Approach

My approach challenges the things we currently believe are beyond challenge. It invites courageous, innovative and empowered learning that engages our feelings, senses and intuition - as well as our intellect. It offers vibrant, compelling and unique routes to transformational change.

At the core of my approach are four essential elements. These are brought together through a particular style of facilitation. The whole approach has been developed from over 20 years of professional practice, including formal research (see for example Key, 2003; Key, 2015; Crinion, 2015).

The four elements are:

INSIGHT: Wild new ideas and insights

This includes new information and meaning: both that emerges from the participants experience and that is introduced by the facilitator.

CONTEXT: Safe and engaging social contexts

Great care is taken to develop a strong community within learning groups and project teams. This provides opportunities for exploring human relationships which, of course, are the primary conduit for change.

ENVIRONMENT: Beautiful and inspiring environments

This is where my approach is most different. My work always involves time spent in natural environments. Typically these are wild but accessible, adventurous but safe. I also work in urban and indoor environments as a juxtaposition to the wilder ones. And of course, out of practical necessity.

ACTIVITY: Carefully crafted activities

My approach is absolutely not a preset sequence of activities and exercises. It is highly responsive to the needs and emerging dynamics of the learning group or project team, while being skilfully structured around a selection of tried and tested activities. It is not formulated but it does have form.

FACILITATION: Exquisitely facilitated individual and group work

Facilitation provides the glue that holds the four elements together into a cohesive form. It is a subtle and extremely complex cohesion - very easy to understand through experience but very difficult through words. In essence my facilitation style can be characterised as psychological savvy, ecology grounded and client centred. But to really understand it, it has to be experienced…

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Dave is a very gifted facilitator who is able to connect people from all walks of life and to create a safe environment in which learning, practice and storytelling can happen for everyone. I came away from this course feeling enriched and with a new sense of direction for my own life and work path.

Karen Liebenguth
Greenspace Life Coaching

Dave is an exceptional practitioner, teacher and thinker. We worked together for three years; if the right project came along, I’d have no hesitation in asking Dave to work with me.

Osbert Lancaster
Natural Change Limited

Dave is an inspirational, calm and creative facilitator allowing all participants to feel comfortable and able to connect with the wonders of nature.

Jim Riach,
Keep Scotland Beautiful

It feels like I’m in the process of enlarging my heart. And it’s kind of painful, but also joyous and also really crucial.

Deborah Richardson-Web
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

The course has brought me a deeper awareness and ability to listen. This in turn has enabled me to understand the broader impacts of the business and provided me with the skills to find different responses and action, rather than merely repeating past actions.

Richard Profit
PepsiCo

I am literally in a different physical and psychological space as a result of my involvement and have also established some very good (in the real sense) new friends, some of whom I see regularly and the rest I know are there should I need them.

Gill Troup
University of the West of Scotland

Dave has worked with me and my team for the past few years on team dynamics, programme design, and personal mentoring. He is an extraordinary trainer, though that word is a dis-service here, his wealth of experience in the broad fields of outdoor education and facilitated wild experiences is un-paralleled. His attention to detail, subject knowledge, and impeccable research means all learning experiences with him are enlightening, thought provoking, and deeply practical.

Dan Ryan
Eden Project

Approaching the beach from the cliff top I had a feeling something profound was going to take place. And when I met Dave it started happening. In just 36 hours I had the best reset I could have imagined and 36-months later I am still enjoying its effects. If you’re reading this and wondering if it’s right for you, just get in touch with Dave and see where life takes you. It helped me and I loved it.

Steve Malkin
Planet First