SMK Action Learning Sets

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Three new action learning sets 

At SMK, we know from listening to CEOs and other leaders of charities, that there are particular challenges in leading a campaigning charity whether focused entirely on campaigning or balancing this with service delivery. We also know from campaigns managers in charities that there are challenges in leading a campaigning workstream. 

This autumn we are partnering with charity co-founder and action learning set facilitator Josephine Knowles to run a new series of sets for CEOs, for senior leaders, and for emerging leaders in campaigning organistations.

About SMK action learning sets

We are delighted to be running a new series of three action learning sets for CEOs; for senior leaders of campaigning organisations, and for emerging leaders in campaigning organisations.

We hope the first two sets will appeal to recently appointed Chief Executives and senior leaders who are either new to campaigning and want to understand more about what it means to lead a campaigning organisation, or people with some background in campaigning who want to explore how to encourage their organisation into more of a campaigning mode. In addition, we are offering a third set for new line managers in campaigning organisations and people who are managing a campaigning workstream or campaigning team.


What an action learning set is

An action learning set (ALS) is structured around a group of up to 8 peers who meet regularly over a fixed period (in this case SMK propose 5 bi-monthly sessions over a 9-month period) to discover practical ways of addressing ‘real life’ challenges they face and support their own learning and development.

Joining details 

The dates set, all of which fall on a Wednesday, are listed below.

We will hold the introductory sessions (late November and early December 2023) and the review sessions (July 2024) in person at a central London venue. The other sessions will all be held on Zoom. We hope you can attend every session, but any missed sessions are still chargeable.

The cost per head is £950 + VAT. The deadline to book is Friday 10 November. 

Email Kath Christie, SMK Head of Programmes with any queries and to book your place.

Dates for CEOs

  • 29 November 2023, 12.30 pm – 3.30 pm
  • 17 January 2024, 12.30 pm – 3.00 pm
  • 13  March 2024, 12.30 pm – 3.00 pm
  • 15 May 2024, 12.30 pm – 3.00 pm
  • 10 July 2024, 12.30 pm – 3.00 pm

Dates for senior leaders

  • 22 November 2023, 12.30 pm – 3.30pm
  • 10 January 2024, 12.30 pm – 3.00 pm
  • 27 March 2024, 12.30 pm – 3.00 pm
  • 8 May 2024, 12.30 pm – 3.00 pm
  • 3 July  2024, 12.30 pm – 3.00 pm

Dates for emerging leaders

  • 6 December 2023, 12.30 pm – 3.30pm
  • 24 January 2024, 12.30 pm – 3.00 pm
  • 20 March 2024, 12.30 pm – 3.00 pm
  • 29 May 2024, 12.30 pm – 3.00 pm
  • 17 July  2024, 12.30 pm – 3.00 pm

About Josephine Knowles 

Josephine Knowles is a freelance coach, trainer and action learning set facilitator.

Josephine is passionate about spaces that help us develop, where we can gain new insights and contribute to the world with our ‘deepest work’. She loves facilitating learning and is known for her lively training and action learning sets. She is in the process of accrediting as a coach with the International Coaching Federation.

Josephine has worked in the charity sector with women who sell sex for the last 25 years and has a Masters in ‘Violence Against Women’ from the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit (CWASU) at London Metropolitan University. She is the Co-Founder (and previous Co-Director) of Beyond the Streets, a UK charity working to end sexual exploitation.

Kate Paradine

Find out what Josephine has to say about action learning sets 

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