Connecting Commonwealth LEaders


  • 11 Mar 2020 1:02 PM | John Thompson (Administrator)

    We have received several enquiries about our CSC Global Alumni Conference planned for Kenya in November, given the unfolding global coronavirus outbreak.

    The safety and security of our delegates is of paramount importance.

    The Kenyan Government has just announced a ban on international conferences taking place in the country until further notice.

    We are continuing to work with our event organiser, Kenya Conference Solutions, towards the event going ahead as planned later this year.

    We will keep you updated on the situation.

    In the meantime, please continue to follow us on all our platforms - LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter - and our website for updates.

  • 10 Mar 2020 11:57 AM | John Thompson (Administrator)

    CSC Global Alumni have taken part in Commonwealth Day celebrations across the world including the Americas and Asia.  

    Here is a message from Darryl White, the Chair of Commonwealth Study Conference - Canada 2022

    "Today, we mark Commonwealth Day – a celebration of the shared values and connections of 54 nations, representing almost one-third of the world’s population. Canada’s links to the Commonwealth run deep. That’s why Canada has been chosen to host the eleventh Commonwealth Study Conference.

    "I’m honoured to have been invited by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, President of the Commonwealth Study Conference, to Chair the Conference, to be held across Canada in May 2022.

    "We’ll bring together 300 of the next generation's best and brightest leaders drawn from business, government, labour and community sectors across the Commonwealth, to spend two weeks visiting communities, large and small, across the country. They'll learn about themselves, high-performance teamwork, and the unique characteristics of Canadians that make Canada such a great place to live and work."

    Members also celebrated at Malaysia's Royal Commonwealth Society alongside some of the world's leading environmentalists including Sir David Attenborough and Joanna Ruxton from Plastic Oceans UK.

  • 5 Mar 2020 7:18 PM | John Thompson (Administrator)

    Join us for a mini pop-up in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, on Friday 13th.

    Learn more about the Commonwealth Association of Leadership, Malaysia (CALM) and the Commonwealth.

    Register here:


  • 28 Feb 2020 7:46 PM | John Thompson (Administrator)

    We're proud to announce the launch of CSC Canada 2022.  

    The Canada 2022 Commonwealth Study Conference opens on May 27, 2022, bringing together 300 of the world’s most promising emerging leaders from business, government, labour, and the community sector.

    As a CSC global alumni, you know personally the value of the Conference experience. Over two special weeks, CSC2022 members will explore leadership together through a unique program of new experiences, intensive travel, very different perspectives, and challenging dialogue with their peers from around the world.

    You can get involved by visiting the Conference website
     here to:

    • Help organize in your home country
    • Express your interest in a reunion of global alumni
    • Update your own contact preferences
    • Support CSC2022 members who may need bursaries

  • 21 Feb 2020 7:09 PM | Peter Laurent (Administrator)

    This first ever CSC Global Alumni online event was held on the 6th of February 2020 and brought together alumni from across the Commonwealth to provide insights into leadership 

    Guest Speakers Include:

    P. Balaji- Chief Regulatory & Corporate Affairs Officer of Vodafone Idea Limited, India’s largest telecom service provider and former Managing Director of Nokia India and Managing Director of Sony Mobile in India. 

    Hanna Wong Abdullah - President at CALM (Commonwealth Association of Leadership Malaysia)

    Sydney Henry- Executive Director - The Village Academy, School of  Agriculture

    Michael Wright - Commonwealth Studies Conference Global Alumni Chairman 

  • 21 Feb 2020 6:36 PM | Peter Laurent (Administrator)

    As you may know, the former programme is being redesigned and relaunched through a partnership between HRH The Duke of Edinburgh's Commonwealth Study Conferences (CSC) and The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU). Work is underway to select a new name for the program and CSC & ACU would like to get some feedback from CSC Global Alumni on some possible options. Below is a link to a survey that should take no more than 10 minutes to complete and is confidential it closes on Sunday 23 February.

    The Survey is located here:

  • 5 Dec 2019 2:38 PM | Peter Laurent (Administrator)

    CALM Pop-up – Kuala Lumpur 23th of November 2019

    Two of Malaysia’s top young leaders addressed the Commonwealth Association of Leadership Malaysia (CALM) conference in Kuala Lumpur.

    CALM President, Hanaa Wong Abdullah, says the event – themed ‘Young Millenials Leading in Malaysia’ – provided young aspiring business, community and government leaders an insight into what it takes to become successful.

    The speakers included:

    Environmental scientist, Dr Renard Siew, is a member of the UN’s Collective Climate Action Taskforce and has been recognised as one of Asia’s 21 Young Leaders by the global non-profit organisation, Asia Society.  He holds a Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from the University of New South Wales, and a postgraduate certificate in sustainable value chains from Cambridge University.

    Kim Lim, the CEO and co-founder of PichaEats, a food business rebuilding lives of refugees in Malaysia is another speaker.  In 2017 she was one of Forbes ‘30 under 30 Asia’ and ‘Prestige 40 under 40 Malaysia’.

    Nicola Campion, the Australian High Commission’s Political and Economics Counsellor who provided an international perspective on young leaders in Malaysia.

  • 5 Dec 2019 2:37 PM | Peter Laurent (Administrator)

    Dear All,

    I am back in the autumn sunshine in Johannesburg after a whirlwind week away at our fourth London CSCLeaders Alumni+ pop up and finally have a few minutes to reflect on the week that was. First off, a huge thank you to all the alumni and speakers who contributed to making the weekend a thoughtful and inspiring experience. A weekend like this could not happen if not for the generosity of all involved. For those of you who managed to join us and for those thinking of joining us in the future here is an overview of what went on. Our theme for the weekend was Redefining Leadership with a focus on leadership for empowerment, leadership for complexity and leadership for the future. 

    Our weekend began with a relaxed catch up dinner, giving everyone the opportunity to either reconnect or meet new friends. 

    Leadership for Empowerment

    We started our Saturday morning focusing on leadership for empowerment. Eleanora Gatti spoke passionately about the work she and the UN have done to uplift rural women in Myanmar. With the belied that ‘they who face the issue hold the key’ they used design thinking and technology to empower the local women and enable transformation. Anna Claire-Temple from Step Together highlighted how by empowering those who are most at risk in society to help other at risk, you unlock self-esteem and help them find the courage and strength to turn their own lives around. Chinar Shai, a visual artist from Bangalore, who is currently an artist in residency at Bluecoats in Liverpool, spoke of how as an artist it is critical to challenge the images we produce and why. Through creating art exhibitions in domestic places, she seeks to create spaces of resistance and encourage conversation. 

    Saturday afternoon saw us travelling to Finsbury Mosque, known for its troubled past and community-based present. Imam Kojbar provided a great deal of food for thought as he described the process they went through to reclaim the mosque, build trust in the community and become a hub for their people. 

    No Saturday would be complete without our tradition of a good shared Indian meal and we headed for Tayyab’s to enjoy exactly this. 

    Leadership for Complexity

    On Sunday we engaged on the topic Leadership for Complexity, spending time with leaders working in the world of technology. Emma Fryer, Associate director of TechUK, highlighted how one needs to think about leadership to create partnership when dealing with multiple players and multiple mandates. Tim Kimball, CTO at Aire Labs, challenged us to think about how understanding our biases helps us to better lead ourselves and those around us. Dr. Terri Simpkin, Managing Director of Mischief Business Engineering brought to life the current complexities of people leadership in a rapidly changing world and Rija Javed, CTO at MarketInvoice, gave us a glimpse into some of the leadership complexities that arise when working with the generational gap. 

    Our afternoon then gave us time for conversation and sharing around our own leadership journeys as alumni. We ended our afternoon together with a early dinner alongside the Thames in the afternoon sunlight and a rousing rendition (as per tradition) of Happy Birthday to Ian. 

    Several alums then headed to PWC to welcome the new cohort of CSCLeaders as they finished their first day of the 2019 London programme. 

    Leadership for Tomorrow 

    Monday saw us travel to Coutts Bank to engage on the topic of Leadership for Tomorrow. Peter Flavel, CEO of the bank shared the people journey Coutts Bank has been on to become future fit while maintaining its historic roots. The 690th Lord Mayor of London, Charles Bowman, shared leadership insights from a project he initiated whilst Lord Mayor. Entitled The Business of Trust, it highlighting the critical role that trust plays in business today and what this means for building leadership at all levels in society. We then engaged in conversation with Nicholas Watts, Chair of the Independent Forum of Commonwealth Organisations to understand the Commonwealth landscape. 

    We rounded off the morning sharing some thoughts on the ingredients needed to build a dynamic CSCLeaders alumni community before going on an archivist’s tour of the rich 300-year history of Coutts Bank and an opportunity to enjoy the gardens that fill the rooftop balconies of this iconic building. 

    We finished the afternoon with a visit to Marlborough House to again engage with the new cohort of CSCLeaders about to start their study tours across London. In amidst all this activity we also found time to chill out, eat good food, catch up and laugh (a lot).

    All in all, a fabulous weekend with new and old friends exploring, learning sharing and growing together. Looking forward to our next chance to get together.

    Warm regards,

    Ilka Dunne

    CSC Leaders 2015'

  • 5 Dec 2019 2:29 PM | Peter Laurent (Administrator)

    CALM Pop-up – Kota Kinabalu 15th of December 2018

    The second CALM pop up was held in the spectacular tropical setting of Kota Kinabalu in Sabah. 

    The Malaysian co-founder of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize winning organisation ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) was the key-note speaker.

    Dr Ronald McCoy urged the CALM members and guests to maintain the campaign to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

    He said the number of nuclear weapons had fallen from a high of 68,000 in 1985 to about 15,000 today.

    “The use of one nuclear weapon could kill hundreds of thousands of people – one nuclear weapon is one too many,” said Dr McCoy.

  • 5 Dec 2019 2:27 PM | Peter Laurent (Administrator)

    Commonwealth Study Conference (CSC) and Emerging Leaders’ Dialogue (ELD) Alumni Pop-Up Event

    Melbourne – October 11, 2018


    “Leadership and character”

    In Australia in recent times, the relationship between “character” and “leadership” has been spectacularly highlighted.  We live in an age when the expectations and scrutiny of leaders has never been higher, and yet the foundational character of our leaders has all too often been found wanting. This has created a leadership gap, between perception, expectation and reality.  There have been some very public and noteworthy examples of this in 2018:

    • The recent demise of Australia’s deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce
    • The public humiliation and sacking of Michael Smith, the Captain of Australia’s Test Cricket Team and two other players.
    • Two Royal Commissions – one into the institutional abuse of Children and the other into the behaviour of our Banks and Financial Institutions has led to sackings and even criminal charges against a number of high profile leaders and undermined trust in the institutions they represent.

    And yet, in the midst of this there are a number of examples of Leaders with questionable character… who continue to ‘lead’ strongly, seemingly immune to the scrutiny of others and the critique of their character.  President Trump is often cited as an example, but there are many others.

    Against this backdrop there a number of important questions for Commonwealth leaders to consider, not just if they wish to survive, but if they wish to thrive in leadership.

    • How important is ‘character’ to leadership?
    • Does it matter at all?
    • What is meant by ‘character’?
    • Is ‘character’ a fixed state, or can it be developed in leaders?  If so, how?
    • Can the character of individual leaders, shape the character or organisations?
    • How can leaders recover from moments where their ‘character’ has fallen short?
    • What role do cultural norms and cultural intelligence play in shaping and understanding character?

    Speakers for the event included:

    • Rev’d Tim Costello – Chief Advocate of World Vision Australia
    • Dr Janine Kirk – Chief Executive, The Prince’s Trust Australia
    • Ms. Cath Brokenborough - Executive Lead, Indigenous Engagement and Reconciliation at Lendlease
    • Mr. Daniel Jackson – Author & Head Coach, Leader Who Inspires


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