Julia Middleton

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Julia Mary Middleton (née Morland; 21 April 1958)[1] is the founder of Women Emerging. She is also the founder and former chief executive officer [2] of Common Purpose, an international charity that runs leadership development programmes across the world.[3] The charity's aims are to "develop leaders who can cross boundaries, both at work and in society."

She is a campaigner for the progression of diverse leaders in civil society.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Lambeth, Middleton is the daughter of Agnes (née Whowell) and Eric Morland.[1][5] Middleton was educated at a French lycée before gaining an Economics degree at the London School of Economics.[6]


In 1980, she began her career at the Industrial Society, where she created Head Start, a programme providing high school dropouts with training and advice from prospective employers.[7]

In the autumn of 1988, Middleton formed Common Purpose.[8] Common Purpose runs a range of leadership development courses around the world that develop leaders who can cross boundaries, building their capabilities to solve complex problems both in organisations and in cities. Since 1989, more than 100,000 people have taken part in Common Purpose programmes.[9]

In 2020, She formed Women Emerging, A movement of women who are extraordinary in big, small and every way. Women Emerging believe that women need to emerge. Because humanity is facing huge challenges. Things need to change. Women will play a central role in making sure that they do. So we need a stronger combined voice of women across the world. They hope that in redefining leadership, more women are inspired to be leaders or to see that there is another way to lead which makes sense to us. Because we need women to be leaders everywhere, galvanising the human capacity to meet the challenges we face.

In 2022, Middleton launched the Women Emerging Expedition, to find an approach to leadership that resonates with women. She also launched a podcast which documents the journey of the women taking part on the expedition.

Non-executive roles[edit]

Alongside her role as Founder and Expedition leader for Women Emerging, Middleton occupies a number of non-executive roles. She is a member of the board of trustees for Alfanar, a venture philanthropy fund set up by Tarek Ben Halim to assist organisations in the Arab region;[10] is on the International Advisory Council for Fundação Dom Cabral (a non-profit business institution in Brazil)[11] and is a Goodwill Ambassador of the Aurora Forum (a global humanitarian initiative, run out of Armenia).[12]

She was involved in the founding of the Media Standards Trust, a registered charity that runs Journalisted, a free online journalist portfolio designed to improve public accountability in journalism,[13] and also helped in the founding of DEMOS, a UK-based think tank, and Impetus Trust, which develops venture philanthropy in the UK.[4]


In 1982, Middleton authored a book called Quality Circles, published by the Industrial Society in London.[14]

She also wrote the foreword to the book How to be an even better chair: Sensible Advice from the Public & Charity Sectors, written by Sophie Petit-Zeman.[15]

In February 2007, Middleton's book Beyond Authority: Leadership in a Changing World was published by Palgrave Macmillan, and she recorded a meet-the-author video.[16]

In 2010, it was translated into Hungarian and published by HVG Konyvek.[17]

In 2014, Middleton wrote "Cultural Intelligence: CQ: The Competitive Edge for Leaders Crossing Borders" published by Bloomsbury[18][19] and she recorded a video about why she wrote it.[20] In late 2014, a paperback version was published for the Indian market.[21][22]

Personal life[edit]

Julia Middleton married Rupert Middleton in 1984; they have two sons and three daughters.[1]

See also[edit]

Cultural Intelligence


  1. ^ a b c "Middleton, Julia, (born 21 April 1958), Founder and former Chief Executive officer, Common Purpose Charitable Trust, since 1989". Who's Who. 2016. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.284798.
  2. ^ "Middleton, Julia, (born 21 April 1958), Common Purpose Charitable Trust (Chief Executive, 1989–2018) | WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO". www.ukwhoswho.com. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U284798. ISBN 978-0-19-954088-4. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  3. ^ "Bursaries to help bosses". This is Derbyshire. 25 November 2008. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Julia Middleton - People Alchemy Ltd - Creating Capability". www.peoplealchemy.co.uk. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015.
  5. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  6. ^ "London School of Economics and Political Science – Home". LSE. Archived from the original on 7 December 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  7. ^ Cochrane, Peter. "The New Alchemists". Context Magazine. Archived from the original on 17 October 2006. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  8. ^ [1] Archived 7 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Business Club (21 January 2010). "Video: Common Purpose – Business Club Video". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 28 February 2010. Retrieved 8 December 2011. {{cite web}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  10. ^ "Welcome to Alfanar". Archived from the original on 20 December 2009. Retrieved 9 June 2010.
  11. ^ "Julia Middleton | Responsible Innovation Summit". responsibleinnovation-summit.com. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  13. ^ "Media Standards Trust | People". Archived from the original on 10 May 2009. Retrieved 9 June 2010.
  14. ^ Morland, Julia (1982). Quality Circles. Open Library. OL 22592555M.
  15. ^ [2] Archived 11 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "A video of Julia Middleton talking about Beyond Authority". Palgrave.com. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  17. ^ "HVG Könyvek Kiadó, az online könyvesbolt".
  18. ^ Middleton, Julia (2014). Cultural Intelligence: CQ: The Competitive Edge for Leaders Crossing Borders. London, UK: Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-1472904812.
  19. ^ Cultural Intelligence: CQ: The Competitive Edge for Leaders Crossing Borders Book Information. Amazon UK. Bloomsbury. ASIN 1472904818.
  20. ^ Middleton, Julia. "Julia Middleton on why she wrote Cultural Intelligence". YouTube. Common Purpose. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  21. ^ Middleton, Julia. Cultural Intelligence: The Competitive Edge for Leaders Crossing Borders. Amazon India. Bloomsbury. ASIN 1472915399.
  22. ^ Middleton, Julia (2014). Cultural Intelligence: The Competitive Edge for Leaders Crossing Borders. Mumbai, India: Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-1472915399.

External links[edit]