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?

This experiential systems learning journey will be delivered through:

  • Facilitated in-person sessions across 2 days at a luxury retreat centre in Somerset, UK
  • 1-to-1 coaching from an experienced coach and facilitator to support your reflection on the first intensive, and growth as a systems change practitioner 
  • A final session facilitated online, to consolidate your learning over the programme and prepare you to take it out into the world
  • Peer-learning with an international network of systems change leaders, including an online mixer between Spark cohorts
  • A tailored online learning environment and set of resources
  • Reading, exercises and reflection to be completed in your own time

Date & times


  • 3rd - 5th Oct - Retreat (2 nights, 2 days)
    • Arriving by 12pm 3rd Oct
      Departing after 2pm 5th Oct
  • 1-to-1 coaching period between kick-off and closing weeks
  • Invitation to online mixer between cohorts
  • 7th Nov - Closing session (half-day)


    We ask participants to arrive by 12pm on 3 Oct in Somerset. We will end programming by 2pm on 5 Oct.

    Spark Retreat - Facilitators

    Anna Birney

    Anna is Director of the School of System Change, overseeing the learning and curriculum and driving the vision and ambition internationally. Anna brings years of practical experience facilitating people, collaborations across all organisations with cutting edge approaches for system change, and deeper thinking and inquiry from her research.  Her current action inquiries have been about inner work, facilitation, how we organise, governance and power in systemic work.

    Laura is head of the School of System Change. She works to develop the School as a networked organisation that supports change-makers from diverse backgrounds and contexts, providing them with new capabilities to tackle an increasingly complex set of challenges. Laura’s own practice stems from living systems and regenerative approaches, cross-pollinated with methodology from the French school of futures and experience with social entrepreneurship and new economies. Read more from Laura here.
    #regenerativedevelopment #prospective

    Read more from Anna & Laura on our Medium blog.

    About the venue

    Spark Retreat will take place at 42 Acres, our partner in rural Somerset. The course will begin with two nights and two days in this beautiful venue dedicated to inner work for outer change, all hosted by the 42 Acres team in a luxuriously renovated farmhouse and cottages. Activities will take place indoors with learning time in a comfortable yurt as well as outdoors in the woodlands, lakes and meadows. Food provided is organic farm-to-table. A real treat!

    How to apply 

    You can apply for all Spark 2022 offerings through this application. Kindly note the different deadlines for the in-person and online offerings.

      Apply here

      Course fees 

      The School of System Change is continually working to improve the financial accessibility of our courses. It is our intention that those able to finance the higher tier fees contribute at the full rate, in order to support others to access the discounted rates.

      For the residential option, the tuition fee is the same, with a contribution towards the cost of the residency hire added. Three pricing options are available for different room-types - all in luxury, eco-friendly accommodation- ranging from a private double with ensuite; to a socially-distanced, shared room, either with a known applicant or a new face on the cohort. There is the opportunity for you to express your room preference in the application form, as well as payment options. There will also be an opportunity for you to share any accessibility accommodations we can make to support your stay.

      Course fees
      Retreat, including a £300 contribution towards an private king-sized room with ensuite and board for 2 nights, listed in GBP
      Retreat, including a £250 contribution towards an individual room and board for 2 nights, listed in GBP
      Retreat, including a £200 contribution towards a shared room and board for 2 nights, listed in GBP
      Full rate
      The full rate reflecting the full cost of one person’s place on the course. This rate is often paid by organisations.
      A mid-tier rate for the course, often paid by individuals or very small organisations.
      Discounted rate:
      The discounted rate is available to incoming participants in need of financial assistance to support their learning. Only a few discounted rate slots are allocated to each cohort.

      VAT does not apply to the fees above.