Look. Listen. Learn: CSCLeaders in Singapore

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When the British High Commissioner to Singapore, Antony Phillipson, addressed CSCLeaders participants at Part Two of the 2014 programme in Singapore recently, he used three words to illustrate what you do when you immerse yourself in a city through the CSCLeaders experience: 'Look, listen and learn'. It was a great way to summarise exactly what happens on Part Two of CSCLeaders.   

Singapore was the first of three programmes, which form Part Two of CSCLeaders 2014. 20 participants from across the Commonweath came together in Singapore for the four-day programme to reconnect and build on their leadership learning, as well as to explore the CSCLeaders 2014 Challenge on technological innovation from the context of a very different city to the UK Cities they explored in Part One earlier this year. Part two programmes are also open to alumni from previous years.

Participants visited inspiring organisations, ranging from private sector organisations such as IBM, Hyflux and Rolls Royce to public sector innovation, such as water (Public Utilities Board), health - CEO of Alexandra Health Systems spent the morning with the group introducing them to innovation at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and housing - with the CEO of the Housing Development Board. Participants also visited a prison, heard from senior leaders from diverse sectors about their perspective on the city / country and gained insights into what makes the Singapore society tick at the grassroots level. In addition, the visit to Singapore was an opportunity to meet with some of CSCLeaders' key strategic supporters such as sponsors BP, who hosted a cocktail reception at their offices in Singapore. The British High Commissioner, Antony Phillipson, who is very committed in his support for the CSCLeaders programme, also hosted an evening at the High Commission for the participants and supporters.

CSCLeaders Part Two in Singapore was a very compelling immersion for those who took part in the programme, with many describing the experience as 'incredibly powerful' and 'utterly fascinating'. The leadership learning in Part Two was particularly deep, with many commenting on how the exposure to such diverse leaders in a new place had profoundly inspired them and helped them to spot opportunities for their own organisations and countries. All of them spoke of a renewed focus in their own leadership and of the value of the Part Two programme for deepening the relationships formed in Part One.

Many participants in Singapore were keen to commit to action on specific projects in response to the 2014 Challenge. One of the projects, which is developing as a result of collaborative action from the 2014 cohort, is 'The Health Patch', a wearable medical device that constantly monitors the wellbeing of patients, providing them greater knowledge of the health status and better control of their healthcare. The individuals behind this innovative idea are currently looking to establish partnerships with technology organisations and medical professions across the Commonwealth.

Participants said of their experience at CSCLeaders 2014 Part Two in Singapore:

"We learned so much from the many senior leaders we met - opening up some really interesting leadership conversations about both the successes and challenges of Singapore today and in the future."

"Thank you for linking me to such inspirational leaders through a wonderful leadership programme."

"We covered almost all the key aspects of the city - health, housing, transport and technology - giving us a very deep understanding of how this city works. It was an incredible experience, engaging with the diverse and very senior leaders, who gave their time unreservedly and were all well selected to cover a wide range of topics."

"I come away from the CSCLeaders experience with a deep sense that as leaders we have a responsibility to never forget to look, listen and learn."

CSCLeaders 2014 Part Two programmes will also take place in Toronto (8-11 July) and New Delhi (17-20 September) when two different groups of alumni, from the 2014 as well as from the 2013 programme, will reconnect for the four-day global leadership programme.

Applications for CSCLeaders 2015 are now open. Dates are: Part One - 12-19 April 2015, Part Two - three locations, TBC. Apply or find out more: www.cscleaders.org/cscleaders


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CSCLeaders is the renewal of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Study Conferences - first run in 1956 – for the 21st Century, a partnership between international leadership development organisation Common Purpose and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Study Conferences (UK Fund).

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