Julia Middleton is the Founder and Chief Executive of Common Purpose. She is a passionate campaigner for more – and more diverse – leaders who are active in civil society.
In the autumn of 1988, Julia formed Common Purpose, a leadership development organisation that gives leaders the inspiration, the knowledge and the connections they need to produce real change. Common Purpose now operates across the UK and worldwide in France, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, South Africa, Sweden the Netherlands, and Turkey. Since 1989, more than 30,000 leaders have completed one or more Common Purpose courses and the impact of their experience and the course they take part in, can be seen in the changes they make in their organisations, communities and in wider society.
In 2007, her book, Beyond Authority: Leadership in a Changing World, was published by Palgrave Macmillan. The book explores a different approach to leadership when leaders start to operate beyond their own spheres of control.
Julia has founded or helped in the founding of: Demos (an independent think tank), Impetus Trust ( developing venture philanthropy in the UK), The Media Standards Trust ( fostering high standards in the news media), The Good Governance Network (supporting those involved in governance), and Alfanar (developing venture philanthropy in the Arab world). She is also on the Advisory Group of the Oxford Business School.
Julia was born in London and educated at French Lycees in the UK, France and the US. She worked for the Industrial Society after receiving an economics degree from the London School of Economics. She is married and has five children.
In his book The New Alchemists, Charles Handy said of her:
“How Julia came to be the force she is, the values she holds and the way she applies them, contains messages for many who dream of making the difference she has done”.