Why I’m happy to be in good company

LEAD Network Trainers taken at an International Meeting in Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Some of my colleagues on the boardwalk in Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Keeping good company

At this time of the year e-mail updates are about as welcome as mince pies. Puffed up and full of additives. Mince pies, just to explain, are an essential part of Christmas in the UK, just as ‘end of the year’ e-mails tend to make their first appearance about now.

Nevertheless I want to tell you quickly what I have been doing in 2014, and I want to thank everyone who has helped me to navigate my first year of working as an independent trainer/facilitator/coach.

Good company is the only kind to keep

Aesop says we are judged by the company we keep, and Google Analytics seems to agree. Month after month, Google tells me that one of the most visited pages at kellowlearning.com is the network page.

I am very thankful that I keep such good company. I strongly believe in the ‘strength of weak ties’, and experience tells me that good company is the only kind to keep.

The strength of weak ties

Thanks to LEAD Fellow Tristram Lewis at Oak Foundation, I had my first experience of working with the fishing sector. Then thanks to Britt Groosman at EDF I tendered successfully to facilitate a groundbreaking workshop for French and English scallop fishermen. Thanks to Chris Grieve, I found the perfect French co-facilitator, and fisheries expert, Sophie Desclers.

Thanks to LEAD Fellow Valli Murthy at British Glass, I got the opportunity to work with Parsons Brinckerhoff delivering workshops on decarbonisation and energy efficiency for the glass, chemicals, ceramics and cement industries.

How to build a sustainable learning network

I’m proud to teach on the MSC on Urban Sustainable Development in Oxford, or the MSUD as it is known. Led by David Howard and his team, the MSUD programme creates opportunities for current students, graduates and teachers to network informally. It’s a relational approach to learning that tells me the programme values its students and its teachers. For me the MSUD is a textbook example of how to build a sustainable learning community.

Train the Trainer

One of the highlights of 2014 was co-delivering a train the trainer programme for the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Montreal with yet another LEAD Fellow, Matias Linder. Prior to the training workshops, we spent a blissful few days with Hugh Maynard and his wife Neva who live in an old farmhouse surrounded by wheat fields. Hugh is a mover and shaker in LEAD Canada, and a long-term friend and colleague. Hugh and Neva looked after us so well we didn’t want to leave. When we saw our hotel in St Catherine Street, we knew we shouldn’t have.

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

I’ve also been working with sustainability ambassadors in China, and I was name-checked in UNESCO report on education for sustainable development. But now I’m boasting.

Team Blogging

Lastly I want to thank Del Redvers, Martin Gilbraith, John Lewis, Chris Grieve, Titi Tade, Capucine Carrier, Giles Bartlett and Jane Kirton who crafted outstanding blogs for Kellow Learning about leadership, strategic ignorance, resilience, the value of digressing, learning from Minecraft, scallop fishing, and youth education system. What a fabulous feast of ideas, and what a wonderfully diverse learning network.

Thank you, and see you in 2015!



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