School of System Change

We know that growing a global community of change agents is our best chance to accelerate a transition to a sustainable future. Want to know more?

Change leaders from across Europe are invited to join us for our next learning programme, kicking off in September 2021 in partnership with DRIFT Transition Academy.

This six-month, fully online learning journey will help you navigate complex challenges, map and diagnose systems and engage others with far-reaching change processes.

Download the course brochure here, or read more about the course below.

*Applications are now closed*

About the course

About our participants

More information

How to apply

About the course

What will I get from the course?

As a participant on Basecamp, you will complete this learning journey:

  • Capable of understanding and diagnosing complex systems
  • Equipped with a toolkit of varied systemic methods and approaches for developing and working on multi-stakeholder projects
  • Prepared to make the right choices about where and how to act to create positive change
  • Having tested their learning on complex, real-life sustainability challenges
  • Ready to lead transformational change in their own field
  • Linked to a powerful international network of people and support

Course structure & format

This 6-month, fully online learning experience will be delivered through:

  • Peer-learning with an international cohort of change leaders
  • Facilitated online sessions for the full cohort and smaller groups via video call, with over 65 hours of instruction time across the course
  • 1-to-1 coaching, with feedback and support from an experienced facilitator to support your growth as a systems change practitioner
  • Opportunity to apply your learning to a live sustainability challenge in small groups via a Fieldwork project
  • A tailored online learning environment and set of resources
  • Reading, exercises and reflection to be completed in your own time

The course runs from September 2021 to April 2022, and is structured as follows (all core sessions will take place between 09:30 and 13:30 Central European Time):


Dates & Times

How much time will I need to commit?

Course kick off
Introducing the programme and forming the cohort

27th & 29th September 2021

8 hours of introductory activities across 2 days, plus 3 hours of self-organised (group) work

First intensive learning week
Understanding systems and system change practice

4th to 8th October 2021

20 hours of facilitated learning time across 5 days, plus 12 hours of self-organised (group) work

Fieldwork for organisations
Collaborative team project mapping complex real-life sustainability challenges in teams

October 2021 to January 2022, flexible hours to be agreed with your group

Approximately 5 hours per week working with your fieldwork team

Mid-term online gathering
Presenting fieldwork outputs and introducing action learning

12th & 13th January 2022

8 hours of facilitated learning time across 2 days, plus 3 hours of self-organised (group) work

Independent and peer group learning, with 1-to-1 coaching
Applying system change to your challenge

January to February 2022, flexible hours

Approximately 5 hours per week of online group sessions, reading, individual exercises, and coaching time

Second intensive learning week
Learning how to design strategies for system change

14th to 18th February 2022

20 hours of facilitated learning time across 5 days, plus 12 hours of self-organised (group) work

Independent and peer group learning, with 1-to-1 coaching
Applying system change to your challenge

February to April 2022, flexible hours

Approximately 5 hours per week of online group sessions, reading, individual exercises, and coaching time

Closing session
Deep reflection & preparation for the next phase of your journey

7th April 2022

4 hours of facilitated learning time


Rachel Phillips 

Rachel is a systemic leadership, strategy and learning facilitator and coach, with over 15 years’ experience designing and facilitating innovative, participatory leadership and change processes for sustainable development. As co-founder of Edge Effects, she supports individuals and organisations to unlock effective responses to complex systemic challenges.

Payam Yuce Isik

Payam Yuce Isik

Payam is an executive and team coach and a facilitator focused on creating dialogue and change in the face of conflict and resistance, supporting leaders to own their leadership through awareness. Her experience spans the consultancy services and IT sectors and beyond.

Marieke Verhagen

Marieke is Chief Learning Officer of Transition Academy at DRIFT. She is an experienced researcher, teacher, organiser, facilitator and coach in sustainability transitions and complex systems. Marieke focuses on accessibility, participants’ connectivity and multiple ways of teaching & learning (beyond ‘cognitive’).

Course fees

Course fees are as follows, based on sector / professional context. VAT does not apply. 

Corporate / philanthropy / central government

£7,500 or 8,400 €*

NGO / social enterprise / public sector

£5,250 or 5,880 €

Small organisation / freelance / individual:

£3,750 or 4,200 €

*A 30% discount from this full fee is offered to corporate and government partners of Forum for the Future and DRIFT.

About our participants

What are the criteria for participating?

There are no specific minimum qualifications required to participate in Basecamp. However, we assume a base level of understanding of sustainability (defined broadly as social and environmental issues in today’s world), as we do not include any introduction or specific knowledge on this as part of the course. We expect that our participants will have varied sustainability backgrounds and contexts and this is fine (and in fact desired). We’ll be looking for a mix of issue expertise, whether that is waste management, social justice, economic inequality, or climate change.

We are looking for inspired and intrepid individuals from business, non-profits, public sector organisations, and philanthropy, along with any other enablers of change (like consultants, designers, or entrepreneurs) to form a strong cohort of at least twenty participants.

We expect you will have a strategic role and some decision-making capacity within your organisation, community, or professional context so that you are well placed to directly and promptly apply your learning, and to feasibly implement strategic changes.

As a participant, you will identify a specific complex sustainability challenge (in the widest sense of the word, including social change), and commit to exploring that challenge (although it may evolve) during your applied learning journey - meaning that you’re up for scoping or planning a new piece of work, re-visiting a strategy, or otherwise shifting or building on your current work as you learn and test out your new skills.

You must have a strong command of the English language, which is the language of instruction for all pedagogical materials.

Last but not least, participants must commit to participating in all of the online sessions and contributing constructively to peer group learning. You need not be based in Europe but will need to be able to join the online sessions on the dates and times listed above.

Who will the other participants be?

Each of our cohorts is different; our aim and one of our core programme design principles is for diversity across the group in the broadest sense of the word, including diversity of professional setting (large organisations and small, different sectors along with freelancers and independents), to diversity of sustainability issue and area of expertise.

More information

We understand it's a big step to take on a new course, especially alongside a full-time job. For any queries, please email [email protected] and we'll do our best to help.

How do I apply?

*Applications are now closed*

This course will be delivered in partnership with DRIFT Transition Academy.