The Purpose Ecology: a collaborative program to help support breakthroughs in organisational purpose. Winter/Spring 2017

Why the Purpose Ecology ?

The Purpose Ecology aims to help more organisations do amazing things by helping to deepen purpose in their organisations. We are doing this because we are amazed that the same organisations are used as examples of purpose driven time and time again. Why is it that beyond Patagonia, Interface, Innocent and Unilever, stories of purposeful organisations are hard to find?

We want to address the things that hold organisations back from being more purposeful, and help more people draw the means to change the status quo. We have come to the conclusion that, to really do this, no one organisation can do it alone. We also believe that we need a different kind of process to work with ideas related to purpose – somewhere where we can be more honest, creative and daring, while at the same time being challenged and encouraged in a supportive way. We need to work as a network to shift to a culture of purpose: the Purpose Ecology.

To be purpose driven is to innovate with conscience, to create with beauty, to work with nature rather than use it up, to take real responsibility, to build brands that fix and restore, to ask the difficult questions. It is about working with heart as well as head. It is about being more human. Going forward, we need organisations that serve all of society and all life. We need a new business unusual.

We want to help this happen.

How it will work

The Purpose Ecology begins with a collaborative process. We are inviting ten organisations to come together with a willingness to share and explore their own work while helping each other to cultivate new ideas and actions. The program will consist of two one day workshops, with additional online sessions, peer groups and continuous support from the team over a six week duration.

A unique aspect of our programme is that we look to reconnect with how healthy natural systems operate, and develop practices and ideas from nature to support our development.


Before starting the collaborative phase, we will interview participating organisations to delve into what purpose means for them, and the boundaries they are trying to break. This will inform the design of the programme, and how we mutually support each other.

We will then host a first workshop, on the March 24th 2017, to help break down the status quo of our work today – to work with real honesty about the challenges we face – and to explore the new kinds of stories and actions that could make a difference in real life.

In this first first workshop we will also help participants to design and plan ‘action inquiries’ . These inquiries will be areas of action and experimentation – ideas and actions to take back into their work to inform their thinking and practice back in their organisations.

Over this period of experimentation, we will provide a continuous flow of support, including two online learning sessions (see below), peer coaching sessions and one to one support from the team.

The two online learning sessions will be like two ‘pit-stops’ to support thinking and reflecting on how the process of purposeful change works. These sessions are likely to be rooted on 1. Principles of Purpose and 2. The art of change towards a purposeful organisation.

This will all build up to a second one day workshop in April, designed to help people make meaning of the process adn learnings, build individual capacities and refine their ongoing work.

Both workshops will involve time spent outside in natural environments.

What makes this different?

1. Radical honesty. Let’s get real about the status quo and the reality inside and outside organisations in order to break it down.
2. Learning through action: More than a talk shop, let’s apply this to our own everyday work contexts.
3. Grounding and working through the lens of the natural world, practices and inspiration from nature.
4. Seeing purpose as a system and a culture. No one person or organisaton is going to deepen this work enough to make a big difference. We need to work as an ecology of organisations.

Guiding Questions

How do we find, create and unleash an authentic sense of purpose to help unite, guide, energise and awaken ourselves and our teams?

How do we shape organisational cultures so they enrich people and result in the new kind of innovation and growth many are craving – more conscious, considered and life-centered ?

How do we do this in the face of increasing complexity and uncertainty in the world?

How do we cultivate the ongoing practices to unlearn old ways, adopt new practices, and show up consistently in new ways?

Who it’s for

Anyone seeking to drive deeper purpose into their organisation/brand/team.


This program will be co-led by Andres Roberts (Bio-Leadership Project/Way Of Nature) and Dan Burgess (Swarm/Bio-Leadership Project). We will help and support each participant to shape their inquiry questions during the interview phase. The Worskshops will take place in the greater London area. More detail on hive sessions and the program in this podcast below.


£1,250 + VAT

£800 + VAT NGO

We hope to bring together a brilliant group around this, able to support each other with diverse perspectives and questions. To apply for a place on the journey, or to talk in more detail please connect with us and consider these questions:

Why are you drawn to working with this process ?
A question or challenge you might want to work with ?

[email protected]
[email protected]

Hive is an experiential learning offer from Swarm for disruptors and change-makers inside and outside organisations. The purpose of Hive is to help build capacity and courageous leadership qualities in those who seek to navigate the complex challenges of the 21st century and thrive.

Hive sessions are short action inquiry-led collaborative learning journeys with a collaboration partner. Hive sessions kicks off with The Bio-Leadership Project.

The Bio-Leadership Project helps people and organisations meet 21st Century challenges by drawing inspiration from, and working in partnership with, Nature.