Compassion Academy

The Compassion Academy provides a range of compassion-based training interventions for individuals and organisations including Compassionate Leadership and Systems Change Training, Together Training, and bespoke Self-Care and Wellbeing workshops and courses. 

The Academy’s model is based on what works from a wide range of psychological, scientific, and behavioural sources including evidence based compassion interventions which have been shown to lead to a long-term reduction of ingroup/outgroup divisions.

Our Leadership courses draw on the internationally renowned work done at MIT’s Sloan School of Management on systems dynamics and change along with the adaptive leadership practices developed by Cambridge University’s Centre for Rising Power.

Wellbeing, self-care, and resilience 

In the face of the current pandemic, safe-guarding and improving staff wellbeing has never been more important.  These courses are designed to boost wellness and build resilience. For those working in stressful environments, self-care is essential for both physical and mental wellbeing. Sadly, emotional resilience and self-care aren’t on the school syllabus and many remain unaware of what it involves until they start to suffer symptoms of stress or burn out. These symptoms can include anxiety, irritability, low mood, brain fog, feelings of overwhelm, increased reliance on food, alcohol and other unhealthy soothing mechanisms, lowered immunity, sleep disruption, negative patterns of behaviour and thought, depression and ultimately suicidal tendencies. Those symptoms don’t just impact on an individual they have a ripple effect on those they work with and a huge financial impact on employers through staff absence, low morale, loss of efficiency, increase in staff turnover and so on.

Best practice involves support and intervention long before an individual hits crisis point. During the current epidemic, when staff are often working remotely with burgeoning workloads and often having to handle distressing and difficult exchanges in isolation providing top quality support has never been more vital. In addition, the metaphysical aspects of the crisis increase the risk of depression and anxiety. 

“Every leader in the room wanted Jennifer as their mentor. She held the space beautifully and had attendees laughing one moment and crying the next. They all took something away from the workshop that will have helped shape their life." - MA, Convenor, Emerging Women Leaders Lab at the United Nations

"The training we received at FWN was so important and we are genuinely so pleased we took the time to invest in such a positive event. Jennifer’s session was both compassionate and practical and all attendees left reinvigorated for the work ahead. We were given practical tools ideas and creative insights into how activism can be truly sustainable as a way of life. As an organisation we are so pleased to have booked this session and invested in ourselves and believe such a model will be invaluable" - Review from a recent training course conducted with the Fabian Women's Network (FWN)

Training services:

Resilience and self-care for difficult times

  • Grounding in techniques for mental and physical self-care
  • Strategies to avoid burnout, stress triggers, and negative self-talk
  • Chance to experiment with different tools to find the ones that work.

Bridges not walls

  • Building tolerance, empathy, and connection
  • Deep listening skills to ensure everyone is heard in an inclusive workspace
  • Move from fear to compassion

Staying centered in a crazy world

  • 12 monthly sessions
  • Resilience building and self-care
  • Break-out sessions to help staff connect and engage
  • Create a common emtional vocabulary and legitimise emotions
  • Learn how to appreciate vulnerability

Systems change and leadership training

  • Reflect on how organisation systems can create stress
  • Change internal processes to enhance wellbeing
  • Develop leadership skills to promote compassion
  • Become a more effective team

Vision workshops

  • Help with identifying your organisation or team vision
  • Work out the strategy for achieving it
  • Reconnect with cross-team shared values
  • Identify every team member's purpose

About Us

The Compassion Academy was founded by Jennifer Nadel, co-author of the Sunday Times bestselling guide, WE and Matt Hawkins. Together, Jennifer and Matt are also the co-directors of the cross-party think tank, Compassion in Politics. Matt and Jennifer’s book, On Compassion, will be published later this year. 

Jennifer Nadel

Jennifer Nadel has over 30 years of experience of working in and around Westminster in high-pressure, high-stakes jobs. She’s reported for the BBC as a lobby correspondent, for Channel 4 News and was ITV’s Home Affairs Editor. She’s an award-winning journalist, the co-founder of Compassion in Politics and runs a limited number of coaching courses herself. Her 2018 book, WE: Nine Principles for Happiness (which she co-wrote with Gillian Anderson) is a guide to wellbeing and happiness and became a Sunday Times Bestseller.

She draws on her own experience of burn out as well as those of the individuals she has supported over the last two decades. Her courses are designed specifically for each client and topics covered include Compassionate Leadership, Self-Care for Busy People, Hope, Resilience and Purpose, Emotions and How to Survive them and Living Well in a Stressful World. She speaks internationally at organisations including Google, Bloomberg, Institute of Directors, Yale, Oxford and the UN. Her next book, On Compassion which she has produced alongside Matt Hawkins, will be published in 2021 by Routledge.

Matt Hawkins

Matt Hawkins has worked in politics and political communication for over a decade. He was previously the Head of Communications for a national political party and has also run many successful campaigns - including the recent campaign to secure the introduction of civil partnerships for mixed-sex couples. Prior to that he was a part of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

He is an experienced trainer and workshop provider and as well as delivering training sessions to national party conferences and to NGOs and charities he has also coached leading politicians in media and communication skills. He draws on this experience and his first-hand knowledge of politics and campaigning to help individuals and teams unite behind shared values, communicate well, and be effective in delivering change.