International Foundation for Action Learning

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Executive Committee

Heidi Schaefer


Heidi has been involved with Action Learning since the mid 1990s when she did her MSc in Management using Action Learning. She has worked with sets across a range of sectors and occupations. In the U.K. She was a member of the national facilitator team for Action Learning Matters (ALM), run by NAVCA and more recently with LEAD at Lancaster University, a leadership programme for small businesses. In 2014 Heidi moved to Canada where she is working to develop Action Learning there and start a network of Action Learning facilitators. Heidi is a passionate believer in the power of Action Learning to transform individual thinking, action and thereby organisations. She joined the IFAL Executive to get involved in ‘spreading the word’ about Action Learning as well as participate in the work we do to support facilitators. She has become co-Chair of IFAL to help lead IFAL to develop stronger international networks. Heidi is also a practising visual artist.

Jafar Akhavan-Moossavi


Jafar has been privileged to serve as senior leader, coach, coach supervisor, mentor, independent practitioner, chair, executive board member and learning and development specialist in a variety of different roles and contexts; from leading civil society bodies to central and  local government, police, education, non governmental organisations, think tanks, international bodies to school governor, working with young people deciding on their educational and career paths and advocating the cause of rough sleepers. 

 Jafar established his independent coaching,  mentoring, leadership and people development practice some 20 years ago.  Jafar's practice and approach is underpinned by his fundamental commitment to promote and practice values based, inclusive and collaborative approach to people, organisational and societal development. He is motivated by commitment to harness our individual and human potential in the service of our collective humanities and achieving 'public good'... Jafar has been able to successfully integrate Action Learning in his diverse international practice.

Gen Cother

Genevieve Cother is the Business Development Manager for The Action Learning Institute, a private research and training organisation, and a Founder/Director of Cother Digital Pty Ltd, an Ed-tech Startup.

Based in Adelaide and Launceston, the Action Learning Institute (ALI) is a global leader in education transformation; it is the first education institution in the world to deliver nationally recognised qualifications, entirely through action learning.

These achievements are made possible through unique assessment methods and cutting edge technology, which allows real-time evidence collected in the workplace to be mapped directly to performance criteria in the Australian VET Framework.

Genevieve’s experience spans 20 years in manufacturing, as an Industrial Designer. More recently as a Master of Sustainable Design, she has used principles of social innovation and human-centred design to create innovative management systems and supporting technology for a range of applications.

ALI has been instrumental in establishing Business Action Learning Tasmania (BALT) Ltd, a charity established for the purpose of advancing education through action learning programs in industry, community and education institutions. BALT emerged from a cluster of businesses learning with and from each other through its flagship Lean Action Learning programs.

Jane Garnham

Jane joined the IFAL Executive in 2016 although she has been associated with IFAL for a number of years initially as a member and also contributing to workshops and the annual conferences in 2013 and 2016.

Jane first experienced action learning in 1999 and was so struck by its power and value that she trained as a facilitator and began facilitating sets in 2003. 

She was part of a self-facilitated set for almost eight years, an experience that continually strengthened and developed her practice and is about to start a virtual action learning contract with peer facilitators and consultants.

She recently facilitated a number of large action learning programmes, one for social workers where there is a focus on improving safeguarding practice and one for leaders and managers of a large provider of housing and care and support services as part of a leadership programme. She has also piloted action learning for people using mental health services and remains delighted by one comment from a set member when he said, “action learning helps me do better at living”.

Currently she is facilitating a large number of sets for newly qualified nurses in health trust as part of their preceptorship programme, working with a national mental health charity developing leadership capability and working with front line managers delivering services for homeless young people in south London.

A qualified coach and accredited action learning set facilitator she continue to learn, is part way through her End of Life Doula training and soon to train in Nancy Kline’s Thinking Partnership approach.

Yury Boshyk 

CEO and founder of Global Executive Learning (GEL), and chairperson of the annual Global Forum on Strategic Transformations, Leadership and Learning, a by-invitation-only and not-for-profit community of practice now in its 27th year. He also formulated a new approach to Action Learning--Business Driven Action Learning (BDAL).

Formerly Professor of Strategy at IMD, Lausanne, and faculty positions at Harvard University, and the University of Toronto. Yury’s consulting activities include executive coaching, and implementing BDAL programs internationally. He is a member of the Harvard Business Review Advisory Council, and the Advisory Board of the journal, Action Learning: Research and Practice. Previously, he advised the Government of Canada on multiculturalism, and was a member of the Toronto Mayor’s Committee on Community and Race Relations.

He has published on topics related to refugees, the history and evolution of Action Learning, the life and work of Reg Revans, leadership and organizational development worldwide.

Yury completed his D.Phil at the University of Oxford, his LSE, , and his B.A. at the University of Toronto. He now resides in Ottawa, Canada.

Moira McLaughlin

Our memorial to Moira can be found here.

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