SHEP Leadership for Living & Social Action:

˜Leading from the inside out’

An innovative & experiential programme

SHEP CPD Certificate

Blended: Tuesday Evenings (on-line) & three Saturdays (in person)

  • Are you interested in being part of a co-created learning community where you will meet other like-minded people, get to know yourself better, and learn together with curiosity, compassion and courage?
  • Is your intention to make a difference to your community in this time of increasing uncertainty and change?
  • Do you want to be better able to influence positive change in our contemporary, disrupted world?

If so, this new, innovative and blended SHEP Continuing Professional Development Course may be for you.

The ability to shift from reacting against the past to leaning into and presencing an emerging future is probably the single most important leadership capacity today.

C. Otto Scharmer

The Aim of the programme

The overall aim of this programme is to contribute to the emergence of a stronger base from which to address the unprecedented challenges of our time. We will do this through supporting a group of passionate and motivated people to be better equipped to contribute in a positive way to social well-being. The focus of the programme is on moving away from habitual ways of thinking and doing towards a more self-aware, embodied and emergent way of being in the world. A key theme is deepening our connection to ourselves, each other and the wider world.

Who is this programme for?

This programme is designed for people working in any sector willing to commit to a group journey of learning, with a strong commitment to promoting equality and social justice; and with a clear commitment to taking action with others so as to contribute to community life and social well-being.

This programme is open to everyone applications from people from diverse backgrounds and different age groups are welcome and encouraged. Your educational and/or employment status does not matter. What matters, is your motivation and commitment! People volunteering in the community are particularly welcome to apply, particularly those in leadership roles or preparing for leadership roles.

What is SHEPs philosophy on leadership?

This programme is informed by SHEPs commitment to enhancing human well-being and social justice. It recognises that effective leadership begins with self-awareness and presence. Importantly, this programme is based on an understanding that leadership must be values-led, integrated and facilitative. We see leadership as a mind-set, not a skillset.

Key themes

This SHEP course draws innovative models of leadership particularly Theory U (Otto Scharmer, 2007) ( The emphasis is on awareness, connection, and mind-sets rather than on skills development. It is a highly experiential programme where together we will co-create a learning community. We have the freedom and capacity to customise the course to best suit where the group is at.

There are eight key areas of exploration:

  • Theory U
  • Personal Leadership
  • Systems Thinking
  • Social Justice & Social Innovation
  • Environmental Awareness & Action
  • Intercultural & Diversity Perspectives
  • Influencing Change in Systems
  • Critical Reflective Practice

The intention is that this programme is interactive, challenging, rewarding and enjoyable. The emphasis is on non-formal learning, and learning from each other. It is customised according to the needs and interests of the group. It is a group journey: a variety of participatory approaches will be used including discussion of formal inputs, experiential group-work, group activities, team projects, guided reading and learning circles.

I was grateful to have the opportunity to explore Leadership studies …It was also interesting to look at my own leadership qualities and abilities. The diversity within our group highlighted for me, the importance and benefits of inclusivity. There were also other significant learnings along the way such as: the power of listening, how to deal with conflict, group dynamics, experiential learning, the benefits of journaling and personal development. Overall it was a really enjoyable course and I would definitely recommend it.

SHEP Leadership Participant

What is the time commitment?

The programme involves 24 evening sessions (on Tuesdays, 7-10pm) and three day-long sessions (Saturdays, in person). It is important to point out that while this course is part-time it is an intensive course – participants need to be able to devote sufficient time to participate.

Are there assignments?

There are a number assignments which will support your experiential learning and skills development, as follows: Everyone presents a leadership case; ii) makes a short individual presentation; iii) participates in a Group project; iv) compiles a Reflective Learning statement; and v) prepare a Personal Leadership plan

Assessment emphasises self-assessment and some peer assessment.

Is the programme certified?

On successful completion of the programme participants will receive a SHEP Certificate in Leadership. To complete the course 80% attendance is essential, along with completion of all assignments.

Who will be facilitating the programme?

An important feature of this programme is that it is delivered by a team of SHEP Facilitators and guest facilitators with experience of leadership in the community.

What are the entry requirements?

This is an open-access programme, though there are entry requirements. Candidates must:

  • be willing to commit to a group journey of learning
  • have a strong commitment to promoting equality and social justice
  • have a clear commitment to contributing to community life
  • demonstrated interest in the learning about the major challenges of our time
  • be at least 18 years of age

Current course: September 2021 – May 2022: FULL & IN PROGRESS

For information only – Course Brochure available here: SHEP Leadership for Living & Social Action (2021)

Next course

Our intention is offer this course annually. We plan to advertise in May 2022 for the next course starting September 2022.