Collaborative Leadership and Systems Transformation (Online)


Many of the challenges we face can only really be addressed by collaborating with other organisations, sectors or international contexts.  This is particularly true when we are looking at issues like climate change, loss of biodiversity, ecological degradation or re-designing the way that our economic systems and businesses work to be more in service of people and the planet. 

But generating this kind of collective impact and at sufficient speed can be hard to do, and is often slower than is ideal. 
There is tremendous scope to evolve our approaches and to learn rapidly from emerging best practice in different global contexts.

To lead collaboratively we need to expand the way we look at leadership and innovation, and to grow a different set of capacities to leading within organisations or teams. 
It may also require a shift of mindset or values. Collaborative leadership needs a special set of relational skills;

  • attention to how we create and sustain the field for joint action,
  • seeing the whole picture and taking an ecosystem approach,
  • creating alignment between different goals, metrics and accountabilities,
  • finding solutions to difficult challenges,
  • creativity and ideation to imagine future possibilities and ways of doing things that don’t yet exist, and developing narratives that inspire and energise the collaboration and stakeholders beyond it.

Programme details

This course will provide a framework for exploring collaborative leadership.
You will be introduced to new ways of looking at collaboration and partnership; the many forms it can take, the barriers and enabling factors, why it often entails a shift of mindset or paradigm, the stages or lifecycle of successful collaboration, the kinds of collaborative leadership capacities we need to grow.
This course includes practical exercises to develop some of these ideas, and create a personal roadmap for taking your approach forward after the course.  

Colalborative leadership is a fast emerging field. 
We will look at international case studies, for example in the fields of climate change and energy systems, biodiversity loss and ecosystem restoration, shifting the ways that financial systems work and how businesses are working with their supply chains. We will also look at the interconnectivity that is often present between different sectors and systems. 
You will be encouraged to share examples from other fields that you have experience in, or are familiar with, such as health and wellbeing, education, social justice or governance.

Dates, Time and Delivery

This course will be delivered over five days, with 3x 90-minute sessions per day.

The dates are Tuesday 18 January, Thursday 20 January, Tuesday 25 January, Thursday 27 January, and Tuesday 1 February, with sessions from 11:00-12:30, 13:00-14:30 and 15:00-16:30 (UK time).

A world clock, and time zone converter can be found here:

This is a ‘virtual classroom’ course.

To replicate the experience of a classroom, the sessions are ‘live’ and are not recorded.


Session 1 - Tuesday 18 January (11:00-12:30) - Why collaborative leadership is so important now and is a fast emerging field 

Session 2 - Tuesday 18 January (13:00-14:30) - The different forms it can take: from informal exploratory meetings to forums, partnerships, multi-stakeholder engagement, coalitions and networks 

Session 3 - Tuesday 18 January (15:00-16:30) - The barriers to successful collaboration and collective impact 

Session 4 - Thursday 20 January (11:00-12:30) - The skills and capacities we need to grow and how do we do the capacity building 

Session 5 - Thursday 20 January (13:00-14:30) - Different stages in collaboration: taking a life cycle approach and working with emergent processes 

Session 6 - Thursday 20 January (15:00-16:30) - Understanding the dynamics and pathways to collective action and outcomes 

Session 7 - Tuesday 25 January (11:00-12:30) - Creating and sustaining a powerful field for action 

Session 8 - Tuesday 25 January (13:00-14:30) - Working with collective intelligence: the human kind 

Session 9 - Tuesday 25 January (15:00-16:30) - Fostering creativity and ideation to generate solutions or build something new 

Session 10 - Thursday 27 January (11:00-12:30) - Taking a systemic perspective and seeing the broader landscape or ecosystem 

Session 11 - Thursday 27 January (13:00-14:30) - Thinking outside the box and re-imagining future possibilities 

Session 12 - Thursday 27 January (15:00-16:30) - Creating alignment and synergy in the vision, motivations, values, timeframes, goals, strategy, target setting, metrics, responsibilities 

Session 13 - Tuesday 01 February (11:00-12:30) - Going deeper: beyond collaboration to co-creation 

Session 14 - Tuesday 01 February (13:00-14:30) - The power of narrative and storytelling within the collaborative framework and beyond 

Session 15 - Tuesday 01 February (15:00-16:30) - Concluding review of the collective learning and planning your personal pathway forward 

Intended Audience

The course will include a mix of interactive presentations, practical and experiental exercises and reflective practices to crystallise personal and collective learning. 

You will have access to a collaborative platform, to use as a social and interactive space to share ideas and network. 

This course would be beneficial to:

  • Leaders or and managers who have responsibility for partnerships and collaborations. 
  • Managers and leaders interested in innovation processes.  
  • People who see the need for collaboration and joint action beyond their current role or responsibility, for something new to happen, and are looking for ways forward.
  • People in a variety of roles who understand that effective and timely solutions are only going to emerge from new ways of getting things done; such as working for system change and transformation through collaborating across organisations, sectors or geographies to facilitate positive change.

This course would also apply if:

  • You may are working in an organisation or partnership that spans several sectors e.g. impact investment, that wants to have a positive impact within its wider ecosystem.


Participants who attend the full course will receive a University of Oxford electronic certificate of attendance. 

The certificate will show your name, the course title and the dates of the course you attended.

You will be required to attend all of the live sessions on the course in order to be considered for an attendance certificate.


Description Costs
Standard course fee £795.00


Fees include electronic copies of course materials.

All courses are VAT exempt.

Register immediately online 

Click the “book now” button on this webpage. Payment by credit or debit card is required.


Ms Jane Corbett


Jane is a facilitator, tutor, consultant and coach on Generative leadership for a sustainable future. She has worked on International and Public Programmes at OUDCE since 1997 as a part time course director or tutor on leadership and sustainability courses and has worked at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge 2017-21.  


If you would like to discuss your application or any part of the application process before applying, please click Contact Us at the top of this page.

IT requirements

This course is delivered online using Microsoft Teams. You will be required to follow and implement the instructions we send you to fully access Microsoft Teams on the University of Oxford's secure IT network.

To participate you must be familiar with using a computer for purposes such as sending email and searching the Internet. You will also need regular access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification.

It is advised to use headphones with working speakers and microphone.