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Our learning journeys


On this page we answer the question what is a learning journey and you can find out about New Frontiers for Development.



We believe a Learning Journey is process that starts with the individual reflecting on their own experiences and needs and an environment is created whereby the person is subsequently supported by good listening and suggestions for a way forward.  This can be with peers during a workshop of a few hours or days followed by perhaps a group or individual assignment, reading new texts, sharing ideas, using multi and social media.  Action planning is carried out throughout this journey and provides the individual with immediate, medium and long-term actions for their future development.

IMA International will be with you on this journey.  It’s not just a five day training course… 


New Frontiers for Development

An action-learning journey for organisational and personal development





The New Frontiers for Development programme has as its core purpose, experiencing empathy and reflecting on what learning implies for social change practitioners.


The journey is designed for managers and leaders who want to understand and experience our approach, to reflectively make connections and turn this into practice.  The learning journey consists of 3 face-to-face modules over 9 months linked in-between with remote learning sessions.


Our journey starts by developing a new way of relating to current economic issues which underpin all development work.  We explore how organisations can function better in relating to these issues through their internal dynamics and partnering with others, teasing out the leadership implications.  Finally, we work with the close and personal, unpacking the process of becoming a resilient and meaningful leader – connecting to ourselves more effectively.  Our dedicated team of trainers and coaches will support you before, during, and after this holistic journey.




Module 1: Macroeconomic challenges


This 3-day module, the first of the New Frontiers for Development learning journey,

introduces participants to new economic thinking in relation to key economic issues and provides techniques to critically review these.


We examine 3 key economic issues during the first part of each day eventually bringing these issues together.  We use a participatory approach consisting of a mixture of presentations, examples and exercises and group discussions to draw together the learning.


Each key economic issue is presented as a statement.  We begin with an introduction to the mainstream economic thinking around that issue and the assumptions underpinning it.  Together, we use critical analysis and divergent thinking to deconstruct and reconstruct those statements.  This provides you with the confidence to redefine your position in relation to those, and future, economic issues.





Module 2: Effective organisations in the face of macro level challenges


Module 2 uncovers the assumptions, both personal and organisational, which lie behind every intervention in development and opens a debate on how to deal with complexity from an organisational leadership perspective.  We will explore Theory of Change to understand and realise how this innovative way of thinking can support us in understanding reality as complexity and to position ourselves within it.  We explore possibilities for understanding impact using complexity theory.


Through a multi-stakeholder process the module explores how to engage with different social actors, inside and outside your organisation.  Using techniques such as Complex Adaptive System and partnering approaches we explore ideas for engaging with like and non-like-minded stakeholders.  Through our power analysis approach we discover how fluid and dynamic power can be, allowing us to use and understand it for the benefit and success of our organisational goal and effectiveness.



Module 3: Effective leaders in a complex world


Module 3 gives you the opportunity to learn and experience the process of becoming an effective leader within your organisation in the face of macro level challenges.


This module draws on principles and tools from a range of diverse practices.  We take thematic threads from Module 2 and explore these further through personal reflection.  We start by reflecting on how the ‘personal’ impacts on how we relate to others and how we lead.  Together, we explore how to enhance personal adaptability and resilience.  We discuss models of effective leadership and practise the art of storytelling for sharing knowledge and conveying powerful stories of transformation.

Each day starts and finishes with a mindfulness practice.





The New Frontiers for Development programme

is a chance for personal growth and development as well as a way of cultivating resilience and critical thinking for dealing with rapidly complex change processes.


Building on years of collaborative working, IMA International and NEF Consulting have designed a learning journey.


The programme addresses the issues we have found most pressing for those organisations we work with as consultants and capacity building professionals in the international development sector.


NEF Consulting is the consultancy arm of the UK think tank, New Economics Foundation (NEF). We put NEF’s ideas into practice by placing people and the planet at the heart of decision making.


New Economics Foundation (NEF) is an independent think and do tank that inspires and demonstrates real economic wellbeing. They promote innovative solutions that challenge mainstream thinking on social, economic and environmental issues.