As a leader of your organisation or sector’s sustainability agenda, it’s hard not to be overwhelmed by the scale and urgency of the task facing you and your team.
You know that to make progress your organisation needs to:
- Move rapidly beyond compliance and efficiency to discussing the strategic, transformative changes needed to become a sustainable and sustaining organisation.
- Generate innovative solutions that will help your organisation “take a quantum leap” in action on climate, biodiversity and other aspects of sustainability.
- Build enthusiasm and commitment across the organisation to put these strategic decisions and solutions into practice rapidly and effectively.
And you need to lead on this without being accused of naivety or putting your organisation’s viability at risk.
The Leadership for Sustainability Accelerator
The Leadership for Sustainability Accelerator’s unique focus is unlocking and developing your potential to create the network of colleagues and stakeholders who will work with you to accelerate your organisation’s sustainability journey.
It’s a single, all-inclusive programme for you to: create a stretching yet feasible plan; develop the skills and mindset to connect, influence and engage; and catalyse meaningful, collaborative change.
Part 1: Foundational learning & planning
Develop key insights, skills and mindsets, and make your initial plan of action.
- Two live, virtual Masterclasses
- A 6-day Residential Intensive
Part 2: Building your network
Put your plan into action, with ongoing feedback and support from the programme leaders and nine other participants:
- Monthly live, virtual Action Learning Workshops
- Private online learning platform
In just six months, you will have…
- Acquired new insights, skills and perspectives to maximise your impact as a sustainability leader.
- Created a growing network of colleagues and stakeholders committed to working with you to transform your organisation to become sustainable and sustaining.
- Made real progress with their support and involvement to start embedding sustainability more deeply in your organisation’s operations and strategy.
- Strategies to maintain the commitment, energy and confidence of you and your team so you can make progress even when there are setbacks and the going is tough.
A proven pedigree
Applying similar principles and approaches to those you will discover in the Accelerator, we, the programme leaders:
- Established new dialogues between PepsiCo’s colleagues, departments and organisations, leading to new sustainability solutions and collaborations, including the adoption of carbon reduction Science Based Targets with associated internal objectives and monitoring regimes and sector impact programmes.
- Created a network of stakeholders in schools, universities, professional bodies and government. Together they changed professional standards, national education policy and teacher training, resulting in Scotland becoming a world leader in learning for sustainability.
- Brought together academic and corporate staff at the University of Edinburgh to develop a sustainability strategy that recognised the university’s biggest impact is not estates, but teaching – through alumni’s life and work. A new department was established to support implementation of the strategy.
Your six month programme
Masterclass 1 | Key insights into accelerating your organisation’s sustainability journey
Live, virtual | 10am-12pm & 2pm-4pm, date tbc
What does it mean to accelerate your organisation’s sustainability journey? How can you drive medium term, purpose-led change in a organisation subject to immediate pressures and dominated by short-term goals?
You start the programme by assessing where your organisation currently stands on its sustainability journey. You then identify opportunities for developing strategic responses to accelerate your organisation’s progress towards becoming sustainable and sustaining.
Having identified those opportunities, you will evaluate your options for using and extending your influence to leverage the most promising ways to make progress.
By the end of Masterclass 1 you will have:
- An overview of your organisation’s current position on the sustainability journey.
- Identified potential routes for your organisation to make significant progress.
- Mapped the key stakeholders you need to engage.
- Identified potential leverage points to accelerate progress.
- Evaluated your options to accelerate your organisation’s sustainability journey.
Briefing | Live, virtual | 2pm-3.30pm date tbc
Residential | In-person, Scottish Highlands | 6 days, dates tbc
One week in a remote, but comfortable, off-grid lodge in the Highlands of Scotland to take a deep dive into the skills and mindsets essential for effective sustainability leadership – the Inner Development Goals – free from distraction and pressure.
The days will mainly be spent outdoors as we guide you through individual and group activities that engage the power of nature to stimulate new perspectives and enhance your creative problem-solving abilities. The evenings are for personal study and reflection, and conversations with your peers and the programme leaders.
Together with you peers, you will move beyond conventional analysis into powerful, authentic peer dialogue to develop new insights and approaches to how you will establish a network of colleagues and stakeholders to accelerate your organisation’s sustainability journey.
Developed by over a thousand researchers, experts and practitioners in leadership development and sustainability, including Peter Senge, Otto Scharmer and Renée Lertzman, the Inner Development Goals (IDGs) are supported by companies such as Google, Spotify, Stena, IKEA and OX2.
Relationship to self
Caring for Others and the World
Recent academic research has confirmed that the most powerful way to strengthen these skills and mindsets is by connecting with yourself and with nature. Over the last decade, we have researched and developed practical approaches and practices that do this, and incorporated them in our programmes.
You will return to your organisation from the Residential with:
- New insights and perspectives on accelerating your organisation’s sustainability journey.
- A deep understanding of how to engage colleagues and stakeholders to work together on sustainability.
- New skills and mindsets to maximise your impact as a sustainability leader.
- A renewed sense of commitment and purpose.
- Practical ways to support yourself and your team to maintain momentum and avoid burnout.
Masterclass 2 | Developing your plan to accelerate your organisation’s sustainability journey
Live, virtual | 10am-12pm & 2pm-4pm, date tbc
Consolidate what you have learned from Masterclass 1 and the Residential Intensive to develop your plan of action.
In this Masterclass you will:
- Review your most promising opportunities to progress sustainability in your organisation.
- Identify key resources that you will need including people, stakeholders, and data.
- Clarify your objectives and decide your priorities for action.
By the end of Masterclass 2 you will have:
A clear plan to establish the network of colleagues and stakeholders who will support you, and work with you, to accelerate your organisation’s sustainability journey.
Five Action Learning Workshops | Implementing and refining your plan
Over the next four months you will implement your plans to engage colleagues and stakeholders to accelerate your organisation’s sustainability journey.
At each Action Learning Workshop, working with your peers and supported by the programme leaders, you will review what you’ve achieved in the previous month, evaluate your progress and refine your plans to correct course and optimise your approach.
After each workshop you act on your improved plan.
This proven action learning approach will help you to make rapid and effective progress, and to integrate your actions into your work.
Each month, with the support of programme leaders and your peers, you will work through the action learning cycle to make rapid progress.
Action learning workshops (live, virtual), all run 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm:
- Monthly, dates tbc
Additional support between each session
Between each Action Learning Workshop, through our private online learning platform, you will have access to session recordings and materials, and the support of your peers and programme leaders to help you make progress.
We’ll be your programme leaders.
Between the three of us we have worked on sustainability and climate policy, strategy and implementation for organisations as diverse as PepsiCo, the Scottish Government, the University of Edinburgh, Scottish Renewables as well as small but groundbreaking third sector groups.
We have all been facilitating sustainability leadership programmes for almost a decade. We each hold Hill and Moorland Leader qualifications from the UK national awarding body so we can safely bring the power of working outdoors into our programmes.
Extra support for a year
We’re committed to helping you and your organisation make real progress on your sustainability journey. Of course you will have the ongoing support of the network you’ll create in your organisation.
But if you need an external perspective or support from someone outside your organisation, the Accelerator includes three one-to-one coaching sessions with one of the programme leaders for up to 18 months after the end of the programme.
Looking after yourself and your team
Up to this point we’ve focused on how the Accelerator can help you deliver significant progress on sustainability for your organisation. But, as we’ve said, working on sustainability can be overwhelming, even when you and your organisation are making real progress.
Looking after yourself and your team is essential to maintain your commitment and energy while avoiding burn out. Connecting with yourself and nature is proven to be one of the most effective ways to do this.
During and after the Residential you will learn simple, practical strategies that you and your team can use regularly to look after yourselves in the long-term.
People tell us our programmes have given them:
- A renewed sense of purpose and a re-connection with the reasons they started working on sustainability – and this makes them feel passionate and energised again.
- A greater sense of resolution and courage – so they feel able stand up for what matters to them, be bolder in decision making and challenge the status quo.
- New perspectives and greater creativity – so they come up with innovative new approaches and solutions to moving sustainability forward.
- A strong sense of authenticity from working in these ways – when conventional approaches made them feel drained and distanced from what really matters.
If you are a director or senior manager with responsibility for sustainability in your organisation or sector – whether in the private, public or third sector – if you’re ready, you can book your place now.
If you have questions or simply want to talk with us before booking, just arrange a call, we’d love to talk with you.
The full fee of £6,200 (€7,000) includes:
- Three sustainability leadership experts, just ten participants and an unrivalled programme;
- 80 hours contact time including:
- A residential with six nights accommodation, fully catered with excellent meals in an awe-inspiring place;
- Two live virtual Masterclasses and five live virtual Action Learning Workshops;
- Three one-to-one coaching sessions.
Early bird fee of £4,500 (€5,000)
- Book early for a discount of over 25% on the full fee.
Dates for the 2024 programme will be confirmed soon. Register your interest to be the first to know.
Questions – Taking Part in the Programme
Can I join if I’m working on sustainability with multi-stakeholder initiatives?
Similar challenges and solutions apply if you are working to accelerate sustainability across multiple organisations. So yes, the Leadership for Sustainability Accelerator is for you, if you are leading or coordinating: a supply chain initiative; a professional body, industry or trade association initiative; a sectoral initiative; a public, private and third sector partnership or similar. If in doubt, arrange a call.
I am nervous about the time commitment? Should I be?
No. If you are responsible for leading on sustainability in your organisation, the time you invest in the programme will be recouped many times over. You will not only apply your own time with greater impact, you benefit from the time of the people in your network who will also be contributing to your goals.
Who else will be on the programme? Will it be a safe space for me to openly talk about my work?
The other participants will be directors or managers with responsibility for sustainability in their organisation, whether in the private, public or third sector, or leading a multi-stakeholder initiative. The Chatham House Rule applies during the programme, and we create an environment of trust and respect where people can talk openly about their work with confidence that it will go no further.
Can I bring members of my team on the programme?
What are the actual dates of the Accelerator?
The dates for the 2024 programme are not yet confirmed. Register your interest above and we will let you know as soon as the dates are released.
Questions – The Residential Intensive
Why is the Residential mostly outdoors in a remote location?
Over a decade of research, we have consistently found that the fastest and most effective way to cultivate the skills and mindsets essential to effective sustainability leadership – the Inner Development Goals – is through connecting with nature.
The impact extended time outdoors connecting with nature has on enhancing our ability to engage in creative problem solving; formulate innovative and novel solutions to to complex issues; and develop new perspectives to enable obstacles to progress to be overcome cannot be replicated in indoor or virtual settings.
Our experience from running numerous nature connection programmes is that six days in a remote location delivers the optimal results – providing the best balance between time commitment and impact.
How fit and ‘outdoorsy’ do I need to be?
Much of the time on the Residential Intensive is spent outdoors. During this time we will be walking for up to an hour at a gentle pace on hill paths and rough ground. The walking is interspersed with sitting to talk, reflect and explore your thinking on sustainability.
None of this involves walking far or fast and we stay on the flatter ground of the valley floor so no climbing of steep hills is involved. The Residential is not a test of physical endurance and doesn’t require a high degree of physical fitness.
We want our programmes to be as accessible as possible. If you have any health or mobility issues, please contact us as soon as possible before booking to discuss your needs.
What outdoor clothing do I need?
As well as your own clothes to wear while travelling and in the lodge, you will need clothing and equipment that will keep you warm and dry in the outdoors. Download our Participant Kit List.
Where will we be staying?
Deanich Lodge on the Alladale Wilderness Reserve is comfortable and warm with relaxing sofas, central heating, a wood burning stove and hot showers. Bedrooms are shared with others of the same gender – 2 to 4 per room.
What will the food be like?
Meals are freshly cooked using local, seasonal produce whenever possible. Between meals, freshly brewed coffee, a variety of teas, biscuits and fruit are always available. We do not allow the consumption of alcohol. We will make every effort to accommodate dietary requirements which must be advised well in advance.
What! No mobile signal or internet?
Deanich Lodge is one of the remotest houses on the UK mainland. There is no mobile phone signal in the area and no internet access. We encourage you to embrace the opportunity to spend time away from digital technology. By doing so, you will experience the very rare opportunity to spend six days focusing on the big challenges you face without the constant distraction and interruption of emails and messages pulling your focus elsewhere.
What happens in an emergency?
There is a private telephone landline at Deanich Lodge in case someone needs to contact you in an emergency. We also carry a satellite phone when we’re away from the lodge.
Getting to and from the Residential
The Residential starts and ends at Ardgay village, about an hour north of Inverness by car or train. We meet near Ardgay train station around midday on the Saturday and leave around 3pm on the Friday.
We’ve chosen these times to fit with the train service to and from Inverness and beyond – including the Caledonian Sleeper service from London. The nearest airport is Inverness. From the airport you can take a bus, train or taxi to Inverness train station, where you can catch the local train to Ardgay. If you need to break your journey overnight there is a wide range of accommodation in Inverness.
Payments, terms and conditions
How can I pay for the programme?
You can pay with a card or request an invoice to pay by bank transfer.
What if I need to cancel?
We know that sometimes life forces you to change your plans, so we try to be as flexible as possible given that we have to commit in advance to venue hire and other costs and filling a space at short notice can be difficult. If you situation changes, you can get a full refund if you cancel at least 10 weeks before the start. If you cancel between 10 and 6 weeks before the start we will refund 50%. Unfortunately after that we can’t give a refund. See our terms and conditions for details.
Our terms and conditions
When you book you agree to our terms and conditions. You really should read these because among other things they explain that you must tell us about your health and other personal details, and that you need to take out appropriate insurance to cover the Residential Intensive.