Courses Overview >> Short courses >> Enterprise Live 2018: Taking a Lead in the Midst of Complexity

Enterprise Live 2018: Taking a Lead in the Midst of Complexity

Course dates: 
Monday, 19 February, 2018 to Friday, 9 March, 2018

We understand that this course is a significant time commitment for some and so we have secured funding for bursaries up to a third of the cost of this course. Learn More and Apply

With Tim Crabtree, Kaira Jewel Lingo, Patricia Shaw, Maria Llanos Del Corral, Ed Mayo, Guy Singh-Watson and Geetie Singh-Watson

Enterprise Live explores new approaches to entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership. In a world of growing inequality, injustice and environmental destruction, it is clear that new ways of being “enterprising” are required.

Enterprise Live is an opportunity for participants to re-consider their own approach to “taking a lead”, from a relational perspective. A key focus is how we might develop initiatives in collaboration with others, drawing on participative, ecological and dialogic processes. We also need to understand the demands that such collaborative endeavour places on our skills and capacity.

In considering how we might proceed, we will explore how “progressive” movements in the new economy might help shape the form of our endeavours – including P2P, open source, commons, cooperatives, employee owned businesses, solidarity economy and feminist economics.

We will also ask how we can understand these movements as complex processes – processes experienced as a flow in time, not just static models to be incorporated into our own plans. We will assess the implications for our own enterprising activities, for example exploring how form emerges over time in the interplay of many different intentions, actions and responses – all constraining and amplifying each other – in a web of interconnected, interdependent local interactions.

Week One: The De-centred Self – Beyond the “Heroic” Entrepreneur and Leader

The first week of the inquiry will have a focus on the cultivation of mindfulness, working with the Buddhist teacher Kaira Jewel Lingo.  This will help us to explore how we might approach the initial process of stepping into, engaging in and analysing a particular situation in a more mindful, attentive way. We will also open up for joint exploration the process of generating and assessing proposals for ways to address the situation, for example through participatory methods and artistic practice. We will be asking what difference it makes to the process of selecting particular and appropriate ways forward, when we adopt a slower, more reflective and more participatory way of working.

The work will draw on Buddhist understandings of the “unbounded self” or “co-dependent origination”, which mirror social constructionist views on the nature of our intrinsic relatedness to all that is around us. We will then apply this perspective to practices of clarifying purpose and creating innovative ways forward. Conventional approaches are often part of the problem – we put our faith in “heroic” leaders and entrepreneurs, and in the power of innovation to provide “technical fixes” to our problems. If we “de-centre” the self, what implications does this have for the ways in which we might “take a lead”? When agency is located within an autonomous, individual self, possibilities are closed down, but if we learn to explore possibilities within dialogic relationships then we can bring unique emergent ends into existence.

Week Two: Holding the Paradox of Form and Freedom

During this week we explore our experience of the ‘scenes of life’ in which enterprise develops. We will learn from the opportunity to witness and participate in ‘live’ scenes as they unfold, both among ourselves and by joining events in the life of enterprises around us locally.  Our inquiry will be to appreciate the social, cultural and political aspects of enterprise as these happen. We will draw on a way of understanding the flow of self-patterning activity in which we are inextricably immersed. Such activity is formative of both the ‘scenes’ and the ‘players’ that together constitute the ongoing ’play’ of enterprise , by which we are constantly constructing the future and our part in it.

To help us with this performative take on enterprise we will also draw on the disciplines of dance and ensemble improvisation to illumine the detail of what Patricia Shaw and her colleagues call ‘complex responsive processes of relating’.

Leadership is seen then as a living craft of collaboration in which we must learn to hone our participation as an intentional fellow actor and sense maker in conversation after conversation, encounter after encounter, activity after that demands a heightened capacity to notice detail even when things appear to be familiar, to sustain spontaneity amid constraint and to exercise judgement that does not rely on ready made rules and frameworks.

Week Three: The Firming of Form

In this last week, we will look at the projects we are currently engaged in or are bringing to life, and ask what is appearing for us given our work together in the last two weeks. Having slowed down, become more mindful and aware of what is emerging in our relational work together, what now is re-forming or beginning to firm up? We will explore the potential of new technologies, the use of new legal and financial mechanisms and the adoption of new ways of organising our work together. What can we learn from progressive movements in the new economics?

In addition, if we shift from a focus on the individual as entrepreneur, leader and manager, how does this affect the way we proceed in our endeavours? We will explore how we might weave co-operative forms of management and ownership into an enterprise, and we will visit two large scale local enterprises that are in transition from a conventional form of management to employee ownership – asking what that might mean for other types of business such as family firms or small start-ups.


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 U.S., 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.

Patricia Shaw

Patricia Shaw is a Visiting Professor at Schumacher College and currently convenes the recently inaugurated doctoral track within the Schumacher Worldwide Community for Research-in-Practice. She has been a Visiting Fellow at the college for many years, contributing as a teacher and critical friend and supporting alumni in their projects around the world.

Her own doctorate was in the impact of complexity thinking on the field of organisation development. She helped to found an international research centre for complexity and management at the University of Hertfordshire Business School where she is still a Visiting Professor. This research group is now 15 years old and has produced two major book series with Routledge, which she has helped to edit. In addition she has worked as a consultant with corporations, communities, public organisations educational centres and voluntary projects in many different parts of the world, encouraging people to awaken to a livelier sense of reflexive inquiry into what they were doing together, how and why and with what consequences. She brings a cross disciplinary approach to her work – collaborating with dancers, theatre groups, artists, activists, cooks and mayors (to name a few) to bring a rounded experience to the way we understand everyday human enterprise.  She is author of Changing Conversations in Organisations 2002 and Working Live: Spontaneity, Risk and Improvisation in Organisational Change 2006, both published by Routledge.

Tim Crabtree

Tim Crabtree works part-time as Senior Lecturer in Economics at Schumacher College. He has been involved as a practitioner in “new economics” for over 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 then a school meals catering service which now supplies 35 schools.

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. Tim is Chair of Dorset Community Energy which raised £0.5 million to install solar PV on 16 schools and community buildings. 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 Cardiff University and the Development Trusts Association, 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.

Maria Llanos del Corral

María is a social psychologist with an MA in “International Cooperation”. She worked in this field for 8 years with the Red Cross in Peru, Malawi, Niger and Spain in the fields of community development, economic development, strengthening civil society and education (2005-2013).

María shifted into being an organisational change consultant and facilitator after a Masters in Economics for Transition at Schumacher College, where she realised the importance of shifting the paradigm from where we act in the world in order to co-create a sustainable future. She is a specialist in applying complex living systems theory and collaborative methodologies focusing on leadership, values, culture creation and the structures and methodologies needed in our organizations to better understand and thrive within the complex, changeable and uncertain reality we live in.

María is a co-founder of Eroles Project ( a learning for action centre. Some of her published work includes: Collaborative tools for Social Organizationsand “Activism and spirituality”.

Ed Mayo

Ed Mayo is Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, the national association for co-operative and mutual enterprises. Ed is chair of the participation charity, Involve, and former Chief Executive of the National Consumer Council and New Economics Foundation - in addition, he is Honorary President of the Community Development Finance Association.

One of the team that started the Fairtrade Mark in the early 1990s, he has championed the development since 2012 of the global co-operative marque, now used by businesses across 90 countries. Ed is co-author of the books 'Co-operative Advantage', 'Poverty, Social Exclusion and Microfinance in Britain' and 'Consumer Kids'. Lucy Siegle, The Observer, has said: "Ed has played a leading role in almost every environmental and ethical business initiative over the last two decades."

Guy WatsonGuy Singh-Watson

Guy Watson is a farmer and founder and creator of Riverford Organic (link is external), Britain's largest supplier of organic produce. The farm  was taken over by the Watson family in the 1950s and in the 1980s and Guy decided to convert to farming organically. To find an effective way of distributing his produce, his idea was the weekly veg box scheme, which is delivered direct to customers' doors with locally grown produce.

Guy lectures on ethical business and is a judge for the Observer Ethical Awards and his leadership has seen five previous Observer awards including Best Ethical Business and Best Ethical Restaurant in 2009.

Geetie Singh-Watson

Geetie grew up on a commune in the Midlands, where she was taught from an early age to be aware of the impact we each make on the world around us. In 1998 she opened The Duke of Cambridge – the UK’s first organic gastropub. Eighteen years on, The Duke has been an outstanding success, having won many awards. Geetie herself has won a few awards too along the way, including Business Woman of the Year, and an MBE in 2009, for Services to the Organic Pub Trade. She is an active campaigner and firmly believes businesses and individuals must act responsibly and be led by their values. Geetie has been a Trustee of the Soil Association, People Tree Foundation, London Remade, London Food Board, Women’s Enterprise Council and The Council of Food Policy Advisors.

£ 2 200.00
Course fees include all vegetarian meals, field trips, materials and all teaching sessions. The programme will run from Monday of the first week to Friday afternoon the last week, and includes twenty nights private accommodation from the first lunchtime you arrive through until the lunchtime before your departure. This course is an elective on Schumacher College's MA Economics For Transition postgraduate programme. It is open to external participants who would like to deeply explore this subject material and can join us for the whole three-week programme.