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The context for leadership is growing more complex


You’re expanding your capacity to engage with it all


You’ve grown beyond conventional executive programs


New sources of inspiration are here

Discover your next horizon

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If you're called upon to respond creatively to the complexity of your work, this is the place to gather with global leaders and renowned artists,

similarly seeking new sources of inspiration and growth.

The retreat is for globally-minded leaders who are aligning their work with an urgent call for systems transformation.


Meet us at the intersection of artistic and leadership practice.


Martin Hayes


Mary Stacey


Padraig O Tuama


Reilly Dow

brendan copy.jpg

Brendan Dunford

The Burren, County Clare, Ireland

A Context Learning Space with the Burren College of Art

To inquire about receiving an invitation, contact founder Mary Stacey to arrange a call.

"There is something in the wisdom of knowing what is all around you, and playing that"

Martin Hayes


What is the Burren Leadership Retreat?

In conversations with top leaders, we find a few recurring questions:


  • What does it mean to grow myself to successfully meet the challenges I am facing?

  • Where are my peers; other leaders actively seeking their next horizon?

  • What role can we play in evolving leadership to meet the needs of the future?


As the leadership environment and global systems challenges become more complex and urgent, it seems wise to ground and expand our personal capacity in a community of peers, so that we and our organizations can thrive.

The Burren Executive Leadership Retreat is a by-invitation gathering of senior global leaders who are addressing similar inquiries. As such a leader, you see that your ability to successfully lead organization and system-wide change depends on your ability to grow and change yourself. You are seeking new ways to expand your capacity while engaging with a network of diverse, yet like-minded peers.


The intent of the retreat is to re-create the complex, emergent conditions that leaders face, as a catalyst for development. During the retreat, we re-frame leadership as a creative act that flows from and is supported by a creative process and a disciplined practice.  We expand individual and collective capacity to lead effectively in the emerging future.

This first-of-its-kind gathering of accomplished leaders and renowned artists will open new leadership territory, allowing conversation and personal insight to emerge from a more expansive mind than our everyday work allows.

"Intentionally seeking the artful path, leaders develop the capacity to respond creatively to the complexity of their work."

Mary Stacey

Why bring artists and leaders together?

In today’s VUCA environment (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) leaders are called upon to transcend technical and heroic approaches to achieving results. They must turn leadership into an adaptive practice that allows them to respond with greater creativity and artfulness as they catalyze shared vision and address emerging realities.


Artists are society’s most daring visionaries. When we hear about their lives, we are inspired, intrigued by what allows them to stay for a lifetime in the uncertainty of their work. Driven to envisage what society can become, they draw on unique ways of knowing and remake our settled ways of seeing.

Less considered is the path that organizational leaders walk over the course of their careers. Like every artist, each leader has a textured story: of the mentors that shaped them, pivotal life experiences that helped them grow, and new possibilities that only become visible at a point along the way. Intentionally seeking the artful path, leaders develop the capacity to respond creatively to the complexity of their work. Never knowing precisely where their actions will lead, they learn to elegantly embrace emergence.


Anchoring the retreat are Pádraig Ó Tuama whose books include In the Shelter: Finding a Home in the World, and Martin Hayes, who is the recipient of the prestigious Gradam Ceoil Musician of the Year Award.

Pádraig Ó Tuama

"It is in the shelter of each other that the people live"
"Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas
na daoie"

What will the four days include?

The retreat is designed to help you expand your capacity to guide change using the collaborative and systemic approaches that are well matched to today’s conditions of escalating complexity. 

The gathering will include ample time for personal reflection, peer inquiry and coaching, and whole group inquiry about organizations, systems, and leadership itself, to balance both spaciousness and learning. This learning will be supported by guided exploration in the Burren landscape, dialogue between artists and leaders, and immersion in the hospitality of the local community. 


Reilly Dow

"Our invitation is to allow for open-hearted encounters with self, other, and surroundings, and to engage in the courageous creative act."

To inquire about receiving an invitation, contact
founder Mary Stacey to arrange a call.

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