SPDN event at UCLan summary


Whether you’ve missed or participated in the Social Pedagogy Development Network event hosted by the University of Central Lancashire last December, you’ll hopefully be really interested in our write-up from the 24 hours. It’s more than just a write-up actually as it includes photos, slideshows and a video of the morning seminar on taking social pedagogy to scale. Check it all out here – and if you’re not already signed up to our SPDN emailing list, please feel free to register for future updates here. We’ll soon announce details of the next SPDN event in early summer and look forward to seeing many of you there!


ThemPra goes TEAL


As a social enterprise we have been committed to serving a wider purpose and being an organisation with a difference from the start. In coaching other organisations to develop social pedagogy within their practice and culture, we feel strongly that social pedagogical principles must also apply to the ways we work as an organisation both externally and internally. We want to nurture authentic relationships, focus on strengths and potential, create meaningful learning, encourage a sense of empowerment and celebrate the profound sense of joy that comes from making a positive difference. Our journey towards becoming a TEAL organisation – described by Frederic Laloux in his influential book Reinventing Organizations as organisations characterised by self-management, wholeness and evolutionary purpose – is now enabling us to translate these principles more effectively into our own structures and internal practices in ways that feel very congruent with what attracted us to ThemPra in the first place. We’ve always been purpose-driven, and now feel even more encouraged to make our purpose central to everything and listen more to it. We have also aspired to provide a soulful organisational culture in which we each can bring in all our sides as human beings and form authentic relationships – and in our experience this has been one of the most important reasons for our success as a pioneering organisation. As a virtual team engaged in a variety of projects, our different team members have always shown a high level of self-management. As an emerging teal organisation we now see self-management not just as a necessity but value it even more as an asset. Adopting the advice process to make decisions has meant that we make better decisions, make them faster and more inclusively and that we all feel trusted to take responsibility. We’ve been fortunate to have found an excellent external consultant in Judy Rees whose support has helped us develop towards a TEAL organisation and has offered us a clear sense of direction and connectedness both to our inner motivations and to a wider movement – a sense that what we do as an organisation has a sound foundation, that we’re not successful despite the ways in which we operate but because of them. Frederic Laloux’s research has been truly inspirational and, together with Judy’s brilliant coaching, provided us with new ideas and ways to work through the challenges that characterise meaningful change.

We’re incredibly excited about this emerging organisational model, which has received more attention recently (see BBC Radio 4 programme) and can be found in a wide variety of sectors. We strongly feel that, with its emphasis on trust and autonomy, wholeness and purpose, TEAL has much to offer to social care organisations. We are always happy to share more insights into our journey towards TEAL and to support other organisations in reinventing themselves. Please feel free to get in touch with us to find out more.

Social Pedagogy Development Network


The next SPDN event, which will be hosted by the University of Central Lancashire on 3/4 December 2015 for up to 250 professionals, is dedicated to scaling up social pedagogy. Through the event we want to explore ways in which we can individually and jointly develop social pedagogy further, drawing on experiences from pioneering organisations and the latest research in implementation science. Whilst the complexities of moving beyond good intentions and achieving change in the real world mean that there isn’t a step-by-step guide to implementing social pedagogy, there are many ways in which we can take social pedagogy forward within our spheres of influence and create the conditions for further change. We hope that participants will leave both with new ideas of how scaling may occur systematically and a sense of organic growth/scaling.

Registration for the event will open in early October, so please check back soon or add your name to the SPDN distribution list.