Catalyst Programme

Catalyst (for 18-29 year olds)

Catalyst is a 5-day residential programme for 18-29 year olds who want to do things differently. Catalyst is an immersive, inspirational, transformational leadership programme for tomorrow’s change makers.

With Kanada Elizabeth Gorla, Ben Mali Macfadyen and Lydia Newman

6th August - 11th August Catalyst - 2022 Book Now

Is This For You?

Catalyst invites you to step into self authority, and into community. Join with people from a wide range of backgrounds to explore self, others, nature, the world. 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.

Set in our beautiful 50 acre valley in Devon 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.

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 gain skills in personal and collective resilience
  • Explore and vision positive futures together – at the micro and macro levels
  • Experiment with tools and practices for wellbeing
  • Learn to powerfully voice your self and speak out about things you care about
  • Find the balance between the ‘I’ and the ‘We’
  • Deepen your connection with nature
  • Play, sing, laugh, catch a vibe and find your tribe
At the end of the week you will leave with many new friendships, and your arms laden with gifts of learning to share with others.

Key information:

6 – 11 August 2022

Residential course based in Devon, at Embercombe

Accommodation is at Embercombe in our yurt village or selection of vintage glamping caravans

FEE: £550 includes accommodation and food.
We have a limited number of  partial bursary places available with a fee of £350 click here to fill out an application.



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.

Ben Mali

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.

Lydia Newman

Lydia has a passion for and excels in using the power of creative practice to generate change. She is skilled in the facilitation of drama and visual arts techniques to encourage exploration and generate introspective ‘Authentic Leadership Thinking’ in the individuals and groups she works with. She has a wide range of experience in leading visual art workshops and directing drama programmes in schools, community centres, prisons and corporate organisations in the UK to working with schools, orphanages and NGO’s through The Vessel UK in Tanzania, Kenya and Gambia. Her deep listening and easy rapport make Lydia a dynamic and perceptive workshop facilitator. Over the last eleven years Lydia has managed community projects and led staff training for Save the Children, Crossroads Care CNL, KORI, Jackson’s Lane and NSC The Challenge. Her practical and administrative knowledge gives her a 360 view of creating, delivering and documenting youth and community projects to an exceptionally high standard.

Upcoming Dates and Booking

6th August - 11th August Catalyst - 2022 Book Now

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

  • 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

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.

Share This Event

My ability to work and collaborate with colleagues improved dramatically after participating in Catalyst. The skills I have gained in self-confidence I have applied to my life by taking a leadership role in a youth-led community project with national impact.
CharlieCatalyst Participant