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Join the Birmingham 

Learning Marathon 

A multidisciplinary peer group for adults of any age or background who want to grow themselves to meet a professional, personal or societal challenge. 2019 applications now open. 

What's the Learning Marathon?

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A 6 month learning accelerator where you grow yourself, together with a dozen peers, each tackling a different question. 

You'll pool your ideas, skills, experience, perspectives and momentum to create a rich 'soil' that will fuel your growth. Together you take on the Marathon: 6 months of activities designed to maximise your potential.


Applications open 12th April 2019


Open night 1st May (get a ticket)


Early bird deadline (10% off) 19th May


Final application deadline 12th June


Kick Off weekend 13th - 14th July


Programme finishes

26th Jan 2020


Full programme dates:

  • Kick Off weekend (2 full days): 13th-14th July

  • 12 fortnightly Monday evening Meetups 6.30-9.30pm at a variety of accessible Birmingham locations.

  • 12 peer mentoring and coaching sessions, scheduled at your convenience.

  • 2 full day Power Up days: Saturday 7th September, Saturday 26th October

  • Showcase event: w/c 13th January

  • Finish Line weekend: 25th-26th January 2020

  • Additional 'Get Shit Done' sessions scheduled on weekend days.

Time commitment:

The guideline we give is that you will need to be able to commit 5+ hours per week. Some weeks it will be more, other weeks it may be less. Some of this time will be spent in meetups and workshops, some of it will be self-initiated and spent working on your Learning Question.

The Learning Marathon has been designed to integrate alongside work and life, and many of our participants have had a full-time job and/or full-time life! If you're unsure about the time commitment, have a chat with your host.

Your host

Anneka Deva is hosting a Learning Marathon for the second time in 2019, after an extraordinary adventure with the first Brummie peer-group in 2018.



Anneka currently works as Brand and Campaigns Manager at the University of Birmingham. With 16 years' experience of facilitation, Anneka has designed and facilitated learning and development programmes for young people creating social action projects, tech startups across Europe and award-winning brands. 

Anneka is a born and bred Brummie, passionate about creating a better Birmingham for everyone. In 2011, she founded TEDxBrum, bringing the international TEDx movement to Birmingham for the first time and bringing together a team of over 40 volunteers to create the first two TEDxBrum events in the city. Anneka was Speaker Coach for TEDxBrum 2016 and Outreach Lead for TEDxBrum 2018.

In Anneka's first Learning Marathon, she looked inwards and asked "How might I cultivate a spiritual practice?" In her second Learning Marathon, she is looking outwardly at the city to ask "How might we design and grow transformational learning platforms and communities that bring about real change in Birmingham?"

"Anneka has a deep understanding of people and a deep desire to understand the world. She weaves learning journeys with attention to detail, openness and humility." 

- Kate Weiler, Senior Youth Practitioner, HeadStart Newham


What does it cost?

We have several options when it comes to fees, to keep the Learning Marathon as accessible as possible.

Fees: Your fees contribute to covering costs of the programme and enable us to offer bursaried places to those who need it. We ask that you pay as much as you/your organisation can afford based on a sliding scale. If your annual income is: 

  • < £15k - some bursaries available

  • < £25k - you pay £750

  • < £35k - you pay £1050

  • < £45k - you pay £1350

  • > £45k - you pay £1650


Payment plans: All tiers can make their payments over 6 or 12 monthly instalments to spread the cost. For example, if you are paying £750 over 12 months, this becomes £62.50 per month.

Bursaries: The following bursaries are available, and could reduce your fee by between 25% - 75%.

  • Bursary for someone who identifies as being from an underrepresented background, including but not limited to: BAME, LGBTQ, disabled, refugee or asylum seeker.

  • Bursary for someone who is currently unemployed or underemployed (and earning the equivalent of £15k or less per year).

Trades: Occasionally we offer a fee reduction in exchange for your skills or time. Chat to your host about what's possible.

Employers: We welcome employers fully or partially covering your fee. We have resources to assist you in making the case and can share some ideas on how to go about this. Shout if there's something additional your employer would need to see.


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What does the programme look like?

You can find much more detail about the Learning Marathon and how it works here.

Who is this for?

The Learning Marathon is for you if you want to do it. We aim to be as inclusive as possible and for that reason we welcome diversity on every spectrum. If you can answer yes to the following 4 questions, it's for you:

  1. Is there a professional, personal or societal challenge you want to grow to meet?

  2. Do you want to challenge traditional learning formats - and yourself - by joining a peer group?

  3. Do you recognise the value of working toward more cooperative social patterns of behaviour?

  4. Are you ready to commit to an average of 5 hours per week over 6 months?

What do we look for in participants?

  • Commitment.

  • Genuine interest in learning with and from a group of peers. You'll have great listening skills and be able to work in collaboration. 

  • A proactive spirit. You come with lots of ideas and creative energy to make them a reality.


We also welcome applications from pairs or collaborators working on the same goal or project. 

How do you select the group?

Enrol Yourself is not about selecting those with the best credentials or interview skills. But we will be thinking about the range of skills and attributes that applicants bring, and we will look for complementary expertise and synergy between the Learning Questions. Our commitment is to connecting a group of peers who bring a range of viewpoints and who will effectively multiply each other's learning.


What's the application process like?

The application process is simple. You'll tell us a bit about yourself and make a short proposal for the project you'll work on via an application form. Your project will need to be titled by a Learning Question (see below). If you're shortlisted you will have an interview with your host over the phone.

Should you wait until the deadline to apply?

Ideally no. Your host will be review applications as they arrive. Apply by the early bird deadline for 10% off your fees.

What is a Learning Question?

Your Learning Question is like a thesis question - without the enormous essay. Every Learning Marathon participant identifies a professional, personal or societal challenge that they work on as a project. Your Learning Question is the title of your project and the starting point on your journey. Read more about the Learning Question and how to find one here.

What if I don't have a Learning Question?

Everyone has a Learning Question in there somewhere! Whilst some applicants come with an existing question or project they want to develop, others do not - and that is totally fine. What matters is finding a Question that can act as a starting point. Questions tend to evolve along the way - this is all part of the learning process, so there is no need to get too hung up on finding the perfect question.

We have several resources to help you:

You can also book a 1:1 chat with your host to help you think through what you want to learn.

More questions?

Get in touch with us.


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