CLD Tour 2018: Wish you were here!

CLD: Culture – Learning – Design
These three words were the compass guiding this uniquely rich professional learning experience

  • Culture: How might we challenge our own paradigm regarding the people, the content and the  context of learning?
  • Learning: How might the experience of school be enhanced and deepened through learner-centred practices?
  • Design: How might we design the student experience, the supporting systems systems and structures, along with the physical environment, to facilitate greater connection and learning?

The travelling crew gathered on Sunday 30 September 2018, to meet for the first time and find out a little more about each other.

  • 5 educators
  • 3 architects
  • 2 tour leaders and occasional cat herders – Mie and me!

From Australia, Romania and a Denmark/Netherlands hybrid


This marked the beginning of a whirlwind of travel and activity across the next 12 days, as we visited:

  • 13 schools
  • 5 universities
  • 4 libraries
  • 10 cities
  • 5 countries

Excluding the much-needed weekend for RnR in Amsterdam, we walked a total of 88km across the 10 days, this is not for the faint-hearted, averaging 12,500 steps per day. This average was boosted, however, as we took almost 22,000 steps on one day!

CLD Talk and walk.jpg
In Malmo Sweden. Remarkable weather.

This is not just walking the streets, but extensive tours of schools, libraries and universities add to the count as we traverse each site, upstairs and down.

We  met with the amazing Becky Parker and were instructed by young scientists, who researched: What can we learn from Viking poo?

We also caught eight trains, including the direct Eurostar from London to Amsterdam, one flight and had the luxury of a coach and driver on five days out of the ten days of the tour itinerary.

Inspiring schools around Edinburgh

At the conclusion, as we shared a traditional Danish ‘smorrebro’ lunch together, we laughed, joked, debated and challenged one another as if we were friends of many years, rather than a couple of weeks. In addition, I was delighted that over that time, as I shared our adventures on social media, that so many of the travellers of earlier tours joined in and recalled their experiences (actually, they were wished they were joining us as well!).

At Glasgow Caledonian University

One of my greatest motivations is seeing vision, plans and strategies translate into reality.  As we embarked on each day, we saw the vision take shape:

How might we enable our travellers to look beyond their current paradigm, to have their thinking challenged, and present new and transformational ideas that might serve as inspiration to their own context?

Mie and I had been working on this tour since the last one concluded in January this year. We considered the places and people we’d visited on earlier tours and then looked for new and emerging opportunities.

When people decide to join this professional study tour, it is usually the itinerary and the photos of places to visit that may be their motivation. Yet, what is less tangible are the conversations along the way and the opportunities to unpack ideas with trusted friends on a train or over a local beverage in the evening. These conversations also include the people we meet, hearing their stories and catching their passion for their learners.

What about you?
We were so grateful that this group said ‘yes’. Is 2019 your opportunity to join us?  Mie and I are putting plans together for Culture Learning Design Tour 2019.

Here’s the  expression of interest form, of course it’s non-binding but it means we can keep you in the loop.




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