Owner:  Experience – the Difference.

Personal and Organisational Development.

Facilitator, Professor & UK National Teaching Fellow,

Sheffield Business School,

BSc., M.Ed., PhD, Fellow Royal Society of Arts.,

Chartered Fellow Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Past roles as Adjunct & Visiting professor: Central University of Finance & Economics, Beijing, China & Visiting Prof. Capital Normal University, Beijing. Derby University, UK.

In order to add a personalised underpinning to this web site I offer a brief snapshot of my life events so as to illustrate some of my underlying views (epistemological and ontological) that are part of my experiential field, my life. With a degree in zoology, I led my own ornithological research expedition to the Amazon rainforests in the 1970s, partly because of a wish for an adventure and partly because of a desire to make up for the lack of fieldwork experienced whilst doing my degree! In the Amazon I experienced deeply impactful experiences. I then worked for fifteen years in environmental charities, including two posts as a professional ornithologist. All these experiences were concerned with environmental change, personal action, ethical practice and citizenship. These posts have included the RSPB (bird protection), BTCV (practical skills development, field skills and then later as a Company Director), and a Wildlife Trust (Conservation Director).

These early experiences with nature and the environment continue to underpin my current practice in the UK and abroad (with corporate organisations, in Higher Education and Further Education, and in adult education). Over these years my work has included professional facilitation, education and training and de3velopment for a wide range of organisations.

Consultancy, books and talks include:

* Lead author of The Power of Experiential Learning (first edition in 2002) by Kogan Page, London. Also published in China by Top Human Technology Ltd. A second edition was published in 2006 with a different new title ‘Experiential Learning: a best practice handbook for education and trainers. The 4th edition was published in August 2018.

* Author of The Experiential Learning Toolkit: blending practice with concepts, (2010) Kogan Page.

* Co-author of Adventure Tourism – the new frontier, Butterworth-Heinemann; the world’s first book on Adventure Tourism. Editorial Panel of the Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, The Institute for Outdoor Learning.

* 66 + Keynote speeches on training and learning including Keynote at World Outward Bound Conference in October 2002 in Singapore (Innovation in Learning), for the UK Higher Education Academy (Harrogate, 2008), a keynote at the International Conference on Experiential Learning in Sydney, Australia in 2008, and in Chile in 2010, Peru in 2013, and many other global keynote speeches.


 colin-vip-presentations-chi* Delivery of Executive Management Development – Intercontinental Hotels. Nairobi/Kenya.

*Training trainers: clients include AIG in Taiwan, Taj Hotels Group, Kingfisher Airlines, JP Morgan, Bharat Petroleum and other leading companies in India. In China clients have included many learning and development specialists and coaching staff for leading companies over a period of several years. The photograph to the right is at an award ceremony where Colin was invited as a VIP to give out Coaching Awards at the Shanghai Concert Theatre China.

* National Health Service UK. Organisational Development – training programme for 300+ Chief Executives, Directors, senior managers: all regions in England, 2003/4. Commissioned to deliver residential advanced sessions.

* 30+ years of senior management training for many international organisations, including corporate clients, government departments, National Parks, and the NGO/voluntary sector.

A few selected publications:

Beard, C (2018) Learning Experience Designs (LEDs) in an Age of Supercomplexity: Time to Change the Lightbulb?, to be published soon in the Journal of Reflective Practice.

Beard, C (2018) Dewey in the World of Experiential Education, New Directions in Adult & Continuing Education.

Beard, C & Russ, W. (2016) Event Evaluaton & Design: Human Experience Mapping, Event Management: An International Journal.

Beard, C (2012) Learning spaces that change people and organisations, in Wilson, J.P. (Ed) International Human Resource Management, pp 465-480, London, Kogan Page.

Beard, C. & Price, I. (2010) Space, conversations and place: Lessons and questions from organisational development, International Journal of Facilities Management, Vol. 1, Number 2, November, 2010. ABSTRACT:Physical workspace is distinguished from workplace. The latter embodies culture and should become the greater concern of facilities management. In the field of individual and group development spaces can add an extra gear to stimulate cognitive processes. We provide various examples and suggest modern workplaces, with their emphasis on interaction need to also focus on environments and spaces for individual and collective reflection.

ADVENTURES: See my blog for news of travels etc.

For example: Peking University visits, Experiential learning in Chile 2011, a speech at a major conference on experiential learning in Santiago January, 2011, Hong Kong 2017, 2018, 2019.

Patagonian Adventure: I first flew from Santiago in Chile to Patagonia to experience two days kayaking in the crystal clear Lake Santos with a friend. Yak Expediciones organised the tour for us and it was just fabulous…and the guide Juanfe was really great. He was patient (with me a novice) and a highly skilled sea kayaker – probably one of the best in Chile. Juanfe speaks really good English and has a great sense of humour…..The things I packed in my suitcase for this kayaking event (after which I was to deliver a keynote speech at a major international conference on experiential learning) didn’t arrive in Chile however for some days: Air France once again lost my suitcase for four or five days in Paris – as they did in my previous trip to Mumbai!!! Well done Air France!!! The internet seems to have a lot of people complaining about losing their bags with Air France at CDG airport in Paris. So my bivvy tent was in my suitcase, as was my kayak cagoule, and my knife, and fluids for my wash bag etc…..but in the end it was just a case of ‘making do’, borrowing a few things from my friend Camilo, who came with me and who runs an adventure learning business in Chile, sleeping in a small one man tent with him, head to toe, and just soaking up the fantastic scenery……. what a place…..more to follow and spectacular photos also……not taken by me as I am sure you can guess where my camera was…..! Juanfe made sure I had some digital memories too. by the way does anyone know what tavanos are? Phew they are some beasts!………………………..The photos on the weblink below will give some idea of how amazing the Patagonia scenery is. The snow capped volcanoes are truly magnificent:

and …..a good book to read

Solitude: seeking wisdom in extremes, a year alone in the Patagonia wilderness, by Robert Kull.