The route we took to get here

In 2012 the Impact Trust benefited from the generous support of a place at the Cambridge Programme for Sustainable Leadership (CPSL-SA) Business Sustainability Programme.

After five days of deep listening and learning, we came to appreciate the enormity of the learning and engagement gap that existed, critically at secondary school and undergraduate years BEFORE life and career choices were made.

Our research in schools highlighted the additional need for building the knowledge confidence and classroom practices of educators to help them adopt a sustainability lens through which to deliver learning and relevant content.

Tom, Elspeth, Tamzin and Rayne on the first day of the Cedar House Programme

To further deepen our understanding of the attributes that would give rise to the enactment of “environmental” (ecological / sustainability) citizenship, Tamzin Ractliffe (Director of the Impact Trust) returned to do a MPhil with the African Climate & Development Institute at UCT (ACDI), focusing her research and thesis on environmental citizenship and sustainable consumption.

Thanks to critical early support from Tom McLaughlin (previously Woolworths Good Business Journey), this research saw the creation of some of the first Routes to Resilience workshops.

So started a journey between Tamzin Ractliffe and Tom McLaughlin, supported in huge measure by Elspeth Donovan (Deputy Director of CISL-SA). The Impact Trust and CISL-SA finalised a Collaboration Agreement in 2017 with the piloting of a semester long transdisciplinary programme at Cedar House School.

Between Tom, Elspeth,Tamzin and Rayne McKechnie (also an ACDI graduate and Educator), Routes to Resilience began the journey.  Collectively with the Board of the Impact Trust, this team has established a powerful, generous and future-fit board of advisors and expert contributors with faculty in various parts of the world.

We have run programmes with Ashoka UK Changemaker Schools, United World Colleges, ISASA, and various state schools in the UK and South Africa, have developed strong partnership with place-based sites of learning such as Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, Safari Collection (both Long Run resorts), Sustainability Institute, Edith Stephens and others to expand our offerings.

Our Sygnature Programme represents deep learning from our first three years of working with schools and youth and speaks to the urgent need for engagement for youth now, especially whilst the policy, environment and the root (route) for equipping educators better remains slow to change.

Tamzin and Ann running their first workshop together

In 2019 the Impact Trust benefited hugely from engaging with Ann de Passos, a Leadership Development Practitioner working in the corporate sector with young professionals and emerging managers and with a passion for engaging growing leaders.

Joining forces, the Impact Trust formally established Routes to Resilience as a social enterprise under Ann’s energetic and visionary leadership and together with the broader team, looks forward to the positive impact we can have by informing, inspiring and igniting action in others.


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