Catalyst Programme

Catalyst (for 18-25 year olds)

Catalyst is a 6-day residential programme for 18-25 year olds who want to develop and grow, carve your own path and join with others who want to make positive change. Catalyst is an immersive, inspirational, transformational programme for young adults at this life transition.

With Kanada Elizabeth Gorla, Lydia Newman, Reuben Darling Khan and special guest contributors

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 and your place in the world. Catalyst is designed to help you develop the tools and resources to navigate uncertainty and hold your centre 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, practical work on the land and nature connection.

Catalyst offers you the opportunity 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 with courage and an inner confidence
  • Explore and vision positive futures together – at the micro and macro levels
  • Practice skills in personal and collective resilience & 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 relationship 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.
“People need a solid launchpad. Most don’t have it – Catalyst provides it.”Benji, Catalyst Participant

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 E Gorla

Kanada E Gorla

Senior Associate — leadership, resilience and transformative learning

Kanada is a facilitator, mentor, coach & guide of 25+ years experience developing leadership in organisations & individuals who are working toward social & environmental justice; cultivating cultures of heart, imagination & principled action; facilitating transformational change; building individual & collective resilience; deepening connection with self, others & nature; and contributing wherever she can to the co-creation of human cultures ‘worth coming home to’.

Kanada’s core work is building horizontal leadership, shifting cultures from ‘power over’ to ‘power with’ and ‘power within’; and releasing the innate genius of individuals to shine in all their inherent beauty. Kanada is intuitive and pragmatic, holistic and results-oriented. Her approach is Informed by her background as a community arts animateur, 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 — whether in an individual or in a group — you will find personal responsibility, awareness and choice.

Kanada has contributed to Embercombe from the beginning, from the early days of dreaming in the Council to her current work leading Catalyst and Speaking Out. Current projects include working with an aristocratic family to consciously dismantle feudalism, transitioning their privately owned 900-acre Estate into a Charitable Company with community involvement at its core. And co-founding Kin, <> whose purpose is to strengthen people and place by developing and connecting place-based grassroots community/youth workers, social workers, artists & activists  in a vibrant and growing learning community. Kin is in its second year of a pilot project in Bristol.

To learn more about Kanada’s work, visit shine <>

Lydia Newman

Lydia did her Catalyst journey in 2012, it was so powerful for her that she was thrilled to be asked to join the team in 2019! Lydia is passionate about using the power of creative s practice to generate change. An artist at heart, Lydia has found that she is most interested in connecting with herself and others through all that she does with playfulness, authenticity, gentleness and venerability. Lydia has extensive experience facilitating drama and visual arts in a way that encourages exploration and promotes introspective thought processes 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 and community groups in Tanzania, Kenya and Gambia.

Reuben Darling Khan

Reuben Darling Khan

Upcoming Dates and Booking

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

I left Catalyst knowing the story of myself, I left with the tools to write and speak the story I want to tell when I look back at my journey upon this one blessed earth.
OscarCatalyst participant