2023 Conference Report and the Upcoming 2025 Conference

2023 Conference - Full Report

Here you can find the full 2023 Conference report, including the recorded sessions from the Guest Speakers and the Workshops.

View the Full Report


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IOL Annual Conference on Saturday 14th October 

‘A Shared Vision for a Better Outdoor Learning World’

The conference theme was developing, sharing and envisaging Outdoor Learning that will make a positive difference now, and in the future.

We tied in with World Standards Day to highlight how recognised and accepted standards are built on collaborative working. Agreed professional, occupational and benchmark standards are testament to the power of cooperation and the belief that we are stronger than the sum of our parts.

In 2023 the World Standards Day the emphasis was on UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The IOL has sustainability as a 'Golden Thread' and is working to make planetary and organisational sustainability run through all we do.

Conference Sponsors - British Canoeing

The event, sponsored by British Canoeing, and hosted on the Eventsair platform will bring together 4 speakers, over 35 workshops and a selection of exhibition stands. 

First ever on-line format

This was our first online conference and received positive feedback and constructive comments to improve the experience for both attendees and presenters.  It was nerve wracking to go the on-line route being an Outdoor Learning organisation.  We are still absorbing and reflecting but the format seems a valuable addition to the IOL networking and conference offer. 

Importantly, the conference proved inclusive which was a key aim.  Some attendees remarked it was welcoming to attend as and we could offer it for £20 or less to our members.  It also had a global reach both in terms of presenters and attendees - connections were made across our Outdoor Learning World whilst minimising travel and associated environmental impacts.

The conference platform was provided by Events Air


Guest Speakers


Manjul Prateeti
Robin Millar
Rich Alderton
Catrin Thomas



During the day there were 4 workshop sessions with 30 different workshops to choose from under the themes of Sustainability, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, Community, Theory, Standards and workforce.  

The commitment to Outdoor Learning on the day was tremendous as over 250 people gave up their Saturday to attend, the guest speakers and workshop providers all gave their wisdom, knowledge and for free.  The workshop presenters are recognised for their expertise in their respective fields and attendees had a plentiful choice across the spectrum and depth of our Sector. All credit to them for engaging with the unfamiliar software. Paul and Alex from Events Air, did their very best all day to respond to ‘Help’ buttons for us all.

Thanks to our sponsors and exhibitorswho helped to make it happen.

It isn’t over yet as we the event was recorded and those with tickets can access the parts they have yet to see at a time and place of their choice and comfort.  Tickets are available if you want to join in, and the recording is available until April 2024 – just email [email protected]


So, what's next after the Annual Conference?
In person events

The IOL is continuing to develop its dual offer of both online and in-person events.  Please look out for both Sector Specialist Group events beginning with the Bushcraft Conference in November and Adventure For All in December, and the Geographical Groups kicking off with the North West England conference in January.

We also have professional opportunity available through the Train-the Trainer Delivering Experiential Learning at Plas y Brenin in 13th-16th January.

Details of all these in person events can be found on this website, in Horizons and in the IOL Newsletter as well as through Groups.IO email.


IOL Webinar Series

A series of on online workshops is being held through to May 2024.  As with the conference workshops we will bring together both breadth and depth from across the Outdoor Learning Sector.  These are free to members and open to non-members at a small fee.  They are another way to network, share and develop practice. Go to the Events page to see what's on offer.



IOL 2023 Conference Brochure


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IOL 2025 Conference

The next IOL Conference will be in 2025. Dates will be 21st and 22nd November.

Did you know that the 21st of November is Global Outdoor Learning Day!