Courses Overview >> Short courses >> Enterprise Live: Leading in the Midst of Complexity – Three Week Intensive

Enterprise Live: Leading in the Midst of Complexity – Three Week Intensive


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Course dates: 
Monday, 14 March, 2016 to Friday, 1 April, 2016
This course is full.
Leading in the Midst of Complexity - a short course at Schumacher College

With Patricia Shaw, Kaira Jewel Lingo, Robin Murray, Richenda Macgregor, Duncan Passmore, Alex Tempest, Aphra Sklair and Tim Crabtree

This three week course will explore why new modes of leadership and facilitation are called for in a world of greater interconnectedness, complexity and change.

The course will challenge the dominant myths of the ‘strong’ leader and the ‘heroic’ entrepreneur. It will ask whether there are other ways that we can ‘take a lead’ whilst maintaining the integrity and quality of our relationships with others and with nature.

Drawing inspiration from ecology, complexity theory and mindfulness-based approaches, participants will explore the limits of mechanistic and instrumental approaches to leadership, and experience new ways of leading in uncertain and unpredictable contexts.

Participants will work on a live project, reflecting Schumacher College’s focus on ‘Rooted in Place, Networked Worldwide’. The project work will take place in the woodlands of the Dartington Estate, with participants designing events and physical structures which celebrate this special local environment. You will be supported in this collaborative endeavour by the course teachers as well as the others on the course.

The aim of this experiential practice is to create tools and methods for leadership based on participants’ own developing insight and experience. You will be joined by a number of students from Schumacher College Postgraduate Programmes in Holistic Science and Economics for Transition, which will allow for rich interaction between long-term students and participants.

We will also benefit from the presence throughout the three weeks of Kaira Jewel Lingo, a former Buddhist monastic who was ordained by Thich Nhat Hanh in 1999. Kaira Jewel will work with participants to explore what it means to bring a mindful presence to our leadership, what we might mean by ‘right livelihood and how we can enjoy our work one mindful step at a time. Tim Crabtree, Senior Lecturer in Economics at Schumacher College will also be present through the three weeks, and will share his 30 years experience of facilitation in diverse elements of the new economy.

Week One: The Art of Power
14 – 18 March, 2016

With Kaira Jewel and Tim Crabtree

The focus of this week is mindfulness-based approaches to leadership and management, and will be led by Kaira Jewel, with support from Tim Crabtree. Mindfulness has become a popular technique for increasing effectiveness and efficiency within organisations. During the week, Kaira Jewel will encourage participants to see beyond this instrumental view and instead experience and practice mindfulness as a way of being – a letting go of habits of un-mindfulness and an un-learning or remembering, rather than a skill to be acquired. Participants will work together to explore their felt experience, aspirations and intentions and ask how these can be linked to an ethical practice in the world.

We shall refer to Thich Nhat Hanh’s book The Art of Power, which asks whether our conventional notions of power and leadership need to be replaced by new approaches. He asks how the cultivation of attention can transform the way we are in relationship to ourselves, other people and to the earth, and how in turn this can change our practice of facilitation and leadership.

Kaira Jewel Lingo

Kaira Jewel (formerly Sr. Jewel) is from the US and has been practicing mindfulness and Buddhist meditation since 1997. She was ordained as a nun by Thich Nhat Hanh in 1999 and as a Dharma teacher in 2007.  She returned to secular life in 2015 and continues as a lay Buddhist teacher and mindfulness teacher. Before ordaining, she graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. and M.A. in Anthropology and Social Sciences. She has led mindfulness retreats in the US, Europe, Asia, Brazil, India and Southern Africa. She spends much of her time sharing mindfulness and compassion, especially with children, families and young people, and bringing mindfulness to teachers and schools. She is editor of Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children by Thich Nhat Hanh. She is passionate about exploring the ways art, play and spiritual practice connect. She leads mindfulness courses for artists and has a background in dance and improvisation. She is also a certified Yoga Teacher and InterPlay leader.

Tim Crabtree – Senior Lecturer in Economics, Schumacher College

Tim Crabtree has been involved in ‘new economics’ for 30 years, after studying economics at Oxford University and then working for the New Economics Foundation for 5 years. He has experience in policy development, local economic development and business advice, and was the co-founder of a number of a successful social enterprises including the Wessex Reinvestment Trust group and Dorset-based Local Food Links Ltd – where he was responsible for developing farmers’ markets, food festivals, community gardening projects, a specialist workspace (the Centre for Local Food), a vocational training programme for young people and a school meals catering service employing 25 people which now supplies 33 schools.

After stepping down as chief executive of Local Food Links, Tim then worked for Cardiff University, researching the future direction of the community food sector. He continues to work with one of the Wessex Reinvestment Trust social enterprises - Wessex Community Assets - which co-ordinates the UK's largest programme of community land trust housing, as well as supporting community share issues in areas such as renewable energy and local food.

Tim has worked with international organisations such as the Resource Centre for Philippine Concerns and the International Institute for Environment and Development, for national organisations such as the New Economics Foundation, and for South West based organisations such as the Bristol & Avon Community Enterprise Network, Dorset Community Action and the SW Protected Landscapes Forum. He was a founder Director of the UK Social Investment Forum. Tim has a particular interest in reflective practice, both in the field of economics and also in mindfulness related disciplines (meditation, aikido and shiatsu) which he has engaged with since 1984.

Week Two: Quality and the Craft of Facilitation
21 – 25 March, 2016

With Richenda Macgregor, Duncan Passmore and Alex Tempest

The notion of quality has become associated with quality assurance protocols, and the role of leaders is to ensure that procedures are defined, followed and records kept. During this week we will explore whether instead an embodied experience of quality can form the basis of the work we are called to do.

For example, when we recognise ‘quality’ in the work of an experienced craftsperson, it can touch something in us. We might then ask – ‘how am I moved by this experience?’ and ‘how am I moved to respond?’ Drawing on the first week’s focus on developing the quality of our attention, we will explore how this enhances our relationship with both the natural world and the people we engage with as facilitators or leaders.

We shall work with local potter and facilitator Richenda Macgregor, and with local carpenter and timber framer Duncan Passmore, to explore how we can keep a sense of quality at the heart of what we do, in ways that inform our practical judgements as leaders and facilitators. This will inform the project work at the heart of the course, where we will work with Schumacher alumni Alex Tempest in imagining and developing a new future for Dartington’s woodlands. Projects might include the building of timber structures, the design and making of installations or sculptures and/or the organising of a public event to draw people into the woodlands.

Richenda Macgregor

Richenda is an Artist working in the field of Art and Ecology. She originally trained as a production potter and glassmaker and spent ten years working professionally as a Maker, Teacher and Trainer – facilitating the transformative process of making pots and glassware, and the parallel process of supporting people to empower and transform themselves. Having learnt the effectiveness of holding space in this way, using skill and the environment to allow for deep process work to happen within individuals and groups, she now works to facilitate a transformative way of being in the world. One in which each individual finds a stronger connection to the natural world and their community. Each course and workshop is designed with intent and tailored to the group or individual she works with. Alongside this work she also continues her practice as an Artist and Maker and has a studio just outside Totnes exhibiting work in various galleries across the southwest. Visit:

Duncan Passmore

Duncan is a carpenter, builder and yoga teacher with a passion for localisation and the nature in which we live. Since graduating from Devon School for Social Entrepreneurs, Duncan has developed an organisation which facilitates the construction of local, sustainable and affordable buildings. He was the Course Co-ordinator of the Schumacher Certificate in Natural Building.

Week Three: Holding the paradox of form and freedom
28 March – 1 April, 2016

With Patricia Shaw and Robin Murray

During this week we shall seek to experience enterprise as a complex world of patterned flow in which we are inextricably immersed. Professor Patricia Shaw is an expert in the application of complexity thinking to organisational management, and will explore with participants whether we need more than pre-conceived models, concepts and strategies, instead allowing intention to emerge from our present experience and relationship with inter-dependent collaborators.

Questions to be explored include: ‘What kind of enterprise are we shaping?’ and ‘What kind of sense are we making together?’ Leadership is seen then as a living craft of participating as an intentional fellow sense maker in conversation after conversation, encounter after encounter, activity after activity. We become fellow improvisers in ensemble work, constantly constructing the future and our part in it. Just as we can learn to conceptualise, to design, to communicate and persuade, we can also learn to participate with imaginative concreteness as co-narrators, joint authors, co-improvisers, and in so doing, locate our competence as leaders differently.

During the third week we will work with one of the pioneers of the new economy, Robin Murray, and explore new enterprise forms, networked, co-operative and distributed modes of operation, and innovations in ethical financing. A key concept to be explored is whether these new forms of organising our shared endeavours allow greater agency than conventional investor-controlled companies – for example, whether they open new possibilities for more democratic ways of working, ones in which the role of leader and facilitator is redefined.  

Patricia Shaw

Professor Patricia Shaw is a visiting professor at the Business School of the University of Hertfordshire, where she co-founded a research centre in 1995; This is dedicated to developing approaches to organisational leadership, learning and change based on insights emerging from what are now known as the Complexity Sciences. Her own particular interest is in developing people’s capacity for participating in the conversational activity that constitutes political life in Organisations, whether private, public or civic (see Changing Conversations in Organisations, and Working Live – Experiencing Risk, Improvisation and Spontaneity in Organisational Change. Both published by Routledge). Patricia is a Fellow of Schumacher College and a member of the Schumacher College Steering Group.

Robin Murray

Robin Murray is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics His recent work has focussed on new waste and energy systems and on projects in the social economy. He was co-founder and later chair of Twin Trading, the fair trade company, and was closely involved with the companies it spun off, Cafedirect, Divine Chocolate, Agrofair, and Liberation Nuts. He is an Associate of Co-operatives UK (for whom he wrote Co-operation in the Age of Google), a Fellow of the Young Foundation and author of The Open Book of Social Innovation.

£ 2 200.00
Course fees include single accommodation, all meals, field trips, materials and all teaching sessions.