Workshop Registration

Working Sabbatical

Register for: Working Sabbatical

Virtual Online Workshop 9th October, 2021 – 16th April, 2022

Delivered by

Fred Jones and Diana Renner

How the sabbatical is structured

This 7-month experience has three phases. The first, shorter phase enables you to become organized for the core sabbatical experience. The middle phase includes whatever distinct elements you set out wanting to be a part of the main sabbatical. The last phase looks backwards for insights and forwards to how you want to live and work next—including how you might build sabbatical-like elements into your life in a daily, weekly, monthly or seasonal cadence. There are eight (8) 2-hour group sessions during the seven months of the sabbatical, each with advance and follow up activity. Additionally, there is an individual consultation to help you design your custom sabbatical experience. You’ll have two guides along the way, Fred Jones and Diana Renner. Optional individual coaching may be added to the middle phase; the possibilities for this will be shown during the first, getting-organized phase; coaching also may be added to the last phase, as you re-integrate.

Who is this sabbatical for?

This sabbatical is designed for up to ten adults who have enough life experience and are willing to connect virtually with others. No one is too old, though you may be too young. You may be tired and burned-out. You may be bored or restless. You may have a spark of something else that you want to pursue, but are unsure of what to do with it. Or something else. All registrations will be considered pending until reviewed and accepted by the faculty. Here are the main questions:

  1. What have you noticed recently about your relationship to being busy and productive, having ambition and striving for success, and also your desire for self-improvement? How is any or all of this going for you these days?
  2. What makes creating time and space for a “working sabbatical” important at this point in your life?
  3. What might make it difficult for you to engage in this growth circle, including the eight (8) scheduled sessions, and the minimum 20% (roughly, an average of eight hours per week) time for you to use in fulfillment of your sabbatical design?
  4. What do you already imagine being a part of your personalized sabbatical experience?

Faculty bios

Fred Jones is a colleague with Cultivating Leadership and a collaborator with Diana and her colleagues at Uncharted Leadership, which is based in Australia. He also is the founder of a confab called Meanwhile, from which he engages adults about how they are getting on with the rest of their lives. He is a certified Designing Your Life coach, and lives in Austin, TX (USA), where he makes connections between local issues and larger patterns, is ready to convene spaces that connect people and possibilities, and supports people in the vital projects that they take on.


Diana Renner is co-founder of the Uncharted Leadership Institute and a collaborator with Fred and his colleagues at Cultivating Leadership. She is the co-author of two books translated in over fifteen languages, Not Knowing: the art of turning uncertainty into opportunity, awarded “Management Book of the Year Award” in the U.K. and Not Doing: the art of effortless action. Diana enjoys creative writing and exploring the intersection of arts and adult learning and development. She lives in Melbourne, Australia.


Application and Fees

Your registration is considered pending until reviewed and accepted by the faculty. The fees, due upon acceptance, for this working sabbatical are in US$:

The standard fee is $2600, and we invite those willing and able to register for the higher fee of $3200 to contribute to scholarships for those who cannot pay the full fee. There is an opportunity to let us know you would like to be considered for a scholarship in the application.

Cancellation Policy

The cancellation policy is as follows: Payment is fully refundable prior to September 1, 2021 less a 13 percent processing fee. It is not refundable thereafter. If the course is under-enrolled and the program is cancelled, all registrants will receive a full refund. 

Register Here


Do I need to limit my work hours to participate?
Not necessarily, though it may be desirable to do so. The experience will be more sabbatical-like with double the minimum average of eight hours of “sabbatical mode” per week, and finding that time without reducing any other commitments will be difficult for many.
What’s involved in me coming up with my own sabbatical design? 
Program activities will set up a way for you to design how you engage in “sabbatical mode” and a consultation with Fred and/or Diana will help you both with ideas and ways to fit the experience in with the rest of your life.
How does the coaching work?
Depending on your personalized sabbatical design, having a coach for support during the process may be helpful. Fred and Diana, who serve as faculty guides for this sabbatical, also offer specialized coaching during parts of this 7-month process. During the “getting ready” phase, as you work on your design, those options are presented. The fee for coaching is additional, and not included in the fee for the sabbatical. 
How can I time my sabbatical with the offered timeline?
Your definition of a sabbatical period does not have to correspond precisely with this program format. If you’ve already started, you can reconsider your plan during the “getting ready” phase, and if you want it to last longer you can extend the “next” phase at the end. The middle “exploring” phase is the main sabbatical period, and is set up for four months.
Can my organization support me?
If you don’t have contract or policy terms that afford you a sabbatical, you can ask for support, financial and otherwise, from an employer. Fred and Diana can provide a letter explaining the purpose and design of the program that you can share with your company.
What if the fee is too high for me?
Please indicate this in the registration process. The possibility of a fee reduction of up to 50% will be taken up on a case-by-case basis by September 1. The availability of funds will be determined partially by how many people pay fees in excess of the stated amount.
What if I am unable to attend any of the sessions?
The portions of the sessions that introduce new content will be recorded and made available to everyone.
What if I need something like this, but now’s not the time for me?
Fred and Diana are planning to offer another growth circle starting in the spring of 2022, with dates and times of day to be determined. It also is possible to work with them separately on an individual sabbatical experience.
Can I talk about this opportunity with someone?
You may email Fred Jones ( to explore questions you have, and he will take it from there.

Dates and times

The “Getting Ready” Phase includes designing your own working sabbatical in light of where you are in your life now:
  • Saturday, October 9, 2021, 3-5 p.m. US/CT.
  • Saturday, October 30, 2021, 3-5 p.m. US/CT.
Note: An individual consultation on sabbatical design will be scheduled with each person during mid-late November.


The “Exploring” Phase includes reconsideration of what you contribute in the world and the habits, practices, routines and rituals by which you live your life:
  • Saturday, December 4, 2021, 3-5 p.m. US/CT
  • Saturday, January 22, 2022, 3-5 p.m. US/CT
  • Saturday, February 12, 2022, 3-5 p.m. US/CT
  • Saturday, March 5, 2022, 3-5 p.m. US/CT
The “Next” Phase includes  redefining your horizon and stepping forward into it more fully:
  • Saturday, March 26, 2022, 3-5 p.m. US/CT
  • Saturday, April 16, 2022, 3-5 p.m. US/CTNote: The United States changes time on November 7, 2021 and March 13, 2022.