What's the Learning Marathon?
It's a 6 month learning accelerator where you grow yourself, together, alongside a dozen peers each tackling a different challenge.
With support from your host, you pool your ideas, skills, experience, perspectives and momentum to create a rich 'soil' that will fuel your growth. Together you take on the Path, 6 months of activities designed to maximise your collective potential.
A multidisciplinary group of professionals working on self, systems or society. We'll explore power from multiple perspectives including political, personal, physical, therapeutic, systemic and entrepreneurial. Group members may work in or on:
Personal or professional development e.g. personal training, therapy, education, facilitation, research, consultancy, arts, journalism, work/life/exec coaching, psychiatry, organisational development etc.
Local, national or international politics and activism e.g. political organising, community organising, campaigning, advocacy, policy, trade unions, political parties, civil servants, media, arts, human rights, civil liberties etc.
Social impact or public service e.g. social enterprise, charity, philanthropy, grant making, think tank, social innovation, design, social start-up, change agent etc.
David Heinemann is a social activist, coach and theatre maker who supports people to grow themselves, transform systems and improve societies - preferably in that order.
David's recent projects include founding the Freedom of Expression Fellowship, a global award for leading human rights defenders, launching a UK/US series of mental heath retreats with Sunday Assembly, and training 60 young men from council estates across England and Wales in politics and arts activism.
David is an advisory board member of Chinese internet freedom organisation GreatFire. He has also worked with the Young Foundation, OSCA, NESTA and Compass where the Financial Times rightly accused him of 'seeing in apathetic voters a river of petroleum begging to be ignited' (2015).
Diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis in 2008, David is also a disabled endurance athlete and qualified personal trainer. For the #PowerLab Learning Marathon David will explore the question 'what can living in a failing body teach me about living with failures in society?'
"David is a partner, a shoulder to cry on and a friend. We would not be were we are today were it not for his help and support."
- Charlie Smith, co-founder of GreatFire
Applications are OPEN
Key dates for your diary:
What does the programme look like?
All the detail is here.
What is the application process like?
The application process is simple. You tell us a bit about yourself and make a short proposal for the project you'll take on. You do this via the application form. If you're shortlisted you will have an interview with your facilitator over the phone.
Should you wait until the deadline to apply?
Ideally no. Your facilitator will be reviewing and interviewing throughout the application period, so don't sit on it. Remember we're looking for passion and commitment - not proposal writing skills.
What's the 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, some of it will be self-initiated. The programme is carefully designed for spaciousness, fitting alongside your work life.
When do we Meetup?
12 fortnightly Tuesday evening Meetups 6-9.30pm at a variety of accessible London locations.
12 peer mentoring and coaching sessions, scheduled at your convenience.
4 full day workshops (29th - 30th Sep, 9th Dec, 17th Feb)
1 residential weekend retreat (April tbc)
What are we looking for?
Commitment to a Learning Question that you will pursue as a self-led project.
Interest in learning with and from a group of experienced peers. You'll have deep listening skills, be open to exchanging knowledge and networks, and be able to work in collaboration.
A proactive spirit with an equal commitment to both ideas and action.
Openness to personal reflection, divergent beliefs and new possibilities.
We welcome applications from people of all ages, but we recommend a minimum of 3-5 years professional experience.
A sense of humour.
We also welcome applications from pairs or collaborators working on the same goal or project.
From our side we'll be thinking about the range of skills and attributes that applicants will bring, and we will look for complementary expertise and synergy between the learning questions. Our commitment is to connecting a group of peers who will multiply each other's learning.
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 make it possible for your host to make the experience happen. Learning Marathon fees are determined by income. 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.
Bursaries and trades: We usually offer 3 bursaries per peer group. Criteria for these bursaries will vary from group to group, so please refer to the page for the peer group you're applying to.
Employers: We welcome employers fully or partially covering your fee. We have resources to assist you in making the case.
Finding a Learning Question
Whilst some applicants come with an existing question or project that they want to develop, others do not - and that is totally fine. You can download our learning goals tool to help you map what you'd like to achieve, and then refine this into a question that really motivates you. You can also sign up for a 30 minute phone call with your facilitator to discuss your learning goals directly.
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. Read more about how to find a Learning Question here.