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?

Growing the change making capabilities of practitioners in the marine and coastal sectors

Applications are now closed.

What is Compass?

What will I get from this course?

Course structure & format

Is this for me?

Course fees

How to apply

What is Compass?

Compass is a 3-month online learning journey to foster peer-learning and group coaching applied in practice.

At the Marine CoLAB, we have been using systems change approaches such as facilitating collaborative processes, systems mapping, action-learning, horizon scanning and applying a values-based approach to communications, to help our work and experiments be effective and impactful.

With COP26 fast approaching, building our collective capabilities to communicate the value of the ocean and foster systemic change in the coastal and marine sectors is crucial. Supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, we share our approaches with the wider community of professionals across the marine and coastal space.

What will I get from this course?

Course structure & format

This 3-month online learning programme will be delivered through:

  • Peer-learning with a diverse cohort of marine and coastal professionals
  • Facilitated online sessions via video call and applied learning time
  • Applying your learning to your own programmatic work and reflecting back in facilitated group sessions
  • Readings, exercises and reflection to be completed in your own time

The programme is flexibly designed to suit a range of professional roles and levels of exploration:

We are also offering a follow-up expedition building on these dives to support people and organisations looking to initiate a #OneLess journey to eradicating single-use plastic water bottles and encouraging a transition to water refilling in their town/city. If you’re interested in this deeper dive, please indicate this in the application form. 

The programme runs from September to November 2021, and is structured as follows (all sessions will take place in GMT working time zone):



How much time will I need to commit?


21 September

2.5 hours

Introductions to values & systems approaches to tackle marine & coastal challenges

23 & 27 September

2x 2.5 hour sessions and individual prep time (30mins-1h)

Application of systems approaches in your own work

28, 29, 30 September

3x 2.5 hour sessions and individual prep time

Application of values based communications in your own work

5, 6, 7 October

3x 2.5 hour sessions and individual prep time

Onward learning pods: Learning and reflection sessions in the run up and after COP26

Late Oct & Nov dates TBC

3x 1.5 hour sessions

Is this for me?

This programme is designed for a cross-section of professionals who can influence marine and coastal issues at a local, regional, or national level. We expect that our participants will have varied backgrounds and contexts and this is fine (and in fact desired!).

We aim for diversity across the cohort to include a variety of perspectives across the marine and coastal sectors - from multiple types of organisation, contexts, and experiences.

We’ll be looking for a mix of marine-related expertise to form a strong cohort of around 25-30 participants, from organisations such as civil society, philanthropy, policy, and academia. 

We expect you will have a strategic role and aspire to spark transformational change across diverse coastal and marine issues. Last but not least, participants must commit to participating in all of the online sessions and contributing constructively to peer group learning. 

Course fees

The fees for this course are subsidised thanks to the contribution of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

While the true cost of running this programme is £2,200 per participant, we are able to offer the following discounted rates: 

Dives 1 and 2 – £650 

Dive 3 – £800

If cost is a barrier to participation, please indicate this in the application form, as we are actively fundraising to be able to offer a number of bursary places.

Equally, if you/your organisation can afford to, we are offering the opportunity to help subsidise others to ensure diversity in the cohort. We welcome gift contributions to our bursary pot of £50-£200.

If you've got any questions, drop us a line at [email protected]

How to apply

Applications are now closed.