Common Purpose Global Leader Experience

What if the world’s greatest challenges were in your hands?

Develop your leadership skills to help influence the future of the world, as well as establish a genuinely global network. Along with your fellow participants, you will play a part in tackling the biggest issues facing business, governments, and society today.

A Global Leader Experience (GLE) gives you real and practical experiences, instills in you a global perspective, and challenges you to adapt and thrive in diverse situations. It equips you with the tools you need to lead change, now and in the future.

Why should you take part?

  • To be a global leader now - develop your skills and cultural intelligence (the ability to cross divides and thrive in multiple cultures)
  • To change the world - bring fresh solutions to complex problems
  • To develop networks - with the breadth of relationships needed for success today

What happens?

The Challenge is “How do smart cities ensure they are inclusive?” As a participant, you will explore this major world Challenge from a local perspective. You will meet visionary leaders from global businesses, governments and international not-for-profit organizations to help you and your fellow participants understand the Challenge in order to create innovative solutions. Best of all, you won’t be alone; you will build your connections and make new friends - and the solutions and knowledge you all build will be passed to participants on other GLEs around the world. Common Purpose runs GLEs in cities around the world, where large numbers of the world’s talent convene to study, so you will meet fellow students from across the globe amongst this diverse group of participants.

Who could you meet?

During the four days, you will direct your own learning, speaking to leaders from and visiting organizations such as:

  • Microsoft
  • American Express
  • Generation Citizen
  • New York Police Department
  • General Electric

A global network

Everyone who finishes a Common Purpose program, anywhere in the world, is welcome to join the Common Purpose 360 network - a 66,000 strong, growing, global community of alumni with exceptional diversity and a huge range of skills, interests, and leadership experiences. Some will be very senior, experienced leaders across the public, private and NGO sectors; others will be emerging leaders and some will be fellow students just finishing college. This breadth and depth makes the network unique.

Dates & Locations:


  • May 28-June 1, 2018
  • Cost: none
  • Housing on Empire Commons
  • Limited to 30 UAlbany students and 30 exchange students from the University of Central Lancashire, UK

New York City:

  • June 25-29, 2018
  • Cost: $300 covers program registration, housing at Fashion Institute of Technology (optional) from June 24th to June 29th and meals. Each participant is responsible for his/her own travel arrangements and expenses. Please contact if you wish to request assistance in paying the $300 fee.
  • In partnership with Stony Brook University, Binghamton University, Fashion Institute of Technology, SUNY Maritime, and SUNY's SAIL Institute for Academic & Innovative Leadership
  • Limited to 20 UAlbany students who will join a total of 100 students from other SUNY campuses

Application: Please apply on MyInvolvement by March 31st. Payment information will be shared with those selected to participate.


Of the participants who completed the 3 month post program self-assessment:

  • 94% said they are better able to lead or operate beyond my circle of authority
  • 94% said they are better able to engage with people who are different from me
  • 100% said they are better able to spot common ground and make connections between people
  • 100% said they are better able to adjust behaviour in culturally diverse situations
  • 88% said they are better able to make complex decisions involving multiple stakeholders
  • 100% said they are better able to recognize my biases and minimise their effects
  • 100% said they are better able to create the conditions required for innovation to occur
  • 100% said they are better able to lead or operate within a diverse team