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Developing empowered and connected leaders in the social sector: the Rank Foundation's engagement with Action Learning

Sam Anderson, Caroline Broadhurst, Siobhan Edwards and Michelle Smith

Action Learning: Research and Practice, 2020, vol. 17, issue 1, 148-154

Abstract: This paper gives an account of how Action Learning Sets (ALS) are used in two of The Rank Foundation investment streams to support the social action impact of charities and social enterprises. With the aid of two Case Studies, the paper illustrates how the ALS can help to connect, sustain and support the social action responses of the local organisations involved. The first case study considers the impact of diversity and the importance of composing sets reflecting the diversity of sector, community, age, gender, and sexual orientation. The second case explores how the ALS process helps participants reflect on the actions that are most congruent with their values and then supports them in their social actions. The paper concludes that the ALS structure offers a safe and critical thinking space for participants who are working with high degrees of complexity in the absence of simple answers. The opportunity for a deep connection between people and their issues, can helpfully connect individual challenges and local social actions with wider societal struggles.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1080/14767333.2020.1712855

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