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Holistic Business: Transforming Business from the Inside

Holistic Business Short Course

With Jenny Mackewn, Hege Saebjornsen, Seb Pole, Guillerme Ferreira, Nigel Topping, Karen Creavin

£ 795.00
NOTE: 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 four nights private accommodation from the first lunchtime you arrive through until the lunchtime before your departure.
This course is full.

Led and facilitated by Jenny Mackewn

with Guest speakers:

Hege Saebjornsen, Country Sustainability Manager for IKEA UK&Ireland
Seb Pole, CEO of Pukka Herbs
Guillerme Ferreira, Senior Manager in Unilever (skype)
Kathrine Maceratta, Sustainability Consultant at Unilver and Designer of Gaian project
Nigel Topping, CEO of We Mean Business
Karen Creavin from Birmingham City Council

– plus a surprise visit from Satish Kumar

This course is full, but please sign up for our waiting list here.

Increasing numbers of people in business and organisational settings yearn to transform their business or organisation into ethical and purpose-led enterprises which they can be proud of. We introduce a completely new way of economics - a model of economics which is suited to our Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous times. Outstanding leaders in large and small businesses, private and public sector - tell us positive stories about how they are transforming their businesses from the inside – thus providing inspiration for participants who want to do the same by taking action to co-create good business which serves both human beings and the wider web of life.

At A Glance

• Discover a new model of holistic economics
• See Positive and real examples of transforming business and organizations from the inside
• Gain Skills and support to transform your own businesses and organizations
• Join a network of other allies who are currently transforming business from the inside

About This Course

We have invited economists and leaders from the business and organisational world to tell us how they have turned their organisations into ethical and sustainable enterprises which are purpose-led, visionary, inspired and inspiring. They tell us their story and then we explore how we ourselves can learn from their stories and apply the essence of what they have done - to our own lives, circumstances and the organisations with which we work . 

We start by introducing Kate Raworth’s completely new Doughnut model of Economics which shows how economics can be re-invented to ensure a fairer deal for both people and  planet.  We examine our own beliefs about economic transactions and co create ways of envisaging economics which we think will bring more justice and wellbeing to all – without destroying the environment. Kate Raworth is at hand by video link to bounce around ideas with us and to answer our questions.  

Then we hear from each of the business and spiritual leaders about how they turned around their own lives and their businesses/organisations – so that they can now feel proud of their work, good about the way they earn their living and great about the way that their  organisations are taking responsibility for the care of peoples, species and habitats. Each positive story is accompanied by a creative dialogue or inventive exploration  which illustrates how participants on the course can apply the learning embedded in the story to their own life, their own circumstances, and to their organisational/business experience.   

We connect with the beauty of the natural landscape surrounding Schumacher College and  we seek inspiration for designing our own lives, business products and processes through the patterns of nature.  By contributing to and being nourished by the Schumacher   community, we learn about fair give and take  through our daily activities and interactions – as well as through the knowledge and wisdom of our speakers.  

A walk through the week

On Day One
We eat the first of many delicious vegetarian meals, we are introduced to the college; we participate in a college opening circle; we gather and meet each other as a more intimate group of participants; we walk in the outdoor world and seek inspiration from nature;  we share our individual intentions for choosing to be together here, now.  We begin to imagine the collective potential of ourselves as a group who can collaborate to achieve more than any one of us can do individually.  We meet Karen Creavin,  Head of Birmingham City Council’s Wellbeing Service. Karen explains how she set up and protected the Wellbeing Service in times of great austerity and despite major cuts. 

Karen and Jenny invite you to: 
• review what you have already achieved even in times of austerity or against the odds;
• envisage what else you want to make happen – with or without money and despite the threat of cuts

On Day Two 
We are introduced to Kate Raworth’s Doughnut model of Economics – which offers a fairer distribution of wealth to all, together with active care for the planet and the future.  Kate is available via video link to hear our own ideas and views about economics and to answer our questions.  

We meet Hege Saebjornsen,  Sustainability Lead for IKEA UK.  Hege tells us how she found her job at Ikea shortly after the inspiration of participating in a Schumacher programme.  She explains  how IKEA is moving away from being a supplier of stuff to become a more circular business that takes responsibility for all the life stages of its products and processes.    In this endeavour IKEA is using  much more renewable energy, taking ever greater care for the forests, helping  people to lead more sustainable lives in their homes and providing decent working conditions for its co-workers all over the world. 

Hege and Jenny invite us to actively explore how we can take on board some of the inspiration of Hege’s story:
• How can we make our lives/ businesses/ organisations more circular?  How can we take responsibility for all the life stages of our products or processes? 
• How can we help people lead more sustainable lives in their homes? 
• How can we act to ensure that the businesses we buy from provide decent working conditions for their co workers or employees? 

On Day Three
We meet Seb Pole, CEO of Pukka Herbs.  An inspired and inspiring story teller, Seb tells us how he and his team have created  a unique global company that is dedicated to finding a better way to do business as well as for the promotion of Fair Life teas and herbs.  Its essence is to serve people and planet as well as Pukka. He explains  how it has become imperative for every person, organisation, business and government to take action to protect the future of our planet and the many species which are threatened with extinction.. He discusses how Pukka put ethics and aesthetics at the heart of their marketing. 

Seb and Jenny invite us to actively explore how we too can
• create (or influence) organisations to dedicate themselves to protecting the future of our planet and the species that are threatened with extinction
• put ethics and aesthetics at the heart of our marketing
• make our product our mission 

In the evening of day 3 we meet Satish Kumar, international speaker and founder of several inspirational organisations and businesses. Satish tells us the story of his inspiring life and paints an unforgettable  picture of organisations and business working in the service of the earth – not the other way round.   He explains how organisations can be economically viable and at the same time dedicated to the care and service of the earth.  

Satish and Jenny invite us to explore how we too can
• make ethical business practice become our unique selling point.   

On Day Four
We meet Guillerme Ferreira, senior manager at Unilever until 1st April when he moves to DanoneWave and  Kathrine Maceratta, Designer of Unilever’s Gaia project. Gui and Kathrine  illustrate how a giant multinational is implementing business responsibility and indicate some new models of business and leadership which are required in the current volatile, unpredictable, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world.  They explain how Unilever has been influenced (via Kathrine) by Schumacher College to implement a Gaia project. Thus they renew our faith in the power of small organisations and groups of people to dynamically influence the huge juggernaut that multinationals have become.

Gui, Kathrine and Jenny invite us to
• co-design our own Gaia project for our own business or organisational endeavours
• map our own powers to influence the wider world (both individually & collectively)

On Day Five
We meet Nigel Topping, CEO of We Mean Business a dynamic coalition of different businesses and other organisations that work together to explore how new economics can be put into practice in the business and organisational world. Nigel  shows us how coalitions such as We Mean Business and BKorp enable individuals, organisations and businesses to collaborate and cooperate - avoiding duplication, contradiction and confusion  - in order to work together creatively and effectively in the interests of people and planet. 

Nigel and Jenny invite our group of participants to
• explore the coalitions and networks that we are already part of
• co create new coalitions and networks amongst ourselves – in order to ensure that
• we take all we have learnt and planned during our week at Schumacher College back into the world and
• act as a dynamic coalition connected to other like-minded networks.

Who is this for?

• Leaders and managers from the private and public sector
• Entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs
• CEOs & Senior managers
• Younger leaders who want to protect a meaningful, creative and diverse future
• Specialists in corporate social responsibility
• People who want to change the world

What will participants gain from taking part in this course?

• A new model of holistic economics
• Positive and real examples of transforming business and organizations from the inside
• Skills and support to transform your own businesses and organizations
• A network of other allies who are currently transforming business from the inside


This course is full.
With Jenny Mackewn, Hege Saebjornsen, Seb Pole, Guillerme Ferreira, Nigel Topping, Karen Creavin
Jenny Mackewn

Jenny Mackewn

Jenny Mackewn is a Creative Catalyst who designs and leads innovative learning programmes and co-creative events.  She has recently initiated a Masters programme in Transformative Organisational Development (for Middlesex University): A leadership programme in Co-creating the Future (at Schumacher College) and a Focused Training in Constellations and Systemic Embodied Coaching (with ICF Accreditation).  She is developing a set of programmes in Holistic Business Development and Leadership for the Earth for Schumacher College and the Dartington Estate.

Hege Saebjornsen

Hege Saebjornsen

Hege Saebjornsen, IKEA: Hege is committed to transforming business, society, and self in order to create a thriving society for all. Hege leads the environmental and social sustainability agenda for IKEA UK&Ireland. This includes the successful delivery of their 'People and Planet' strategy; establishing IKEA as a leader in creating innovative, sustainable places, and the development of new circular business models and processes.

Seb Pole

Sebastian Pole

Seb Pole is the Co-founder and the Master Herbsmith at Pukka Herbs. Seb is a passionate environmentalist which is why Pukka is 100% organic and gives 1% of its turnover towards protecting and rejuvenating the planet. Seb is committed to running a business that inspires positive change and brings the benefit of the incredible power of plants to everyone he connects with - from farmers, collectors, Pukka staff - through to you.

Nigel Topping

Nigel Topping

Nigel Topping is CEO of the We Mean Business coalition, a collaborative of NGOs working with business to drive the transition to the zero carbon economy.  In this role he has worked closely with leaders of the UNFCCC process [Christiana Figueres, Laurence Tubiana etc] as well as CEOs of major companies. As well as WMB, Nigel has played a key role in the launching of other collaborative initiatives such as the Science Based Targets initiative and Business for Nature. In this work, Nigel has become particularly focussed on how to create the right conditions for collaboration, starting with the personal stance of each of us as a leader, and looking closely at how conflict arises and is resolved.

Prior to this role, Nigel spent 18 years in industry before studying for his MSc in Holistic Science at Schumacher College, then working for CDP for 8 years.  Nigel has spent a lot of time on icecaps in Greenland, Iceland and Patagonia climbing and experiencing the climate crisis first hand.  He lives in Totnes, Devon, just down the road from the college, with his wife Ann, and is a trustee of the Dartington Hall Trust.

Karen Creavin

Karen Creavin

Karen Creavin, Head of Birmingham City Council’s Wellbeing Service, works with the Local Government Agency (LGA) and is a regular speaker at conferences and training sessions on the links between health, well-being and sport.

Satish Kumar

Satish Kumar

Satish is a former monk and long-term peace and environment activist. He has been quietly setting the Global Agenda for change for over 50 years. He was just nine when he left his family home to join the wandering Jains and 18 when he decided he could achieve more back in the world, campaigning for land reform in India and working to turn Gandhi’s vision of a renewed India and a peaceful world into reality.

In 1973 Satish settled in the United Kingdom taking up the post of editor of Resurgence magazine, a position he has held ever since, making him the UK’s longest-serving editor of the same magazine. During this time, he has been the guiding spirit behind a number of now internationally respected ecological and educational ventures including Schumacher College. Satish has authored numerous books including No Destination: Autobiography of a Pilgrim, Soul, Soil, Society: a new trinity for our time and most recently Elegant Simplicity: The Art Of Living Well.

If you would like to book onto one of our short courses, you will need to create an account. This is a simple process of choosing a username, email address and password. Once you have created an account you will receive a verification email. Please click on the verification link within to have full access to the site and to make your booking. (You may need to  check your spam folder if you do not see this email.)  We will email you confirmation of your payment and any further communication about your course application.

Residential accommodation for "Changing the Frame"  is at Higher Close, a 20 minute walk from Schumacher College. All meals will be provided at the college.

A place can not be guaranteed unless we receive your deposit or payment on your chosen course. If you would like to apply for a bursary, please do this before making your course application.

Short Course Bursaries create an opportunity for an individual to experience the powerful transformative learning by joining a course that assists the participant to inspire their wider community and benefits from the participant’s own unique contribution. It is our hope that our bursaries support a wide cross section of participation on our short course programme. The number of bursaries available is limited, competition is strong and funding is not always available for every short course. Please be aware that most bursaries are in the region of 10% – 20% of the course fee so please be prepared to raise funding from other sources.  A bursary award is not intended to cover travel or incidental expenses.

Applications are viewed on a case-by-case basis and we are unable to enter into discussions on any decisions. We generally have many more applications for bursaries than we have funding available. We can only offer one bursary per person per year and priority is given to those who have not attended the college or received a bursary before. To help us support as many people as possible, please only apply if you would be unable to attend the course without a bursary.

How to apply for a bursary

Six weeks before the course is due to start all bursary applications will be considered and responded to.  If successful you will be required to accept our Bursary Terms and Conditions.

Please answer the following:

  1. What does a bursary mean to you?
  2. How will your attendance on this course benefit the wider community?
  3. If your financial situation justifies you applying for a bursary, how much are you able to contribute towards attending this course?

Please be prepared to supply an appropriate reference in support of your application.