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News - 18 December 2012

American Express' UK Leadership Academy in Brighton

The American Express Foundation, in partnership with Common Purpose, has held its third UK Leadership Academy in Brighton to support the development of future leaders in the not -for-profit sector.

This year's four day programme brought together 25 delegates from across the UK including five managers from the Brighton Dome & Festival and The Sussex Beacon.

The American Express Leadership Academy is tailored for participants who hold a manager-level position, have dedicated themselves to a career in the not-for-profit sector and have built strong momentum in their field. American Express invites organisations to nominate high potential emerging leaders to apply for a place. Delegates from the Brighton Dome (the South Coast's premier multi-arts venue producing the largest arts festival in England) and Sussex Beacon (a clinical care centre based in Brighton for men and women living with HIV/Aids) were among those selected to participate in this year's Academy.

Attendees from these organisations took part in one-to-one and group sessions with inspirational business leaders including Julia Unwin, CEO, Joseph Rowntree Foundation; Sally Gold, Head of UK Social Investment, Shell International; and Greg Clark, Director of Operations, Childreach International. The programme's agenda included how not-for-profit companies can work effectively with private enterprise, how to market not-for-profit businesses and how delegates can build their profiles as influential business leaders.

Colin Walsh, UK Country Manager of American Express and host of this year's Academy, said: "We appreciate the impact that talented leaders can have on business and society as a whole and at American Express we dedicate significant resource to attracting, developing and nurturing talented employees. Through the Leadership Academy, we are working with not-for-profit organisations to foster this ethos and harness the personal and business skills needed to run a successful nonprofit organisation."

Oliver Mack, Managing Director, Common Purpose, added: "There is a real need to provide skills and opportunities to not-for-profit organisations and their leaders, particularly when these challenging economic conditions can mean that training budgets are often one of the first areas to be cut. The American Express Leadership Academy is invaluable in helping delegates from national and Brighton-based organisations to come together with UK business leaders to develop and hone core skills."

To ensure the lasting impact and effectiveness of the Leadership Academy, participants set goals and action plans during the training, with ongoing support to achieve these goals provided through online tools and telephone coaching sessions from Common Purpose.

Since launching in the US in 2008, the Leadership Academy has expanded the original programme and now also operates in the UK, India and Japan with likely expansion to additional locations in the next few years.

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