The School For Changemakers
The School for Changemakers (SfCM) is a residential leadership development initiative for high potential people who want to explore inner and outer dimensions of change. It is centered around an annual conference every summer in the UK. The alumni form a fellowship group that stay in touch throughout the year.
Actively running since 2010, every year it is attended by 60 individuals who each have an interest in leading change, and are aiming to set their sights even higher as they look beyond standard education. Through a varied programme of activities and learning, SfCM empowers its participants to harness their energy and ideas. In this way, it assists them in making a real difference to the world whilst identifying career choices in an increasingly competitive and demanding employment market.
The conference is for people between 18 to 30 years of age and are connected to a community – in terms of a locality, club, cause, nonprofit organisation, place of worship, or social enterprise network. People are drawn from across the UK and abroad who have different backgrounds, interests and experience. This diversity is a key strength of the course.
Aims and Objectives
In an increasingly complex and fast moving world SfCM offers young people a place and experiences to help them find their vocation. We aim to build a fellowship of people who have found their calling in life, are happier more fulfilled, and are making the world a better place.
The SfCM aims to draw together young people with similar aspirations in a rare learning environment. Following the programme you will be part of a dynamic network of future leaders who are making a difference to the world and who understand the importance of cultivating personal attitudes, skills and knowledge as a good way of contending with the challenges and opportunities of a world in flux.
Process and Approach
Participants are challenged to examine the concept of vocation and their role in the world as well as the personal, professional and spiritual dimensions of change. This is done through a series of workshops, times of reflection, plenary sessions and community work.
Each day will commence with a full gathering of course members, who will be addressed by one or more individuals who have a powerful story to tell of how they have been able to effect change in a significant area such as the world of business; social entrepreneurism; through politics or political action; in the context of environmental issues; in community action; within the field of education or by discovering their own identity and calling in the world. These sessions will be inspirational, motivating participants and assuring them of the possibilities for real change.
During the day, by following their learning tracks participants will reflect the themes of the morning, students will acquire the skills and knowledge which will help them to translate the dreams inspired by the morning meetings into effective action in their chosen sphere.
Throughout the course, members’ reflections on their progress and on their future aspirations will be supported by their membership of a community of about ten of their fellow scholars. The support of this community is vital to bring about personal transformation.
Evening sessions will have an artistic focus on activities such as music, dance, film and story telling, and will enhance the interaction of course members.
Participants can expect to:
- Develop the skills and self awareness to be effective leaders at work, home and in the community
- Take insight and inspiration from experienced leaders who are leading complex change - in many different ways - at work and in society
- Learn from and develop friendships with other participants from diverse backgrounds, interests and experience.
- Explore next steps in life in an empowering space
- Connect personal values and priorities with the needs of communities, country and world
- Network with peers and leaders with a track-record of leading social change
- Receive opportunities for further experience e.g. international internships, education, more training, etc.
As a result, it is envisaged that participants will gain by having:
- Increased character and confidence to respond to challenges in their personal, professional and community lives
- Help in making decisions about next steps
- An increased ability to deal with diversity, community cohesion and exclusion
- An enhanced capacity to engage in international contexts
- Access to intern schemes and volunteering opportunities
- An Increased likelihood of gaining post-graduation employment or work experience
The SfCM conference, held annually since 2010, has been a huge success, with all participants giving rave reviews about their time together. They not only highlighted the enjoyable and happy times they shared but also the deeply meaningful life lessons offered by the programme.
Following SfCM, participants return home with a deeper understanding of how to bring about positive changes in the world. A network now exists, with alumni talking all the time and running reunion events and helping to make future SfCM conferences even better.
“I'm not really sure which part of the time in Liverpool started it, but a moment the change is still happening inside me. Its because since the conference I think about how i can help in any given situation.”
- Blanca, Student, UK
“I have tried to bring my family to change their attitude towards the world and to change their prejudices against a whole range of things. When I was growing up, we were never really exposed to the whole world. It was just my family and our little community and we never bothered to care about what happens outside. These are one of the things that we are struggling with, to care about others that we do not know or have never seen. To support people who need us but can never give anything in return. I think now I kind of see the importance of not being selfish but to see the bigger picture and realise that by helping someone else, we are helping ourselves.”
- Musa, Student, UK
“It was a great way to learn as it was what I was greatly interested in. I also found it inspiring as I met a variety of people from a range of backgrounds and I felt as though they had much to share with the group which opened my mind to a range of cultures and attitudes.”
- Rebecca, Teacher, UK
“The community groups were my favourite part of the day. I felt that everyone within the group bonded and were our own little community. I overcame many barriers through the community. I got to know each and everyone person within my community in depth and was inspired by everyone. We all defined an ideal community.”
- Rupal, Student, UK
Your support will allow participants take part in the forthcoming summer course; to continue their relationship with IofC through meetings, mentoring support and work with local IofC teams. Our target is to support 80 people to take part in the 5-day residential conference, and help us provide follow up training for the participants throughout the year. You may also contact us for sponsorship opportunities.