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How does immersing yourself in one of Asia's biggest cities help you to become a future leader?

In December, 49 King’s Business School students went to Jakarta to develop the skills and cultural intelligence they will need to tackle the complex challenges of the 21st century. The visit was part of a Global Leaders Experience (GLE) organised by the non-profit leadership experts Common Purpose.

common purpose group photo

The Global Leaders Experience is designed to take participants out of their comfort zone and develop new networks by tackling a challenge in multicultural teams.

Working alongside peers from Jakarta’s BINUS University, the King’s students explored the question “how do smart cities ensure they are inclusive?” Over the course of the week they went on 11 visits and heard from politicians and senior leaders from across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors before presenting their solutions to the group and a panel of experts.

common purpose - microsoft

Through this process, they learned the value of drawing ideas from many different contexts and sources: “I was pleasantly surprised by some of the initiatives we visited, like Qlue or Smart City, (a government agency Big Data project that identifies areas for improvement by automatically collecting and analyzing feedback from citizens). These ideas could find a use in my hometown as well,” said Adam Ondak, adding that the BINUS students’ local knowledge was invaluable in understanding Jakarta’s problems.

Common Purpose - meeting

Alongside the serious work of developing solutions like an app to help disabled people access transport in the city, a system to tackle fake news on Whatsapp and a crowd-funded solution to keep children from low-income households in education for longer, the group also found plenty of time to explore the local culture and cuisine together.

By the end of the week, says Catherine Johne: ‘I stepped out of my comfort zone through activities like public speaking and group work.  Seeing everyone at the conference, with their different personalities and styles of leadership gave me the confidence to believe that I too can be a leader.”

Common Purpose - presenting

Congratulations to all the students who participated in the programme and successfully graduated at the end of the week.