Tim Coburn. The different purposes of corporate, educational and community organisations can obscure the common principles of person-centred learning that we share, wherever we are human. During the last 20 years, I held senior and global roles in learning and development at The BBC, Motorola, Rolls-Royce and Kenya Airways. I’m a corporate learning specialist but in the last two years, I taught an enterprise learning programme in a primary school and worked on two learning projects with marginalized, slum-based communities in Kibera, Nairobi, one of the largest sums in Africa. These first-hand experiences gave me a vivid picture of our common ground and they moved me to want to work with it for the benefit of others whatever their context. For this reason, the Centre for Systems Learning and Leadership represents a fantastic opportunity for us to work near the cutting edge of academic research with colleagues from corporate, educational and community organizations to make research-based learning products valuable to society at large.

Geoff Cox has been Design Director at RSVP Design Ltd since 2003, a Scottish based company he was instrumental in founding. Geoff’s role involves close collaboration with client companies worldwide to develop, and deliver, significant elements of corporate learning material. These materials include programmes, behavioural simulations and practical learning tools that respond to defined client needs in an engaging, impactful and memorable style. The particular expertise in the design of learning environments that Geoff demonstrates is built on a foundation of more than 30 years experience of senior-level learning and development in a broad range of commercial and NFP organisations. The robust and respectful style that he has developed through working in sectors as sensitive as Nuclear Energy, Health Care Provision and High-Tech Manufacturing make Geoff a powerful presence in situations where senior teams must confront difficult issues. The materials that he has developed are in daily use in many of the world’s most prestigious corporations and business schools and have led to productive collaborations with leading thinkers in business education. This experience was channelled into Geoff’s doctoral research into the precision design of REALs (Rich Environments for Active Learning). His current work includes the design of new learning materials for corporations such as Apple, Rolls-Royce, RWE and TNT, and client-based development work with Harvard Business School, IMD and the Center for Creative Leadership.

Chris Edwards is a lecturer in the Institute for Educational Technology at the Open University where he provides academic leadership on programme coherence to the University’s programmes and faculties. His research has become progressively more generalist. It began with an evaluation of the Supported Learning in Physics Project (SLIPP) and lead to an interest in the public engagement with science through his work on the European Network of Science Communication Teachers (ENSCOT) an EU funded project. Since 2005 Chris has been exploring the use of the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI) developed at Bristol with Open University undergraduates. This began with a Practice-based Professional Learning Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (PBPL CETL) funded project that contributed to the first trial of ELLI in higher education. He is currently focussing primarily on facilitating the familiarisation of students with the dimensions of learning before they begin their formal study with the OU. The intention is that this will reveal things the student tacitly knows about the way learn. This can then be placed within a framework of language and ideas enabling them to orient themselves more effectively to HE study to make a better transition and to make the most of this study in their own lives. This involves promoting the reflection on past and the approaches to current learning needed to promote deep learning.

Tim Ennion is Assistant Headteacher at Noadswood School, Hampshire where he is responsible for student progress, professional learning and innovation. In his role of Learning Futures Coordinator, Tim has worked with various groups of teachers, students and parents at Noadswood on projects involving Authentic Enquiry, Peer Mentoring and Coaching for Learning. He is particularly interested in exploring the power of professional learning to support innovation and is committed to Noadswood’s very productive partnerships with institutions such as the University of Bristol and University of Winchester.  Tim and his colleagues are working closely with members of the learning development team at Waitrose/John Lewis to investigate the potential of cross-sector collaboration to enhance learning outcomes.

Patrick Godfrey is Professor of Systems Engineering at the University of Bristol, and Director of the Systems Centre and the EPSRC Industrial Do ctorate Centre in Systems at University of Bristol and University of Bath. Patrick has for most of his career been a Director of a large consulting engineering company, Halcrow, where he specialised in the design of offshore oil and gas structures and more recently developed an innovation leadership position pioneered new ways of thinking about and managing the complete life cycle of large construction projects by developing the interface between business and engineering and using a ‘soft systems’ approach which integrates people with our physical environment. It was during this time, 1995-2005, that he was appointed Visiting Professor of Civil Engineering Systems at University of Bristol. He co-authored Doing it Differently – Systems for Rethinking Construction which was awarded a Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), Gold Medal and Author of the Year in 2001. From 1996 to 2001 he personally provided strategic risk management consultancy services to BAA for the development of Terminal 5. He retired from Halcrow to take up his Chair in Systems Engineering in 2005. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Fellow of Institution of Civil Engineers, Fellow of City and Guilds Institute, Fellow of the Energy Institute, Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Engineering by the University of Bristol in 2004. He is also a National Advocate for Industrial Doctorate Centres for EPSRC.

Howard Green is a Visiting Professor at University of Bristol. He studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge and went on to a career in teaching, including two secondary headships, in Oxfordshire and Plymouth. He then worked at the Training & Development Agency, setting up the Leadership Programme for Serving Headteachers, the largest senior management training programme in Europe; the Department for Education, as a special adviser on leadership, and the National College for School Leadership, where he developed two national programmes for senior leadership teams and coordinated several projects on leading schools of a religious character. More recently, Howard has been Director of Education, and now Director of Research & Development, for the Oasis Academies. He has written and published widely on educational issues, particularly school leadership & management.

Shaofu Huang was a research assistant in the Learning Future research project. He worked with an educational reform advocate body, and been a teacher in an independent school in Taiwan before completing a MEd in educational psychology at University of Bristol in 2007. He is now completing  a PhD on authentic pedagogy. His other research interests include learning in/as complex systems, learning power, and learning society.

FirefoxScreenSnapz1050Dr Helen Jelfs is a researcher based in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Bristol. Her current research focuses on the design and implementation of innovative pedagogies, including the theory and practice of ‘deeper learning’ and the relationship of learning to learn and the spiritual development of young people. She is currently working on the evaluation of ‘Learning Futures’, an Innovation Unit project funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation which is evaluating the impact of innovative pedagogies aimed at increasing student engagement in leading-edge schools, and the ‘Spirituality, Learning and Personalisation’ project, a Jerusalem Trust funded project exploring the relationship between learning to learn and the spiritual development of young people. She was an OLnet Fellow (Open Learning network) at the Open University, collaborating on developing an understanding of Open Educational Resource (OER) design and use worldwide, with a focus on annotating and mapping literature on the theme of Deeper Learning using the web-based annotation and discussion tool Cohere. After gaining her PhD, which focussed on the role of Church schools today, Dr Jelfs was a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at Liverpool Hope University where she taught on undergraduate courses in Initial Teacher Education and Education Studies. She also gained a Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. She has previously worked on the National Evaluation of Sure Start and a project which the developed and applied an assessment tool for building learning power dispositions in classrooms. She has also been a visiting lecturer in the Faculty of Education at the University of the West of England. She holds a Masters Degree and a Bachelors Degree in Education, and was formerly a teacher.

EmmaLangmanEmma Langman is passionate about learning.  As a “good all-rounder” at school, she chose to become an Engineer.  If the coin had landed the other way up, she would have studied Psychology.  She was delighted to discover “Systems” more than a decade ago, and remains intrigued by Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge, which brings together System, Variation, Psychology and Learning.  Emma believes that everything is connected to everything else; that we are not as free as we think, and that changing our thinking is what makes us free.  The ideas of the new MSc in Systems Learning and Leadership, supported by ELLI and the 8-Step Process are so exciting because they offer us the opportunity to think new thoughts.  If we think differently, we behave differently; and vice versa.  Such things can change the world! Emma is currently facilitating leadership and change programmes in the public and private sectors.  Nothing excites her more than seeing people in her client organisations learning and changing, to their delight – and to the benefit of their organisations and the people that they serve.

Jenny Neale: I teach History and English at Noadswood School, after training at Southampton University. I am involved in the school’s innovationwork through the Enquiry-Based Learning (EBL) ‘Navig8’ pilot that the Humanities Department, which started in 2010. I am currently undertaking Masters level research through the Universities of Bristol and Winchester on EBL. I am especially interested in modern European History and also in how enquiry can be carried out in the classroom to promote independent thought and learning.

David Pedder is Professor of Education and Director of Research at the University of Leicester School of Education. His research interests are in the areas of classroom teaching, learning and assessment, innovation and change, teachers’ professional learning, organisational learning, educational leadership and school improvement. He is particularly interested in understanding teachers’ professional learning and practice development in classrooms, schools and networks from a complex systems perspective. He was Principal Investigator of a large scale national project for the Training and Development Agency for Schools: ‘Schools and Continuing Professional Development in England: the State of the Nation Study’. He also co-directed a collaborative research and development project for the General Teaching Council: ‘The Influence and Participation of Children and Young People in their Learning’. He was Principal Investigator for ‘University Partnerships with Schools and Local Authorities: a literature review’ and lead a research team examining processes and outcomes of teachers’ learning in schools-university partnership masters courses. Before that he researched on two major ESRC-funded projects. He was senior research associate for the Learning How to Learn in Classrooms, Schools and Networks project, and before that he was research associate for the Consulting Pupils about Teaching and Learning project. As an ESRC-funded PhD student, David carried out a mixed methods investigation for his doctoral thesis: ‘The impact of class size on effective teaching and learning: a conceptual and methodological investigation’.

Martin SandbrookMartin Sandbrook is consultant to the MSc development programme, Graduate School of Education, and visiting fellow in the Systems Centre.  He has explored many areas in his professional work: he has been an accountant, a senior manager in the both public and private sectors, a process consultant and a lecturer, in Business and Management at Bath Spa University. In 2007, he took time out from his working life to study the Responsibility and Business Practice MSc at University of Bath, an experience that changed his life and professional direction. He now combines his passion and commitment to the ideas of sustainability and systems thinking with his experience in management, supporting individuals and organisations make the shift to a more systemic approach to action and change.

Tim Small is a former secondary Head/Principal, who specialises in researching and supporting leadership, learning and change in individuals, organisations and communities.  As Head of Research & Development for ViTaL Partnerships, he has designed and managed action enquiries with schools, universities and with NEET learners, investigating and impacting on issues of learning and teaching and the development of personal and collective responsibility. Tim has considerable consultancy experience with schools in challenging circumstances, fresh start schools, new academies, universities and business faculties, Young Offenders Institutions and clusters and partnerships of schools.  He has reviewed senior management, guided new leadership through values development processes, supported a school to acquire Trust status and changed the way teams engage with learning and teaching.  Tim has supported and published accounts of change in learning organisations in Australia, Madrid, Malaysia, the Middle East and across the UK.

Eddie Stevenson is a History teacher at Noadswood School and is the Navig8 co-ordinator.  Her responsibility is twofold; firstly to organize the implementation of Enquiry Based Learning (EBL) within the Humanities curriculum and secondly to help assess how coaching can be used within the classroom to enhance this process.  The progress of the schools Navig8 EBL project can be tracked on their website .  She is working closely with Bristol University and Learning Futures to evaluate the impact of coaching.  This will be used to help develop a coaching for learning model using EBL as a case study example.  She has completed her MA in Education at Southampton University, where she conducted studies into the impact of the Virtual Learning Environment and peer mentoring.

Damian StoupeDamian Stoupe initially worked as a senior purchasing manager in a number of large multinational  companies across the UK,  his main focus was developing and implementing both process and behavioural change.  He changed his career path in 2004 and became a counsellor in private practice specialising in workplace issues; particularly developing responses to negative workplace behaviours.  His MSc explored the impact of accusations of workplace bullying on individuals.  Within his PhD research he is assessing the applicability of soft systems methodology as a means of explaining and developing responses to incidents of workplace bullying.

Dr Mike Yearworth is a Reader in Systems at the University of Bristol. His research is focused on the development and application of systems based approaches for working with complex socio-technical problems. Specific research topics include: System Dynamics Modelling: its development as a qualitative, soft systems methodology through group model building and large scale stakeholder involvement in modelling; Grounded Systems Modelling: integrating the use of the ethnographic approach of grounded theory with systems modelling; Open Sustainable Architectures: developing system design principles that enable reinforcing feedback to achieve desirable properties such as long term resilience; Action Research: the further development of the Bristol Generic Systems Model. Prior to joining the University he was Senior Research Manager at Hewlett-Packard’s European Research Laboratory working on the application of systems modelling techniques to understanding the performance of very large complex managed services. Before joining Hewlett-Packard, he was Director of the Intelligent Computer Systems Centre at UWE working in the area of systems development and open architectures. He has held more than 15 grants and consultancies in the UK and Europe, and has authored/co-authored over 40 articles. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Chartered Engineer and holds an MBA from the University of Bath.

Qing Wang recently completed her PhD in Positive Psychology and Learning at the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol. My research interests include learning power, authentic enquiry, mindfulness, and learner’s experience and identity. After completing a MEd in Educational Psychology, I focus my research area on coaching psychology and development of positive learning dispositions. My doctoral research explores the nature of Coaching for Learning and its role in facilitating enquiry-based learning and the development of learning power. Copyright © 2015