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Glasgow Game

Playing the Glasgow Game to develop our future leaders

14 Dec 2017 | Sajjad Khan

33Sixty is a leadership programme that equips aspiring Commonwealth leaders (aged 18-30) with the skills and the networks to make a difference to some of the planet’s most pressing issues. The GCPH was asked to help the group hone their skills in interpreting complex population health evidence to inform thoughtful recommendations for global decision-makers tasked with creating a fairer world.

This visit was one of many undertaken by the group to organisations in Glasgow as part of a task set by the Commonwealth Secretary-General. The task required the group to develop innovative ideas for achieving a pressing UN global sustainability development goal:

What can our generation of the Commonwealth do now to make our cities more inclusive and safe by 2030?

To address this question, the 33Sixty leaders played the GCPH’s Glasgow Game. This game invited the group to explore trends in the health, life circumstances and inequality in Glasgow. It then challenged them to discuss the various issues facing cities in the future to identify ways to tackle the sustainability goal based on this evidence. All in two hours! The full report of their workshop can be found on the Understanding Glasgow website.

Sajjad, one of the 33Sixty leaders, took some time out to tell us about his experience, what it meant for him and his next steps.

Meeting with the GCPH team was a really good experience. We discussed many issues faced by Glaswegians on a day-to-day basis. The workshop brought back memories of my own: when we discussed inequality in education I briefly mentioned my personal journey. I come from a deprived area in which the percentage of students going onto further education is very low and I felt this was due to lack of support and encouragement. Guidance teachers and mentors didn’t encourage us to take on further education, rather, at one point I was advised not to apply to university, but I still applied and now I am almost at the end of my five-year master’s degree in civil engineering.

Can you describe what you learned from playing the Glasgow Game with your 33Sixty group?
Playing the Glasgow Game allowed me to have a wider understanding of the issues we must overcome for a fairer and safer community. It encouraged me to think of innovative ways to help people, I personally was surprised by the low percentage of people entering universities from deprived areas.

During the game, the group explored trends in the health, life circumstances and inequality in Glasgow. How did these trends reflect, and differ, from your experience of growing up in the city?
During this game I met many people from different parts of the city, some of whom had similar experiences to me and some who could not relate to my experiences. This came as a surprise to me – how people within the same cities could have such different life experiences. I was told not to go to university, as kids from my area or school were advised to take apprenticeships or jobs but being one of the few to attend university… it changed my life.

What did you take away with you from the task, and the 33Sixty programme, that struck you as transformational?
The thing I took away with me was that as people who come from such backgrounds and experiences we need to give back to those still in those situations. The cycle of inequality can only change if I go back to my school and support those wishing to go further in life because only I can understand their situation.

What has the learning from 33Sixty enabled you to pursue next?
It has given me a positive attitude that anything is possible and after taking part in this initiative I’ve decided to carry on with my education, to complete a PhD. Furthermore, I would like to work with the team at the GCPH and 33Sixty to visit secondary schools to bring about an educational change in Glasgow.

Visit the Common Purpose website

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