The Animas

Impact Incubator

Overview of the Animas Impact Incubator

The Animas Impact Incubator is as part of our wider strategy to use coaching for social impact.

It has been set up as an annual initiative that supports a small group of aspiring social impact entrepreneurs in developing their social impact project. The programme utilises group coaching and one-to-one coaching over a period of one year to create conversations that enable challenges to be explored, decisions to be made, and action to be taken. Along with enabling the success of the participants, its aim is to explore the effectiveness of coaching as a means of creating change in a specialist field. To ensure this coaching based approach, the Incubator is not led by a social impact expert and has no specialist sessions with expert teachers or mentors from the impact space. This ensures the integrity of the principles at the heart of the Impact Incubator: self-directed learning, collaborative discovery and accountable action. The programme is made available at no cost to the aspiring social project leaders and applicants undergo a rigorous assessment process to ensure a right fit and an appropriate state of readiness and commitment.

2022 Project Leaders

Purpose & Aims

The key aims for Animas in developing the Impact Incubator are to:

The Coaching Approach

The Impact Incubator comprises two main elements:

Group Coaching

The group meets monthly for the first six months to ensure a regularity of exploration, decision making and commitment to action.  It then meets every two months for the second half of the year to enable check-in and sustainability within that year. 

The group coaching is led by Animas founder, Nick Bolton, and the approach is one of emergence around the group needs rather than a strict adherence to a process.

Elements of the group coaching include:

An online community is formed where conversation can continue between meetings and where resources can be shared and a WhatsApp group is established for ease of communication. Our hope is that the group will continue to support one another long after the incubator formally finishes. 

One-to-one coaching

Each applicant is provided with an Accountability Partner (a coach) with whom they meet monthly to discuss their progress, challenges and next steps.

This one-to-one coaching supports the group work whilst also ensuring a protected time for the individual to think about their own plans and ideas in more detail.

The coaching is provided by three professional coaches on a voluntary basis for which we are truly grateful.

The Application Process & Criteria

For the 2022 cohort, a call for applications went out to the community of 3000+ Animas coaches seeking coaches who wanted to start a social impact project and who felt they would benefit from being part of a coaching and accountability group. Over 50 applications were received with each applicant submitting a description of the project they wished to launch. A review group shortlisted these to 15 projects and each was asked to submit a video outlining their project in more detail.

We were looking for:

From here, six applicants were selected to be invited to join the incubator.

The 6 Impact Projects & Leaders

Accessible Coaching for Social Justice

Claire Tixeire

“Accessible Coaching for Social Justice” is an initiative to provide, through partnerships, accessible or free Transformational Coaching to early-career human rights defenders and activists – whether organizers, lawyers, artists, journalists, or environmentalists. 

While indispensable to creating change in societies, they face phenomenal challenges and have little access to personal coaching.

This initiative is to start in Berlin, Germany, a city with a diverse, international, and growing non-profit and social sector. It is being introduced by Berlin-based Claire Tixeire, a Transformational Coach and Senior Legal Advisor at a human rights non-profit organization.

Coaching has a lot to offer to social change. The emancipation and resilience of individuals does impact their ability to bring about change to larger communities.

To achieve social justice, the next generation of human rights defenders and activists must be resilient to carry out a uniquely challenging work. They can be faced with male-dominated, racialized, elitist working fields or settings. They are likely to face discrimination from dominant groups in society, notably because of the causes they defend, the critical stances they take, or their identities.

Activists can become so aligned with what they view as their life’s mission that personal and professional boundaries may be blurred. They might have to cope with the traumatic experiences of their clients or communities, and sometimes their own. Career perspectives are usually precarious and competitive. Burnout and conflicts are commonplace. Confidence may be undermined by impostor syndrome, anxiety or guilt.

This project is therefore looking at practising coaching tailored to their unique challenges. This means working with critical, decolonial, antiracist and feminist perspectives, and a personal understanding and experience on behalf of the coach of the human rights and non-profit sectors.

Transformational Coaching can provide young human rights defenders and activists the mental space to explore their challenges, build on their strengths, and expand their perspectives. It can bring about new forms of emancipation, stress and conflict management skills, greater agency and resilience. It can help identify and understand their personal boundaries and potential.

This initiative is supporting not just these young individuals that are the social justice multipliers of tomorrow, but ultimately the causes they defend.

Claire has worked since 2004 internationally on numerous cases focusing on holding powerful actors to account for major human rights crimes and social injustice. She also organized and collaborated with human rights defenders from around the world. Claire’s start in coaching in 2019 was a natural next step to reconcile her desire to accompany individuals at a personal level while working on systemic injustice.

She is an Animas Transformational, Existential and Group Coach, and a Senior Legal Advisor at the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR). Visit her website at https://clairetixeire.com/coaching-for-social-justice/.

Project Name:

Cristina Lau

Caring for Carers is a social impact initiative rooted in an intergenerational story of caring for family members with mental health issues. This unique initiative shines a light on the marginalised and unseen workforce in homes around the world: the informal carers; parents, sisters, brothers, and other family members. 

Those who look after an elderly parent, a disabled child, a brother with mental health issues, or an ill spouse, and are in need of respite, self-care and recognition.

IncaZen’s retreat for Caring for Carers Social Impact has a purpose of unity for community with a focus to improve human connection, as mental health and wellbeing is now being recognised as an essential basic need.

The time spent at the retreat will stimulate and build the carer’s resilience, self-care and reinforce their labour of love. A renewed sense of purpose will be achieved through group and personalised coaching, rest and self-care programs and activities geared towards reflection, wellbeing, and a bit of tlc (walks, yoga, meditation, dancing, chanting, taichi, massage, nutritious foods and being in nature).

The retreat is currently being built on the mountains of Robledo de Chavela, by the river Cofio, just an hour’s drive from Madrid. It is the point of contact between carers, their families, care centres, charities and private sponsors.

A sponsorship program has been created for families who have an identified informal carer. These families will be invited to spend a weekend at the retreat on a donation basis so they can experience it first hand before they sponsor a carer of their choice. Profiles of carers are available for sponsorship by families, philanthropists, the public and the private sector.

One of our guiding principles is to show carers they are not alone. Hence, our focus is to bring the carer into a safe space with other carers in similar circumstances where they can relate to each other and know they count. This will ensure long-term sustainability and the opportunity to develop a lasting sense of community.

Cwtsh Coaching

Jon Dafydd-Kidd

Providing care is a momentous task.

Providing care through a pandemic? Almost unthinkable.

For Care-home managers everywhere, restrictions on care homes and employees are lingering, impacting life for all connected to the home.

“Noun” cwtsh m (plural cwtshys)

(South Wales) cwtch, hug, cuddle

‘Cwtsh Coaching’ is an initiative creating a better quality of life for everyone who lives, works or visits a Care Home. To do this, it connects and enables Care Home Managers to; recognise they are entitled to, and deserve support re-imagine personal and professional life in a peri-pandemic World reboot their own way of being, creating positive impact for all through their Care Home.

Managers engaging on the programme receive; a dedicated coach a series of 6 or more individual, 30 minute virtual coaching sessions reflective tools to continue support in between sessions.

The short and focused sessions contain the soft edges of a cwtsh (hug), but the supportive challenge of Coaching, creating the perfect balance to begin recognising, re-imagining and rebooting.

For more information, please contact hello@jdkcoach.com

Jon is an experienced Facilitator and Theatre Maker from Wales. He is Head of Participation (PAWB) with Welsh flagship arts organisation, Hijinx, and represents the UK on the global Executive Committee of ASSITEJ International to champion the human rights of young people to culture and creativity. Jon has also spent 7 years as an artist, mentor and trainer on Age Cymru’s #cARTrefu – exploring the role of the arts in positively impacting well-being for all in care homes.

He trained as a coach with Animas during the 2020 lockdown fueled by a desire to support arts professionals having to leave the arts industry after a lifetime’s work. He continued his learning as a Group Coach with Animas and ICF, and most recently trained as an NLP Practitioner (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). He has developed and delivered group coaching programmes for creatives with ArtWorks Cymru and WAHWN (Wales Arts Health & Well-being Network). Using his training, he ran a pilot group coaching project with Age Cymru and Social Care Wales for Care Managers across Wales.

MicroSchool

Olivia Munoru

Mizizi MicroSchools is reimagining education in Kenya. It offers a hybrid model of schooling that leverages the latest Ed-Tech solutions to provide highly personalised primary education in a nurturing, home-like environment.

Founded in late 2020, during Kenya’s 10 months of school closure, Mizizi MicroSchools emerged initially as part of a growing number of neighbourhood “pandemic pods” being run in parents’ homes in Nairobi.

 

Despite recent developments in the national curriculum, Kenya’s formal education system remains a “factory-schooling” model, and tends to be an incredibly high-pressure environment for young children. Thus when schools re-opened, many parents were reluctant to have their children return, having now seen them flourish at home or in small, nurturing pods. However, even with new technologies to support these learners, most parents do not have the time or space, and feel ill-equipped to deliver quality home-schooling on a long term basis. Mizizi offers the ideal solution for these parents, with inspiring learning spaces, small groups (10-15) and high-quality teaching that leverages the latest advancements in educational technology.

“Mizizi” was named by its’ founding community – parents, teachers and kids were all involved in the process. It is a kiswahili word meaning “rooted”. The community is deeply committed to the African value of working for the collective good (Ubuntu). As part of this, they are constantly looking for ways to develop a more afrocentric curriculum which values local wisdom and knowledge.

Mizizi also commits to fostering wellness across its’ entire learning ecosystem. The children start each day with a session of “Umoja”, which is a daily centering activity focussed on emotional well-being and connection. One goal in 2022 is to develop wellness programmes for the teachers and parents, including a tailored coaching programme for the Mizizi teachers.

Mizizi MicroSchools is led by Australian-born mother of 3, who immigrated to Nairobi in 2015 with her Kenyan husband of 20 years. Olivia has a Bachelor of Science (Human Geography), a Masters in International Community Development and a Graduate Diploma of Education (Secondary Teaching) from Macquarie University in Australia.

Before moving to Kenya, Olivia worked for 7 years as a facilitator, trainer and coach, working across 5 continents to facilitate community change processes with NGOs, CBO’s, community groups and activist networks. Olivia is a galvaniser and community-builder, who loves to create deeply human experiences that connect people.

The overall purpose of Mizizi MicroSchools is to nurture courageous, compassionate and inspired young leaders for tomorrow’s Africa.

Olivia’s goal in the next 3 years is to develop a replicable model for Mizizi MicroSchools that can be scaled to serve more communities across Kenya, and to become the #1 employer of choice for Kenya’s best teachers.

Follow us on Instagram @microschoolnairobi.
You can also reach Olivia directly by email; Olivia.munoru@mizizischool.com

Project Name:

Mylene Sylvestre

The social enterprise “Women of Colour Global Network (WOCGN)” is a social impact initiative and a network Mylene Sylvestre launched on International Women’s Day in 2021, with her business partner Haseena Farid.

Focused on the wellbeing and professional success of women of colour, the network is a safe space that offers members mentoring, coaching, training workshops, all delivered by women of colour, as well as a networking platform.

WOCGN is the reason Mylene decided to train as a transformational coach with Animas. Over the years, she has done a lot of work with women of colour through mentoring and sponsoring. And in the wake of George Floyd’s death and of the global BLM movement that ensued, she decided it was time to go further: to launch WOCGN and to become a transformational coach offering her services primarily to women of colour. As a woman of colour herself, as a senior leader in the media industry and now as a social entrepreneur, she really understands the challenges woc face in the workplace and in society more generally and feel passionate about this project.

WOCGN’s mission is to support and advocate for women of colour, championing them to lead fulfilling lives and careers. This is where coaching is really relevant. As part of the network’s offering, WOCGN want to make coaching more accessible to women of colour who might not have had the opportunity of being coached until now. Over the last year, Mylene has been speaking to many women of colour (woc) and taking into careful consideration the specific requirements of woc in the workplace. She’s now ready to devise the coaching and training programme with a pool of women of colour coaches, who have the same vision. Women of Colour are under-represented in coaching (as coaches or coachees) so WOCGN want the programme to be unique, focused and intentional: both the coaches and coachees will be women of colour, because representation matters and the focus on this hugely underrepresented group is truly necessary. We want to support those who might lack confidence, feel under-valued, who might find navigating the workplace hard and might have been discriminated against because of their gender and the colour of their skin.

WOCGN is a great opportunity for women of colour looking for support to navigate workplace structures, seeking greater visibility in their field of work & keen to enhance their self confidence. It also provides a rewarding experience for professional women of colour from any sector who want to give back and to offer their support and make a real difference to the lives of other woc, who in turn will no longer be held back by gender or race.

For updates on our work and to support us, you can sign-up at www.wocgn.com and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn @wocgn.

You can also ask us for more information and email us at hello@wocgn.com.

Proud Family

Omer Hochbaum

‘Proud Family’ is an initiative that supports the LGBTQ+ community and their family members towards the mutual goal of strengthening their family connection.

The initiative will provide online one-on-one or group coaching to help members work towards accepting difference and change, strengthening their self-confidence and sense of being and ultimately improving their family connection and communication. It will provide a virtual space for community, motivating each member towards positive change and sharing stories with others.

This project is spearheaded by Omer Hochbaum, a transformational life coach and Social Impact consultant living in Tel Aviv, Israel. His motivation in creating ‘Proud Family’ began after he himself came out and realised the importance of a supportive family in the process. He met many individuals who were either “in the closet” or “not fully out” with their families, had family members who were not accepting of their sexual orientation, or lived abroad to be away from their families in order to be their “true selves”. In response, he began looking for ways that can contribute to making a difference.

Aside from coaching, Omer is the co-founder of Because Agency (www.BeCause-Agency.com), a Social Impact consulting and project management company which he runs together with his twin sister Aviv. Through ‘Proud Family’, Omer is able to fulfil his ultimate goal of creating social impact in an area that truly inspires him.

Outcome Report 2022

The 2022 Incubator is currently running and will finish in December 2022.

Our aim is to produce a report that shares our learnings about group coaching as a means for facilitating this kind of space as well as the experience of how we adapted it to the needs of the group.

We hope this will provide invaluable lessons around the practical implementation of group coaching and facilitation.

In addition, we will share the outcomes of each project and where they are on their journey.

Coaches

Nick Bolton - Group Coach

Nick is the Founder CEO of Animas Centre for Coaching and the International Centre for Coaching Supervision. Passionate about helping coaches do meaningful work, he sees social impact and coaching as a perfect combination. Navigating the tension between the coaching belief in personal agency with a recognition of the way in which social forces constrain and shape our potential feels like an important area of practical research for Nick which is why he decided to be the group coach for this first cohort of social entrepreneurs.

Tricia Jones - Accountability Partner

Qualified with Animas in 2017 after a long career in the clothing industry working for large organisations, started her own business and created a fashion brand. When her business closed in 2012, she did some consultancy for a few years then decided to study Colour Therapy and Crystal Healing. At the same time, she started a journey of discovery at the College of Psychic studies. She wanted to find a way to put her life and business experience to good use which led her to decide to train to become a Transformational Coach with Animas so that she could build a practice to combine coaching and healing with the intention to spend at least 40% doing pro bono work. A 'thinking partner' with leaders, entrepreneurs and founders. Tricia on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tricia-jones-coachwithcolours/

Dubem Menakaya - Accountability Partner

A dynamic, creative founder who has experience and understanding of various forms of personal development. Dubem studied at the University of Essex graduating with a degree in International Enterprise & Business Development. Dubem is also a self-published author (Letters of Friendship available on Amazon). Having delivered creative sessions to over 800 young people across England, he has also managed a Youth Programme whose stakeholders included ASOS and Investec (large investment bank). As well as having the facilitation experience, he has coached people from around the world in developing creative projects. He has participated in courses and programmes from world renowned leaders in the field of personal development such as Landmark and CCPE (Centre For Psychotherapy and Counselling). Has led a couple of incubators. Dubem on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dmenakaya/

Helen Prins - Accountability Partner

Helen has worked in social impact and sustainability for over 20 years in an energy company, Shell. She led the portfolio of social investment programmes in 50+ countries for over 220 million USD/per year. Her role was to set strategy, lead multi stakeholder partnerships, set up the impact framework and lead the global community of practice. She is taking severance to explore coaching and social impact together, and has recently been mentoring startups through an innovative programme. Helen on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/helen-prins-091591b/

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