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Common Purpose UK101 Leadership Programme Experience

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Today we are bringing you something a little different. One of our Grad+ Project Officers Jack took part in the very first UK101 Leadership programme by Common Purpose UK, and was also a part of the first cohort to complete it. Here Jack shares with you his thoughts and comments on taking part in the programme, and what he gained from completing it.

Becoming a UK101 Leader 

Taking part in the UK101 programme was a really interesting experience, it was a short course and took me 2 weeks to complete, I put aside 1 hour twice a week alongside my Grad+ work, and spent around 4 hours completing. Breaking it up for me worked well, the course covers a lot of detail and content, so having breaks in between to digest what I’d learnt helped a lot.

I had a good idea about what being a leader meant before starting the course, to me, it means any individual who has the drive and motivation to lead others for the common good. This could be an activist, mentor, or anyone wanting to make a positive change for others. However, what I didn’t know was how in-depth this goes, and the different pillars that create a leader.

To be a UK101 leader you need to be a balanced mixture of 4 areas, these are as follows…

  • Radical
  • Embracing
  • Strategic 
  • Resilient  

The programme is made up of 7 modules, with each of the 4 areas being dedicated to one individual module, giving you a great deal of knowledge, tasks and opinions on each of the areas, which was incredibly useful. My favourite module had to be number 5, which was all about resilience. My favourite activities have to include the Problem Tree Analysis, which led to me thinking about a key issue in society I’m passionate about, which for me was homelessness, and then I had to consider the different people and support services within that area.

I also enjoyed the storyboard activity, which asked me to consider a key goal I’m working towards, and how I’d make this happen. Overall, each activity was useful, and when doing so, really made me think about my position as a “leader”, something I didn’t really consider myself as before, but now, I’d say I am a leader, in my own way with my own ideas and goals to help and inspire others.

I loved the yin and yang exercise, most of them were easy to complete and just required a pen & paper, or if you prefer could be typed up online, for me though there’s always been something enjoyable about writing or drawing out the different elements.

Next up I have to give a mention to the video interviews, within each level you’ll typically do several activities, read an article and listen to videos, don’t think of this as a lecture, there isn’t a lot to read, it’s more about the watching and doing, so for me as the kind of learner I am, is something I enjoyed. I heard from a member of Extinction Rebellion which was an interesting watch, along with many other UK campaigners and organisations working tirelessly for their own individual missions. Listening to the videos also helps you to understand how you can become more radical, strategic, resilient and embracing.

The area of radical is the one I’d been lacking prior to beginning the course, and if it wasn’t for taking the time to complete, I wouldn’t have been aware of this. I now have a clearer idea of how I can include more radical actions into my daily life, something I’d shied away from previously.

In conclusion, taking part in the UK101 programme and now being an official UK101 leader was an awesome experience, I got to hear from people I haven’t previously come into contact with, heard contrasting opinions, took part in a virtual debate and learnt a lot about myself and how I want to move forward in the progress. If you’d like to take part in future cohorts check out the website for more details -