Free The Change
How To Change The World And Stay Human

A Scottish island retreat - on resilient global citizenship in complex times

When: Friday 1st June to Monday 4th June 2018

Where: The Isle Of Coll, via Oban

Cost: £195 to £400 depending on income + cost of travel. Part-funded places available.

Early bird discount deadline: Sunday 25 March 2018.

Delivered by Free The Change, in partnership with Project Trust and Take One Action.

Are you seeking new ways to help create the fairer, more sustainable society we all know we need? Do you want to live more authentically, and make a bigger difference where it matters most?

Join us: fellow change-makers, dreamers, movers and shakers, for this deeply empowering three day retreat in the stunning surrounds of the Hebridean Isle of Coll, to reimagine what’s yours to do for the world today, starting where you really are.



So. You care about (or have long been standing up for) the better world we all need to be part of. Maybe the environment is your thing, or people living on the margins of society in the UK or globally. Perhaps you’re wanting to see more people-and-planet friendly workplaces or governments. Or you just wish there were better playgrounds in your community. That kind of thing!

You’re our kind of person… Because you sometimes feel overwhelmed.... By the scale of the task, or the state of the world. Because you’re not always sure how to be most effective, or what exactly is yours to do. Because you want to be more committed and fulfilled in your change-making, and avoid burnout at the same time. Because you’re looking for more confidence to speak to the people who disagree with you, and to understand the true power of social movements and where your contribution fits in. Because - ultimately - you want to change the world... and stay human.



Free The Change: How To Change the World and Stay Human is a powerful three day journey/retreat, training and community gathering for anyone who sees themselves as part of the world’s problems… and its solutions.

  • Think hearts, minds and hands.
  • Friendship, refreshment and honesty.
  • Your "Change challenges” shared.
  • Practical tools to start creating more of the common good wherever you orbit.
  • All aided by stunning Scottish scenery - and creative input - to give you powerful new perspectives on "what's yours to do".

You don’t need specialist knowledge. Just a desire to gather in this beautiful place with other explorers, leaving the urgency of the issues at hand at home for the weekend. Together and individually, we’ll consider great questions that will help us reconnect what matters - to you, your community and the world at large, for the long-term. Crucially, we’ll begin to reimagine and craft new intentions about how we can “show up, think and do” in new, exciting, more creative and courageous ways - where we already have power in our diverse worlds.


"I’m so grateful for the ideas, conversation, tools… a space to really think about what matters and meet new people who really care."

"A true experience of honesty, depth and compassion without pressure. Such a positive vehicle for change - and really skilful facilitation."

"I felt deeply welcome, comfortable, stretched and alive…"

"I've come away so much more grounded and confident in the contribution I can make."


"Want to change the world but not sure where to start?... It’s hard to think of a better destination" The Guardian

"Truly empowering" The Scotsman


Retreat Leadership

Simon - 1.jpg

The Coll retreat will be hosted by Simon Bateson and guest facilitators. Simon is the Creative Director and founder of Take One Action and Free The Change, which together support thousands of change-makers across Scotland and beyond to be the change they want to see in the world. Simon has a 15 year campaigning background - supporting progressive action on climate change, democracy and international development with organisations including Global Justice Now, Christian Aid, The British Museum and United Nations - working in South Africa, Sierra Leone, Palestine and the UK. Simon is passionate about building and sustaining civic participation. He lives in Edinburgh.



Free The Change (this website) is an invitation, a simple framework + tools and a supportive network - all designed to nurture and sustain civic action for the common good. Its key purpose is to help change-makers from all walks of life to gather routinely in small groups, wherever they are, and support each other's practical actions for a fairer, more sustainable world. The retreat will reference this work, but you can also find out more here.



Based on Coll but active worldwide, Project Trust empowers people to be confident, effective, creative, independent and resilient through a challenging volunteering experience overseas. Acting as responsible global citizens, volunteers make a positive difference to their host communities and share their learning and understanding when they return home. Our work, like Free The Change, is oriented around enabling: Communication and collaboration; Resilience; Self-confidence; Leadership and Awareness. Find out more here.