33Fifty is a Global Leader Experience for young Commonwealth leaders aged between 18 and 25. The
name comes from the fact that 33% of the world’s population lives in the Commonwealth, and 50% of those are under 25.

The Commonwealth faces challenges that transcend national boundaries. 33Fifty aims to develop young leaders to reconcile differences, lead change and use the Commonwealth’s networks effectively to tackle these challenges.

33Fifty formed part of the Legacy 2014 National Programmes of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and was delivered by Common Purpose in partnership with the Royal Commonwealth Society.

We aim to run 33Fifty prior to each Commonwealth Games and are working to bring 33Fifty to the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast.

Each programme will bring together 100 exceptional young leaders to tackle a challenge of fundamental importance and relevance across the Commonwealth. This is explored through:

  • in-depth and real conversations with talented leaders from all sectors
  • behind-the-scenes visits to an incredible range of organisations and institutions
  • practical engagement with a challenge which is current and compelling across the Commonwealth.

Through taking part in 33Fifty, participants gain:

  • leadership skills to help them in their studies, careers and civic life
  • the ability to make a difference to their communities, the Commonwealth and wider world
  • access to global networks and an alumni community of engaged Commonwealth citizens
  • Cultural Intelligence – The ability to cross divides and thrive in multiple cultures.

33Fifty ran immediately prior to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, with participants exploring both Glasgow (17-18 July) and Edinburgh (19-20 July).

The participants met local leaders from public, private and not-for-profit organisations as well as leaders from the wider Commonwealth gathered for Glasgow 2014.


Accommodation was provided by the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh during the programme.

Our hope is for 33Fifty to continue on to the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast. At the Glasgow 2014 Games, 33Fifty was included in the Legacy Handover between Scottish Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport Shona Robison MSP (below right) and Australian Minister for Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey MP (below, centre left).

From left: Andy Coxall (Director, Common Purpose Student Experiences), Jann Stuckey MSP, Colin Millar (33Fifty 2014 participant), Shona Robison MSP

We will continue to work with the Legacy 2014 team and the Gold Coast to bring 33Fifty to Australia for the Commonwealth Games in 2018 - watch this space for news and announcements!


CP Logo


Common Purpose is an international social enterprise dedicated to leadership development.

We give people from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors the inspiration, skills and connections to become better leaders at work and in society.

We develop their ability to work together, innovate and to thrive in different cultures - this helps people, organisations, cities and regions to succeed.

Founded in 1989 by Julia Middleton as a not-for-profit social enterprise, Common Purpose is both local and global. We run local courses for leaders in 35 cities (and growing) across the world and global programmes for leaders from over 100 countries across six continents. 4,000 leaders each year become Common Purpose alumni.

Common Purpose is a leading global provider of student leadership development. We aim to develop a future generation of leaders by working with the students of a large number of top global universities. We have been developing student leaders since 2003, and now work with 50 universities across 9 countries. In the last year alone over 2,000 students participated in our experiences.

The Common Purpose Charitable Trust is a registered company (2832875) and charity (1023384)

RSC Logo


The Royal Commonwealth Society is the oldest and largest civil society organisation devoted to the modern Commonwealth. Founded in 1868, it conducts a range of events, research and activities aimed at promoting international understanding.

Operating at the forefront of Commonwealth affairs, the Society’s international network:

  • Identifies issues
  • Promotes dialogue
  • Proposes solutions
  • Facilitates action

Young people are an essential part of the network and the Society runs a number of youth projects, including the world’s oldest and largest international writing contest, the Commonwealth Essay Competition, which for 2013 received in excess of 11,000 entries from 55 Commonwealth countries and territories. The Society also undertakes research and hosts events aimed at raising the profile of the Commonwealth. In March of every year the Society organises the Commonwealth Day Observance held at Westminster Abbey, the most high profile celebration in the Commonwealth calendar.

The RCS is a registered charity in England and Wales. (226748).


We would like to thank our Advisory Group and supporters for 33Fifty 2014, who made the programme possible.

Advisory Group

  • Chair - Sir John Elvidge: Chair, Edinburgh Airport
  • Francesca Osowska: Director, Commonwealth Games and Sport
  • Katrina Webb: Australian Paralympic Athlete, Director, Silver 2 Gold Solutions
  • Alan Thornburrow: CEO, Scottish Investment Operations
  • Martin Summers: Youth Engagement Manager, Young Scot
  • Jean Paul Brice Affana: Network Leader, Commonwealth Youth Climate Change Network

national legacy partner

Legacy 2014 - the Scottish Government

The Commonwealth Games will see over 6,500 athletes, representing 71 nations and territories, compete across 17 sports for 11 days. The Games will take place in Glasgow from 23rd July to 3rd August and be a spectacular display of world-class sporting success. But it’s not just about the elite athletes. It’s about you. Whether you’ve taken up cycling, won a Games-related contract, or gained from training or an apprenticeship, this is a golden opportunity for Scotland. Legacy 2014 is our chance to ensure that all of Scotland benefits from the Games.



Wheatley is Scotland’s leading housing, care and regeneration group. It comprises four Registered Social Landlords, a care organisation and two commercial subsidiaries.

The Group spans 12 local authority areas across Central Scotland, providing homes and award-winning services to over 100,000 tenants and factored homeowners, and has a commercial property portfolio of almost 300 shops and offices.

The Wheatley family: 

  • GHA, Scotland’s largest social landlord, with 41,500 affordable homes in Glasgow; 
  • Cube Housing Association, with 3,300 social homes across the West of Scotland; 
  • Loretto Housing, with 1,000 affordable homes in the central belt; West
  • Lothian Housing Partnership, with almost 400 affordable homes; 
  • Loretto Care, supporting over 1,000 care clients and service users; 
  • YourPlace Property Management, Scotland’s “Feel Good Factor”, with over 25,000 customers; 
  • and Lowther Homeswhich has a growing portfolio of almost 500 mid and full-market apartments from Glasgow’s West End to Leith.


The Weir Group is one of the world’s leading engineering businesses. We are committed to creating innovative engineering solutions. Our widely-respected products and services help customers right around the world deliver processes that are vital to society.

DE LA RUe plc

As the world’s largest integrated commercial banknote printer, De La Rue is a trusted partner of governments, central banks, issuing authorities and commercial organisations around the world. 

The Group has in recent years been involved in the design or production of over 150 national currencies. De La Rue also produces a wide range of security documents including passports, driving licences, authentication labels and tax stamps. In addition, the Group manufactures sophisticated, high speed cash sorting and inspection equipment.  De La Rue also offers a range of specialist services and software solutions including government identity schemes, product authentication systems and cash management processing solutions.   De La Rue employs approximately 4,000 people worldwide and is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Find out more about the 33Fifty Baton Book produced by De La Rue, see photos from its journey and find out where it is!

host university partners


Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world. Over the last five centuries and more, we have constantly worked to push the boundaries of what is possible. We have fostered the talents of seven Nobel laureates, one Prime Minister and Scotland’s inaugural First Minister. Today, we are a broad-based, research intensive institution with a global reach. We are a member of the prestigious Russell Group of leading UK research universities, and we are striving to change the world with our expertise.


Established in 1583, the University of Edinburgh has grown to become one of the world’s great universities, regularly ranking in the global top 50.  It now employs over 8,000 full time members of staff and has in excess of 32,000 students.  The University’s vision is to recruit and develop the world's most promising students and most outstanding staff and be a truly global university benefiting society as a whole. Today the University has offices in China, India and Brazil and has some 140 nations represented among its staff, students and alumni.  Approximately one-third of its students are from outside the UK.

Transport PARTNERS

Whitelaws coaches

Established in 1973, the company operates local bus services throughout Lanarkshire and provides quality coach services on local hires, UK tours and European trips. 


Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) is the largest of Scotland’s seven regional transport partnerships. We run the Glasgow Subway, a host of specialist bus services and are responsible for delivering better public transport for all.

“I’ve just been so inspired by all my fellow participants they are seriously going places, and working with them has made me excited not just for future action but action we can start right now.”

Katherine McIndoe, New Zealand
33Fifty 2014