition of a meal at the Lahore Kebab house where we broke bread and had an impromptu birthday sing-a-long for Ian.

On Sunday morning we regrouped at PWC for a conversation with Minister Counsellor, British Embassy, Paris, Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque CMG. Arranged and ably facilitated by Chris Hartley we got to share in her wealth of experience from her years in government (particularly as a woman leader).  Sunday afternoon was then spent visiting St. Martin-in-the-Fields where we were hosted by Sam Wells. St. Martin-in-the-Fields is an inspiring example of how good work and good business can enable each other.

On Sunday night we met the 2017 CSCLeaders group back at PWC. It was exciting to hear their reflections on their first day and to fondly remember and share our own day one experiences of the programme.

On Monday we returned to PWC for conversation around the wicked problems facing us all, either as individual leaders or in our businesses, communities and projects. We spent time exploring how we could support each other in solving these problems and numerous commitments were made. The afternoon took us to Australia House, thanks to David McCredie, to meet withMatt Anderson PSM, the Deputy High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. His reflections on the changing state of the world, and what we had termed the year of storms, made for interesting conversation.

The weekend then closed with a trip to Marlborough House to meet with Baroness Scotland and HRH, The Princess Royal, Princess Anne. All in all it was a whirlwind weekend and I truly hope that everyone has left with food for thought. For me personally I have taken away four key things:

1.      The importance of stepping away to get perspective. I am planning to 'do a Paolozzi' far more frequently

2.      The importance of 'with' and 'we'. I thought the 'we' of the weekend was the most important part of it and I was blown away by the incredible levels of trust we had in the group so quickly. 

3.      The value of not running ahead of the train. I realise that often that is exactly where I am, ahead of others, frustrated that they're not seeing what I'm seeing.

4.      To know things are going to be messy sometimes and therefore I won't always have total security that all will turn out the way I imagine it. But that this is ok as it allows me to improvise.

We also rekindled old friendships and met some new friends and possible partners. I hope these will lead to further opportunities to solve the wicked problems facing us all in our own leadership journeys and our own projects.

Again one of the strongest messages from the group was not to let this engagement fade, and a commitment was made by all in the room to be back in London to regroup in time for the 2018 CSCLeaders Programme. Please make a note in your diaries for April next year! I will post an RSVP link later this year for those who would like to join us.

To further support the alumni we plan to do the following:

  • 1.      Continue to grow the broader CSC alumni network. This network includes all people who have been part of the CSC family since the programme first started in the 1950’s.
  • 2.      We will endeavour to get you regular updates as to the other CSC programmes that are happening around the world. This will enable you to decide if you’d like to pop into any of them.
  • 3.      We are exploring ways to keep the alumni connected more fluidly. A small team of alums will be working on this and we’ll give you an update as this progresses.
  • 4.      There is a commitment to support CHOGM in some way in 2018. We’ll keep you updated as the alums make headway in this area.

Although these are small steps we hope that through them the alumni will continue to grow into a thriving engaged group. Through leveraging our social capital we hope to make a greater impact in the world. We would like to thank Common Purpose and the UK Trustees for always being so willing to support our efforts and PWC for always finding us a space to work. We deeply appreciate all the support we get. Looking forward to April 2018!

Warm regards from a chilly SA.

Ilka Dunne

CSC Leaders 2015


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