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Cymbrogi Festival of Learning 2021
How can we empower learners to shape a more sustainable world? 

Festival of Learning

In the Autumn we hosted our first two day festival of learning at our inspirational Cymbrogi HQ. 

We collectively explored ideas on Sustainable & Circular Futures, Creativity, Wellbeing and Collaboration - and how these can help how we live, teach and learn.

We were fortunate to be joined by a fabulous line up of Champions, thinkers and doers to discuss the all-important question:

How do we empower today's learners to shape tomorrow's sustainable world?

We are now planning next years festival and creating resources and oportunities to further the multitude of conversations started around the camp fires of Autumn. 


'In order to achieve societal change we must begin with the individual. We must empower them to first shape their own lives and then to shape the lives of others.'

Rob Gratton, Director, Cymbrogi Learn

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'Cymbrogi is an ancient Celtic word for 'Companions of the Heart.' We welcome modern-day Companions to help us turn our vision into a reality.'

Liza Lort-Phillips, CEO and Co-Founder, Cymbrogi Futures


Professor Emeritus of Creative Entrepreneurship. International thought leader and advisor to Welsh Assembly and Westminster Governments, UN, European Commission and OECD on innovation and curriculum design.


Head of Corporate Responsibility at Bluestone Resort, one of West Wales' largest employers, Marten leads on all things related to biodiversity, energy, waste and the circular economy.


Laura is a former teacher and founder of We Swim Wild & Pobl Dwr (Water People). A passionate environmental educator and campaigner for clean oceans and waterways, winning in Wales Business Woman of the year for her work championing citizen science and adventure activism.


The Darwin Centre for Biology and Medicine is a Pembrokeshire charity established in 1994, it aims to engage and enthuse young people, families, and communities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

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An inclusive, well organised and persistent campaign by secondary and tertiary education students to greatly improve education on the climate emergency and ecological crisis in the UK.

Keynotes: Day 1

Keynotes: Day 1
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6:45 - 7:30:  Wine tasting with Celtic Wines - Food from the Ethical Chef - Conversations round the campfire Join us for drinks, supper, song and stars (if we're lucky!).


Live music from Owen Shiers from 9pm. 


Schedule: Day 1

12 -1 pm: Arrival. Registration, light lunch and an opportunity to connect with People & Place 

1 - 1:30 pm: People, Place & Purpose: An Introduction to Cymbrogi with Founder Liza and Co-Directors Rob & Mathew 

Day 1 Schedule

1:30 - 2:30 pm: Keynote - How can we Invest in Future Generations?  Join Matthew Jones, Marten Lewis, Big Change and Castle School students for a lively discussion with Q&A.

4 - 4:50 pm: Keynote - Creativity & the Curriculum: what role in navigating an uncertain futures? Join Al Brunker, Prof Andy Penaluna and Ynystawe Primary School in conversation, followed by Q&A.

3 - 3:50 pm: Drop-in - Woodland Journeys: The world of a minibeast:  A hands on workshop exploring the Cymbrogi HQ ecosystem  with the renowned Darwin Experience.

5-5:50 pmKeynote - How can we better ‘own’ our Wellbeing and why should we? Join Shaun Brooking & Laura Owen in this practice-based discussion.

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6 - 6:45: Creative Practice - The Power of Storytelling with Phil Okwedy. Discover the power of your own stories and how we can use these as a means for change. 

Guest Contributors


Mark Jacobs, is an environmental scientist, documentary maker and educator. He was Executive Producer and Project Lead at the BBC Natural History Unit in Bristol and Commissioner for the Open University and BBC in London. 

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An inclusive, well organised and persistent campaign by secondary and tertiary education students to greatly improve education on the climate emergency and ecological crisis in the UK.


Deputy Dean, Public Value & External Relations, Cardiff Business School. Author of Education Fit for the Future in Wales. His research interests focus on sustainable (regional) development, energy economics, AI and future skills.


Richard has worked as an educator for over 14 years. He now leads on STEAM, creative approaches to curriculum design and the intersection between enterprise and education across the London borough of Camden.

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Sam Charlesworthwill share with us the work of Tyf. Tyf are on a mission to help people fall so deeply in love with nature that it changes the way that they live. They inspire generations with low-carbon, eco-friendly outfitting, adventures and learning on the wild and beautiful St. Davids peninsular.

Keynotes: Day 2

Keynotes: Day 2

Day 2

Start your day with a Well-being Practice, and if you're brave enough - a wild swim

 in the River Cleddau.

3:40 - 4:00 pm:   Collective Reflections;  views on where next, how to stay engaged - as both individuals, schools and communities -  to empower learners to shape a more sustainable world


8 am: Campfire breakfast For those arriving for the day and those that stayed the night, a hearty breakfast for all. 

9 - 9:15 am:  A welcome (back) & brief reflection on Day 1 with Founder Liza Lort-Phillips. 

9:15 - 10:15 am: Keynote - 'Tomorrow’s Changemaker Challenge': How to rekindle creativity and enterprise in a curriculum fit for a sustainable future! Join Mathew Jones, Prof Andy Penaluna, Prof Calvin Jones and Teach the Future Wales in conversation about opportunities lost and to be found across the Welsh Baccalaureate. 

10:30 - 11:20 am: Keynote - Sustainability & Circular Futures in the Curriculum; Join Dr Verity Jones and Mark Jacobs (Global Goals Centre) and learn of their work to deliver a future fit curriculum. Followed by Q&A. 

12:30 - 1:30 pm:  Lunch, explore, connect 

2:45 - 3:30 pm: Pop up elective workshops: 

Nature Pedagogy Workshop - FLOW Learning and Sound Mapping with Rob Gratton


Wellbeing Practice - Work-in before you Work-out with Shaun Brooking

1:30 - 2:30 pm: Keynote -#rewildachild - Approaches to Out-of-doors pedagogy Join Pembrokeshire Outdoor Schools and Tyf to explore how curriculum and pedagogy can help learners reconnect with and learn from the natural  world. 

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11:30 - 12:20 am: Keynote - What role can Collaboration play within the lived curriculum? Join Rob Gratton and Richard Donnelly in conversation about collaboration  -in and outside the classroom, and how to better build it into the curriculum. 

Day 2 Schedule

Cymbrogi Champions


Dr Verity Jones

Cymbrogi Sustainable & Circular Futures Lead. Senior lecturer in the Department of Education and Childhood at the University of the West of England, Bristol. She is education advisor to the Global Goals Centre and the international sustainable charity Fashion Revolution. Her research focuses on an education for sustainable futures.


Shaun Brooking

Cymbrogi Wellbeing Lead. Shaun is a sports scientist specialising in a whole body, whole person approach to health and wellbeing. Drawing upon 12 years of knowledge and experience in movement coaching and embodied learning, Shaun approaches our wellbeing journey through a Somatic approach. 

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Phil Okwedy

Cymbrogi Storyteller. Phil tells stories to anyone who is willing to listen. He tells stories that come from the richness of the world's oral tradition. Through storytelling Phil empowers Cymbrogi participants to narrate their own journey towards a more sustainable future.


Rob Gratton

Cymbrogi Collaborative Activity Lead. Rob is an experienced educationalist with over a decade working as a teacher, school leader, teacher trainer and researcher with the UCL Institute of Education. Rob's area of expertise is Collaborative Activity, Curriculum design and the fundamentals of a nature-led pedagogy.

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Al Brunker

Cymbrogi Creativity Lead.  Al is a trainer, performance poet and recovering lawyer. For over 20 years, Al has worked with charities such as the Prince's Trust and YMCA, to deliver communication workshops for students in over 200 state secondary schools. Al enables Cymbrogi participants to unleash their creativity. 

'Some very thoughtful and practical advice and techniques that can easily be implemented in my daily life and routine.'

 Cymbrogi Companion, participant 2021


Liza Lort-Phillips

CEO and Co-founder of Cymbrogi Futures. Pembrokeshire born, Liza has worked in sustainability and emerging markets for over 20 years. Over this time she has lived and worked in China, Africa and Latin America and worked with some of the world’s biggest brands, charities and social enterprises, many at Board level.


Mathew Jones

Director of Learning, Cymbrogi Futures.Mathew is Welsh born and bred, with over twenty years experience in education and a passion for making a difference to young people’s lives. He has worked with over 400 Welsh schools and trained over 3200 Primary and Secondary Teachers.


Rob Gratton

Director, Cymbrogi Learn. Rob is an experienced educationalist with over a decade working as a teacher, school leader, teacher trainer and researcher with the UCL Institute of Education. Rob's area of expertise is Collaborative Activity, Curriculum design and the fundamentals of a nature-led pedagogy.


Director, Cymbrogi HQ.

Rachel draws on her extensive experience of project management and upon her MSc in Sustainable Development to bring Cymbrogi HQ to life. In addition to helping build Cymbrogi HQ she also contributes to our Sustainable and Circular Futures learning offer.  

'Some very insightful information and ideas that I can integrate and deliver into my classroom.'

 Cymbrogi Companion, participant 2021


Thank you to Bluestone for their commitment to support our programmes and activities

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Thank you to the Ethical Chef for providing us with local, seasonal and organic food and drink for our event

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Thank you to Celtic Wines who will be showcasing some amazing wines on the Friday of our Festival.


In support of this event Grwp have kindly offered to support attending teachers by making a financial contribution towards supply cover costs.

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