BALT ALARA Action Learning Action Research Conference 2020


8-11 November 2020

Discovering the Future Together: Action Learning and Action Research at Work

BALT is partnering with the Action Learning Action Research Association to host the 2020 Action Learning Action Research Conference, via Zoom from Launceston’s innovation hub at historic Macquarie House. This conference will be invaluable to those in the education, tourism and business sectors seeking innovative solutions to emerging wicked problems.

Keynote speakers

Christine Abbott

Christine Abbott is a co-Founder of the UK Centre for Action Learning Facilitation and co-author of Facilitating Action Learning: A Practitioner’s Guide. Based in East Yorkshire Christine is an experienced action learning facilitator and developer with a background as an HR Director in the NHS and in Social Care. In 2003 she established The Centre for Health Improvement and Leadership at University of Lincoln. Over the following 5 years she designed and delivered a range of bespoke leadership and organisation development programmes to a wide variety of public and private organisations. These programmes incorporated taught modules, action learning and coaching and mentoring. Christine currently teaches with the Open University Business School MBA programme.

As a participant in an action learning set I experienced insightful questions that supports taking bold steps into the future and I am continually reminded of its power when I work with organisations and individuals. Thirty years later I am still intrigued by the possibilities of action learning and what makes it such a powerful process when it works – and crucially what happens when it doesn’t. – Christine Abbott, Founder, Centre for Action Learning Facilitation

Clyde Mansell

Clyde Mansell is an esteemed Tasmanian Aboriginal Elder and 1990 NAIDOC Aboriginal of the Year, and is the current chair of the Aboriginal Elders Council of Tasmania. Clyde continues to be a leading spokesperson for land return, undertaking a strong community advocacy role and acting as a prominent voice for social justice change for his people.

Clyde will take the conference delegation on a virtual walk through country in Wukalina (Mt William National Park) in the north-east of Tasmania. Along the way, Clyde will share the approaches Elders use to engage learners and encourage the discovery of new knowledge (or the rediscovery of lost knowledge), through exploration and experimentation.

Clyde’s presentation will bring together ancient wisdom and cutting edge technology, using interactive 360 degree video for a fully immersive Virtual Reality experience of the beautiful Tasmanian wilderness.

Conference program

Discovering the Future Together: Action Learning and Action Research at Work.

The changes we are all experiencing due to the coronavirus pandemic is bringing systemic issues to light. Wicked problems and opportunities are emerging. Keeping our communities safe is paramount but how will we address the economic fallout and rebuild our businesses and workplaces after the crisis abates? Action learning and action research are applied in many forms across many contexts. This conference will showcase examples of action-based approaches to community and organisational development, collaboration and lifelong learning as a vehicle for rapid systemic change.


  • Breaking down silos with action learning and action research
  • Reinvention and lifelong learning through action and reflection
  • Action and reflection as a catalyst for organisational development
  • Action learning and action research in community development


For more information, please visit the Conference website

Action learning and the transition to a Circular Economy
Monika Koncz-Mackenzie, Learning Innovation Manager
Ellen Macarthur Foundation

Developing the Circular Economy in Tasmania – The Business Resource Efficiency Program
Genevieve Cother, BREP facilitator, Business Action Learning Tasmania

Online Relational Learning: Exploring the potential of literary métissage in building online life-long learning communities
Dr Judith McBride and Afrouz Mobayen

Looking for the ‘ah ha’ moments in action research understanding
Dr Diana Austin, Prof Lesley Ferkins, Trish Morrison, and Celeita Williams

Lifelong learning through participatory action research
Rafael Capó García

Developing 21st Century Skills through action learning
Bob Cother, The Action Learning Institute

Delivering innovation through facilitated action learning in a heavy industrial environment – An account of practice
Bill Woodworth, Bell Bay Aluminium