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Pioneered by Reg Revans in the 1940s, Action Learning (AL) is recognized as an unusually simple, but powerful method of solving complex problems.

The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) Ontario has championed the use of Action Learning Teams to help social entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs achieve greater impact on complex social and environmental challenges facing society. We’re now creating the opportunity for changemakers not enrolled in one of our fellowship programs to access this potent tool.

The basic philosophy underpinning Action Learning is that the most effective learning takes place when we’re faced with a real problem we need to solve.

Action Learning occurs in small teams that engage in a collaborative learning process. Together they reflect on real workplace issues, explore possible solutions, and plan for action.

Large corporations and governmental agencies including Sony, Anglo-American Mining, GE, Deutsche Bank, and the United Nations Environment Programme have used AL for breakthrough innovation.

What are the Benefits?

Benefits of Action Learning for Individuals:

  • Unlock leadership potential to better serve the public interest.
  • Develop problem solving and decision–making skills.
  • Gain active listening and peer coaching skills, applicable across sectors and roles.
  • Enhance ability to reflect on and learn from individual and collective experiences.
  • Develop awareness of how individual behaviours, attitudes and assumptions affect decision-making.

Here’s what our participants have to say about their experience in SSE programs.

What happens in an Action Learning Team?

Action Learning Teams are an opportunity for you to join a group of people who will challenge your thinking, support your learning, and help you make progress on professional challenges.  SSE will match you with peers in similar roles, who also have a desire to lead a social impact project. These peers will help you uncover new perspectives while growing your network in a meaningful way.

A typical Action Learning team has 4-7 members from different walks of life who meet for either a half or full day over a number of months. During each session, members take turns presenting challenges or opportunities they currently face.  Guided by a facilitator, team members ask insightful questions that help the presenter to clarify the issue, explore options, commit to actions, and reflect on learning.  In subsequent sessions, presenters report back on actions taken on their issue.

Who facilitates Action Learning Teams?

SSE’s Action Learning facilitators have trained with the Action Learning Centre and World Institute for Action Learning. They are SSE team members and independent facilitators with broad experience in applying Action Learning in diverse settings. 

To register for ALFI, please write to

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