Courses Overview >> Short courses >> Three Horizons: A Pathways Practice for Sustainability and Transformative Innovation

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Three Horizons: A Pathways Practice for Sustainability and Transformative Innovation

With Bill Sharpe and Daniel Wahl

£ 795.00
Course fees include basic accommodation, all meals, field trips, materials and all teaching sessions.
The programme will run from Monday to Friday afternoon, and includes four nights private accommodation and all vegetarian meals from the first lunchtime you arrive through until the lunchtime before your departure. We ask you to arrive between 11:30 - 1 on the first day of your course so that the group can begin the experience by dining together. We recommend attending this course as a fully residential participant however for you may choose to book as a non-residential participant. Please call 01803 847237 for more details.

With Bill Sharpe and Daniel Wahl

Non-Residential Places Only, please use voucher code "NONRES150" upon checkout and £150.00 will be deducted from the residential fee.

This course is for people who are concerned with enabling transformative change for sustainability, whatever type of organizational role they are in – businesses, community, governments, NGOs, professions, or social enterprise.  It is about how we can improve the way we face the complexity and uncertainty of the future and come together to create pathways of change.   It is both for those who hold a vision of the future, and those who keep things going today, who want to work together for long term flourishing of all humans on the planet.  

We need to transform our ways of life to bring human civilization and planet Earth into a sustainable relationship. Regenerative resource management and regenerative development form life’s basis for long term flourishing and the workshop will explore the implications of this transition at the local, regional, and global scale.   Participants will learn the practice of Three Horizons for transformative innovation as a way to face the complexity and uncertainties of this transition in a practical way.

Three Horizons is a simple and intuitive tool for thinking about the future.   At its simplest we can see it as describing three patterns of activity and how their interactions play out over time.  The framework maps a shift from the established patterns of the first horizon to the emergence of new patterns in the third, via the transition activity of the second.  It helps groups explore systemic patterns to identify which of the dominant patterns are no longer fit for purpose, how emerging trends can shape the future, and what visionary action is needed to collectively move us towards a viable future.

The central idea of Three Horizons, and what makes it so useful, is that it draws attention to the three horizons as three experiential qualities of the future in the present moment, and this allows us to see that we have evidence about the future in how people (including ourselves) are behaving now.  The outcome of Three Horizons work is a map of transformational potential which enables us to act with more skill, freedom and creativity in the present, both individually and together.   Thus we develop Three Horizons practice as the cultivation of our future consciousness – an awareness of the future potential of the present moment.

What will I learn from taking part in this workshop?

After completing the course participants will:
• have an understanding of, and experience in, applying Three Horizons as a futures framework for navigating systemic change
• be familiar with and have experienced the foundational practices of Three Horizons: seeing everything in patterns, putting ourselves in the picture, convening the future
• have been introduced to a set of ways to see, understand, and relate to the world which inform the practice of future consciousness to guide present action
• be able to distinguish between sustaining, disruptive, and transformative innovation and have a framework for assessing what kind of disruptive innovation is more likely to offer stepping stones towards transformational change
• have had the opportunity to individually and collectively reflect on societal innovation, patterns of renewal, and the dynamics of systemic change
• be familiar with methods aimed at dilemma resolution to navigate pathways between competing values and facilitate collaborative action through learning to disagree more intelligently
• be introduced to the creative commons of facilitation support available from H3Uni – a University for the Third Horizon.
The workshop will combine theory and practice sessions in Three Horizons and related thinking skills to develop your capacities in systemic and transformative innovation.   Practice sessions will be organized around topics of shared interest to the participants (within the wider context of the transition to sustainable and regenerative societies).

Who is this workshop aimed at?

Anyone interested in learning a practical way to facilitate a more inclusive and systemic conversation about change and innovation within the context of an uncertain future and the need to transform societal patterns towards increased sustainability, regeneration and resilience. Three Horizon thinking is useful for:
• Innovators in business, public authority and civil society
• People working in research and development on long-range innovation
• civil servants, policy makers and community organisers
• educators in secondary, university, or non-formal education
• business strategists and business consultants
• people in management and leadership positions challenged with having to make strategic decisions in the face of uncertainty
• social entrepreneurs, business mentors and start-up coaches

Where can I find out more about Three Horizons and Regenerative Culture?

Three Horizons came out of the practice of the International Futures Forum, and resources can be found at their practice site   Further resources are available at the website of their educational partner H3Uni (A University for the Third Horizon)

Designing Regenerative Cultures by Daniel Christian Wahl is an exploration of a particular view of the third horizon. It explores the vision of a viable future for humanity based on global-local collaboration and knowledge exchange among diverse regenerative cultures elegantly adpated to the bio-cultural uniqueness of the places they inhabit.


Bill Sharpe

Bill Sharpe is an independent futures practitioner and researcher in science, technology and society. He was a research lab director at Hewlett Packard for fifteen years, and pioneered new technologies in mobile and pervasive computing. On leaving HP, he co-founded a specialist innovation consultancy creating new digital products for international clients.  Since then he has undertaken a wide range of technology strategy, research and innovation consulting for international clients in both the public and commercial sectors. Bill is an expert in futures techniques, and has edited a collection of the latest scenario-based methods from the work of the Oxford Futures Forum – Scenarios for Success. He is one of the originators of the Three Horizons approach to futures and author of Three Horizons: the patterning of hope.   He is a founder member of H3Uni –an educational enterprise dedicated to empowering people to develop the skills and experience necessary to foster transformative innovation in their communities and organisations.

Bill is currently leading the Deep Practitioner program of the international Future Stewards initiative.   This aims to create the cadre of leaders needed to achieve breakthroughs in addressing climate change by 2020, enabling a community of practitioners to face the challenges with hope and compassion, and shift the scale and pace of action through transformative innovation.

Daniel Christian Wahl

Daniel Christian Wahl works internationally as a consultant and educator in regenerative development, whole systems design, and transformative innovation.  He holds degrees in biology (Univ. of Edinburgh / Univ. of California) and Holistic Science (Schumacher College) and his 2006 doctoral thesis (Univ. of Dundee) was on Design for Human and Planetary Health. He was director of Findhorn College between 2007 and 2010, and is a member of the International Futures Forum, a fellow of the RSA, a Findhorn Foundation Fellow and on the advisory council of the Ojai Foundation.  His clients have included UNITAR (with CIFAL Scotland), UK Foresight (with Decision Integrity Ltd), Ecover (with Forum for the Future), Bioneers (with the Progressio Foundation), the Dubai Futures Foundation (with Tellart), The Commonwealth (with Cloudburst Foundation), Gaia Education, the Global Ecovillage Network, the State of the World Forum, Balears.t, Camper, and many educational NGOs, universities, and design schools. He is co-founder of Biomimicry Iberia (2012), and has been collaborating with ‘SmartUIB’ at the University of the Balearic Islands since 2014. His recent book Designing Regenerative Cultures, published by Triarchy Press in the UK in May 2016, has already gained international acclaim.

Non-Residential Places Only, please use voucher code "NONRES150" upon checkout and £150.00 will be deducted from the residential fee.

With Bill Sharpe and Daniel Wahl

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

NB: Please do not pay your deposit for the course yet. Any applications received where a deposit has been paid will be rejected and the deposit refunded.

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.

More about our growing areas and philosophy

We follow ecological cycles as much as possible. Much of the food is grown in the five and half acre agroforestry field – in a system of alley cropping and in the developing forest garden. The field also has fruit trees and bushes; young nut trees; a flock of pasture fed poultry; two wild life ponds, a craft and pollinator garden and a hazel and willow coppice.

Other areas include two herb gardens; four polytunnels; a perennial no dig vegetable garden and several fruit areas. We compost our garden and kitchen waste for use on site, and use green manures for fertility building.

Our students find their time engaging with food growing, and all it entails, a truly transformative time.   Our gardens are as much about nurturing people as plants, and hundreds of students have found the contact with the land and soil to be a rich learning journey.

Integral to the College’s international learning community, you will get to know students, staff and volunteers through daily meetings and shared activities. There is also a diverse programme of events and evening talks, offered by college residents, visiting teachers and local experts.

Help & Enquiries

 Admission Enquiries
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+ 44 (0) 1803 847212