Navigating in Turbulent Times – Our Virtual INmersion Experience

While it is a challenging time, the disruption from the current pandemic also provides an unprecedented opportunity for positive transformation and growth – a chance to shape a better future for ourselves, our organisations and the world in which we live.

It’s with this context in mind that we developed the ‘Navigating in Turbulent Times’ programme – our first fully virtual leadership development experience. Just like an in-person experience, this virtual or ‘INmersive’ approach applied Emerging World’s Principles of Immersive Learning to create a powerful experience that emphasised personal growth, learning from each other and application to real problems and challenges.

The programme was spread over 6 weeks of interactive engagement and commenced in September 2020. It incorporated 25 hours of live learning sessions supported by individual reflection, assessments and an online shared learning space. The global programme brought together 16 social change leaders from 3 continents. The goal of the programme was to equip leaders from organisations that drive positive social change (our partners) with the skills, perspectives and support network to succeed in the current environment.

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As with all of our programmes, impact assessment was an important element of the Navigating in Turbulent Times programme. Gathering this type of data allows us to measure the success of a programme, highlight areas of impact and identify areas for improvement. For the Navigating in Turbulent Times programme, we asked participants to complete a survey prior to commencing the programme, and again once they had completed it. As a result, we are able to identify shifts in behaviours and mindset, and measure how well the programme achieved its intended objectives. We are pleased to share with you, some of the results:

An engaging, safe experience that increased connectedness

To understand some of the issues that people often struggle with, we asked a number of questions about the learning environment. The responses were really encouraging with all measures seeing more than half of the participants strongly agreeing.

Future Confidence

To understand how the programme has helped participants build resilience behaviours, we asked how confident they feel in their ability to manage complexity and uncertainty. There was a profound increase in positive responses at the overall positive level.

Participants feel more optimistic about the future once they have completed the programme.

“Emerging World provided a breath of fresh air during difficult times. I was amazed by how much I learned from colleagues in the social impact sector who had little background on my work or organization. We developed a true sense of community and my learning circle will continue to stay in touch.”

“The Emerging World experience utilizing action learning is super valuable. It leads to unexpected solutions to problems that often change once the root of the problem is uncovered. The process itself leads to a better understanding of self and relationship dynamics. This translates into being a better leader.”

Navigating Turbulent Times 2020 Programme Participants


At Emerging World, the Immersive Experiences we design change perspectives to shift business and shape a better future. The data suggests we’ve been able to mirror this in the Virtual INmersion Experience. INmersion focuses on using virtual ways of working to bring the outside IN. By using a range of session formats and working with inspiring partner organisations, the approach brings what’s happening at the bleeding edge into the centre of the learning environment to create an engaging and perspective-shifting experience.

We were really pleased with how the programme was received. Although participants were spread across a range of organisations and time zones, they were engaged throughout the programme. And while it is too early to assess the full longer-term impact of the programme, like we are able to do through our CISL Study, initial results were really positive and satisfaction overall was very high.

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