Scotland, 13th to 17h May, 2020
This retreat is dedicated to connecting and supporting those who are working on important and urgent challenges of our times – exploring new boundaries of life, work and human innovation – by returning to nature.
The journey combines an exploration of Bio-Leadership stories and practices, a powerful 24 hour Nature Quest, sessions dedicated to awareness, connection and resilience, and the wonder of one of the wildest locations in Europe.
At a time when we seek new measures of courage, connection and consciousness, this retreat aims to support a field of people capable of weaving a new form of change and leadership into the world.
This programme takes place in Scotland, at Alladale Wilderness Reserve, ninety minutes north of Inverness.
The journey begins before we meet in person – by sharing visions, questions and challenges as a group, through writing and virtual meetings. We then meet in Scotland, on the boundary between civilization and the wilderness – taking a moment to explore the narratives and structures that bind us to the systems of our times. From here we will step across a threshold – making our way to of the most remote places in the UK, and set up camp there, before embarking on a journey consisting of fire-side talks, wild walks, nature and consciousness practices, guest workshops, meaningful meals and nights under the stars – all culminating in a 24 hour ‘solo’ in the wild. To prepare for our return, we take time to review stories and insights, and to explore new inquiries and actions and how to support each other as a group. Later, we continue our connection through an online meeting and encouraging paired-work.
More than a retreat, this is a deep dive into our individual and collective stories, a way of reconnecting and galvanising around the source of our work, and a chance to join hands and hearts to protect and replenish the Earth.
About the solo ‘Quest’
A ‘Nature Quest’ consists of going into nature alone, marking a small circle (typically between nine to eighteen meters in diameter) and staying in that circle to observe and reconnect with the deeper rhythms and patterns of life – both out in nature and within ourselves. In our work, we say there are three natures: Outer nature, inner nature, and the true nature of how life goes.
On your Nature Quest you take as little as possible with you. A tent is optional, as is food, but we certainly leave all books, devices and other forms of distraction behind. It’s difficult to explain how special and helpful this space can be. It is like a deep ‘reset’ button for the heart and mind.
We will support you in preparing and setting out on your quest, as well as in how to integrate lessons from the experience back home.
After the ‘solo’, we come back as a group to share stories from the experience, and to explore how to take the insights from the experience back into life and work.
Why this? Why now?
At the heart of this programme is a time-honoured process of making room, reconnecting to life, and seeking guidance and wisdom from nature. When we do this, a different quality of perception and understanding emerges. And when we do it as a group, it gives the community – the field – a whole new force to take to the world.
This programme is about doing this in the context of the challenges and dynamics of modern times. It will help you find new space; new perspectives; but also help you refine qualities for working with resilience, connection and care, at a time when our planet needs it most. This will help you do it with others who are driving real change for the systems we are part of. And it will help us connect with other pioneers, mavericks, and innovators who are working with the principle that nature is the heart of all our growth.
We are delighted to be partnering with Alladale Wilderness Reserve and The European Nature Trust for this programme.
Our base will be in and around one of the most secluded properties in the UK, set in vast wilderness amidst a 23,000 acre site.
We are delighted that by using this location we can also support the wider conservation and restoration work of The European Nature Trust.
The programme will weave stories, activities, walks, mini-workshops and a Nature Quest across five days.
– A moment and space to explore the context, narratives and principles of our times
– Tools and practices dedicated to relaxation, awareness and connection, supported by nature
– Space to explore and work on individual and collective project and challenge questions
– Sessions hosted by guest contributors and artists in residence
– Continued connection to this group, and an opportunity to stay connected through the Bio-Leadership Project ecosystem of people and projects.
Andres Roberts is a guide dedicated to a new kind of progress, fit for a positive future for all. His work combines renewed ideas about learning and change, reconnection to Nature, and the wisdom of ancient cultures to help more positive, and more systemic, change happen. Building on twenty years of experience in learning and leadership, Andres has studied with respected elders from across the world, helping to make ancient wisdom and Nature-based practices more accessible in the modern world. Andres is co-founder of Way of Nature UK and founding partner of The Bio-Leadership Project.
The price for the full retreat including all activities, practices, accommodation and food is split into three prices categories;
Large organisations: £1800 – or £1600 Early Bird price before 31st December.
NGOs and medium sized businesses: £1400 or £1200 Early Bird price before 31st December.
Individuals: £1000 or £800 Early Bird price before 31st December.
We also offer four bursary spots for people who are working to care for nature and who wouldn’t normally have space or opportunity to do this. The bursary rate is £500. Please get in touch to find out more.
On booking we will also invite people to make an additional contribution to the conservation and rewilding work of The European Nature Trust.
To book your place on this programme please complete this registration form, following payment instructions at the end.
For more information please email [email protected].
Equipment and Camping
We ask that you bring your own camping equipment for this programme. Please check our packing list to ensure you have everything you need. Note that this is not about endurance – it is about making space and room for deeper reflection and awareness. All activities are supportive of this aim, physically gentle and always optional.
The meeting point for this programme is Inverness Railway Station, at 10am the morning of 13th May. It is likely that you might need to stay the night in Inverness on the 12th of May (outside the costs of the programme). We can help coordinate an evening meeting on the 12th May. We will also be coordinating an optional slow, low impact form of travel for the programme.
On departure, we will make our way to be back in Inverness Train Station by early afternoon on Sunday 17th May.
We will send more travel information on registration to the programme.
We invite people who are travelling by plane to offset flights through additional contributions to The European Nature Trust or recommended flight offsetting services.