Catalyst Programme


With Kanada Elizabeth Gorla and Ben Mali Macfadyen

Today’s young adults face unprecedented environmental, social and economic challenges.

Catalyst is a 5-day residential programme for 18-29 year olds who want to do things differently.

5th April - 10th April Catalyst - April 2020 Book Now
2nd August - 7th August Catalyst - August 2020 Book Now

Times: 2 pm Sun. 1st – 4pm Fri. 6th September

Fee: £550

Assisted Places:

We have a limited number of  partial bursary places available with a fee of £350 click here to fill out an application.

Catalyst Programme

Is This For You?

On this programme we will be helping you to:

  • Develop leadership and change-making skills that are authentic for you
  • Gain a clearer understanding of yourself, your gifts and your direction and purpose in life
  • Meet uncertainty in the world and yourself with creativity and resilience
  • Experience living sustainably and intentionally in a wilding community living close to the land
  • Meet a diverse and growing community of like-minded people

What you can expect

Catalyst is not a standard classroom-based leadership programme. It is an immersive, inspirational, transformational experience set in a beautiful 50 acre valley on the edge of the wild moor.

The programme is a rich weave of group challenges, creative collaboration, one-to-one mentoring, personal reflection, conversation, peer coaching, and practical work on the land.

Catalyst is designed to help you develop the tools and resources to navigate uncertainty and find your place in a time of unprecedented challenge and opportunity. It provides the space for a deep exploration of the key issues you face. You will come away with the insights and learning you need to step fully and powerfully into your life.


Kanada Elizabeth Gorla

Senior Associate — leadership, resilience and transformative learning

Kanada is a leadership and transformational change consultant, group process facilitator, executive coach and mentor. Her core work is developing leaders and change makers of all ages and walks of life, releasing the innate genius of individuals and teams, launching young adults powerfully into the world, and contributing wherever she can to the co-creation of human cultures ‘worth coming home to’.

Kanada has contributed to Embercombe from the beginning, from the early days of dreaming in the Council to her current work leading The Journey, Catalyst and Speaking Out, and on bespoke programmes for On Purpose and Brighton Dome’s Miss Represented.

Kanada has many years’ experience developing values-led leadership and cultures of resilience, wellbeing and high performance. Her approach is intuitive and pragmatic, holistic and results-oriented.  She is adept at working in different sectors, cultures and countries. To find out more visit Shine.

Kanada leads Sustaining Ourselves with Sharpham Trust; coaches on the American Express Leadership Academy with Common Purpose; serves on the Advisory Group of Huxham’s Cross Farm, an innovative farm and wellbeing centre in Dartington bringing together permaculture, biodynamic farming and process-oriented psychotherapy; and has been invited to join the core faculty of New Futures Academy, a micro-college for 16-19 year olds offering the first Ecological Design course at A Level in the UK.

Kanada’s approach is informed by her background as a community arts animator, improviser and opera/theatre director; her understanding of the transformational power of presence; her recognition that humans are not only physical and mental beings, but also emotional and spiritual ones; and perhaps most importantly her core insight that at the heart of all transformational change is found personal responsibility, awareness and choice.


Ban Mali Macfadyen

I first came to Embercombe at the age of 16, having just left school and recovered from M.E. I was drawn to the place by my commitment to environmental activism, but it has been a deeper, more powerful cause that has kept me returning. My involvement with the Catalyst course has been the most fulfilling work I have ever been involved in. From participant in 2009 to Facilitator from 2013, my journey has been one of continual learning and growth. It is a place that launches people into their lives with such power and I feel blessed to be a part of its story.

Ben Mali

Upcoming Dates and Booking

5th April - 10th April Catalyst - April 2020 Book Now
2nd August - 7th August Catalyst - August 2020 Book Now

We aim for all of our courses to be as inclusive and accessible as possible – please contact us for information on paying in installments.

There are also a limited number of bursary places available for this course at £350. In order to apply, please go to our bursary application page.

If you have any questions please call +44 (0) 1647 252 983 or email

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We do what we can to make the Catalyst Course affordable

  • The full cost of the Catalyst course includes 5 nights accommodation in yurts, delicious home-cooked organic food and course facilitation
  • Embercombe has a Catalyst bursary where generous individuals and companies donate money to allow young people on lower incomes to participate.
  • Please use the button below if you are interested in making a donation so as many young people as possible can attend Catalyst
  • To apply for a bursary place please fill in the bursary application form.

Please note:

There are rare occasions when we may need to reject a booking on Health & Safety grounds. This would result in a full refund of your course fees. If we have any concerns about the suitability of the Catalyst Course for you, we will contact you to discuss the matter further.

You must try it, it’s amazing. One of the fullest and best weeks of your life!  It will open your eyes. It will allow you to be more yourself.
Ceri MiddletonCourse Participant