Leadership Course

The Pale Blue.Org Leadership Short Course

How can your business or social enterprise be fit for purpose and at the leading edge of global change?

Are you interested in learning how your work can truly balance economic, environmental and social impact?

Tried conventional professional development but fancy something different?


The Pale Blue Dot Org is an established leadership development and networking group that meets regularly to learn and take action together. Facilitated by experienced systems thinkers, you will explore new approaches to tackle the increasing complexity and uncertainty of our fast-moving world.

Why join the Pale Blue Dot Org?

There is growing acceptance that we face many economic, environmental and social challenges, especially when trying to balance all three. But it can be hard to know how to act – personally and professionally – in order to effectively respond to these issues.

The Pale Blue Dot Org is a membership organisation, designed to provide you with the tools to pioneer new management approaches that can generate sustainable change and market advantage.

What does it involve?

Each new cohort of the Pale Blue Dot Org comes together in the shared learning experience of the Pale Blue Dot course, facilitated by Martin Sandbrook from the Schumacher Institute.

List of previous attendees

It is designed to help you start to develop a more comprehensive system of learning. Beginning with your own place in the world, it will help you test your ideas in real world scenarios, and then reflect on your experience.

After finishing the course, you become a member of the network – joining a wide range of professionals in the public, private and voluntary sectors and enabling you to create new links and hear fresh perspectives.

As a member, you can also continue to access regular learning sessions with Martin and other Pale Blue Dot alumni.

How will I benefit?

We are often taught that there are simple solutions to complex issues, yet the reality is that there are no concrete answers to the challenges we face. The Pale Blue Dot Course draws on a wide range of expertise to demonstrate the power of experimenting with new management styles.

Exploring the benefits of systems thinking and sustainability, the course will give you a fresh and unique perspective on how to move forward and make you and your organisation more effective.


“If you are fed up of your organisation approaching each task, problem and issue in silos with limited success, I would highly recommend you consider taking the Pale Blue Dot course. It’s a chance to reflect on your own management style in a non-judgemental way, talk through and try new approaches and test out new ways to address problems. The course is supported by a wealth of reading materials which I will no doubt be revisiting long after the course has finished.”
Nina Skubala, Business West

“The course was a great introduction to systems thinking, and has taught me to take a step back, question the status quo and consider better ways of getting things done. Everything I learned on the course I found to be instantly applicable to both my personal and working life and it was great to share this journey with an engaged group of fellow learners. Taking this course has equipped me with the skills and the confidence to explore new ideas, pursue new ventures, and make lasting connections with other sustainability professionals in Bristol –for which I am very grateful. Highly recommended!”

Jessica Ferrow, Low Carbon South West

Course content:

1. An introductory full-day to introduce: Worldviews, The consequences of the prevailing western worldview; Other ways of being – the systemic approach; So what? – if the systemic is more useful, how do we apply this to what we are working on?

2. A series of 5 monthly sessions, to deepen and move on from the learning of the first day:
a. Who am I? How do I see the world? How do I learn? How do we learn together?
b. What are the consequences of the prevailing western way of thought? Assuming we are already aware of this – how do we know what we know? What does it mean – to know something?
c. What is the Systemic approach? What does this mean in detail?
d. More about the systemic, but beginning to answer the ‘So what?’ question – what does this mean for me, and how I act in the world?
e. What does this mean for us – how we act together to sustain the Pale Blue Dot? How do we engage others and collaborate more effectively. Changing the direction in response to the ideas and plans generated by the group, to continue the group in the longer term.

3. Networking and Sharing: There will be a variety of less formal opportunities for members to meet thereafter, to discuss progress, test ideas, establish joint projects, share feedback and swap stories.

Sessions are structured as 2 hours long, but finish when they finish! They will begin with some formal input, led by Martin Sandbrook, based on some succinct pre-reading or other research which participants have considered prior to that session.

Where applicable, external speakers or other on-line resources will be used to augment the sessions.
We will then work on some of the challenges that you are working on – to help you think them through in a new way, and with other’s input. There is also time for networking and sharing your thoughts on topical issues

We are growing in confidence
We are discovering better ways to achieve
We rest on the support of a peer group
We are collaborating more effectively
We test ideas through action and take time to reflect
We are learning

When and where?

Dates: Our next one-day workshops will run on the 29th of April and the 6th of May, followed by five monthly breakfast meetings on the first Tuesday of every month.

Venue: All meetings take place in the relaxing and self-contained learning environment at the Create Centre, Bristol. There is a map here: Create Centre

Costs: The cost for the course is £300. For more information, contact Martin Sandbrook (martin@schumacherinstitute.org.uk).

Places can be booked through Eventbrite: https://pale-blue-dot.eventbrite.co.uk We request a 50% deposit at time of booking, payable by bank transfer or cheque.