Yurt Academy’s Founder & Director

The Yurt Academy is the brainchild of lifelong entrepreneur Alex Pearson MBE. Bringing fresh thinking and positive energy, she has a passion for personal development, team interaction, the arts and human potential.

An entrepreneur from a young age, Alexandra masterminded her school’s first ever student-only show (turning a profit for her astonished head teacher) and organised charity fundraisers every summer holiday.

Having studied Chinese at university, Alex went to China for a year to study ethnomusicology. She stayed for 25 years. During this time, she established several successful businesses and organisations. Over the decades, she has facilitated, trained and inspired thousands of leaders, managers and employees in personal development and creative thinking skills.

Alongside running Yurt Academy, Alex is a Senior Lecturer in Management in the University of Sussex Business School.

Embedding Human Intelligence

We help companies embed Human Intelligence in their workforce to develop skills and mindsets for the future of work. We have the experience, we have the passion, and we want to make a difference.


Our masterclasses are evidence based and solution focused. Our team of experts has a depth and breadth of expertise and knowledge acquired through both research and application, and our collaboration produces fertile new ideas.


Thirty years' experience of training, entrepreneurship, international business management and community building, our Human Intelligence model offers a holistic approach to building healthy, creative, human-centred workplaces.


We continue to explore workplace research, and ideas around leadership, learning and development, and share our thoughts and interviews in our monthly newsletter. Sign up below to receive our newsletter.

Alex in a Nutshell

  • Founded and managed The Bookworm, China’s most successful independent bookshop and event space, voted by The Guardian and Lonely Planet as “one of the top 10 book shops in the world”.
  • Founded and developed The Bookworm International Literary Festival, China’s largest and most diverse annual literary event involving more than 80 authors from 30 countries and engaging more than 10,000 people across 7 cities in China.
  • Co-founded Key Consulting, now one of China’s top Leadership Development organisations.
  • Supported numerous multinational and local organisations, NGOs and Government organisations in team and communication development, leadership skills and cross cultural relations.
  • Organised and managed several large scale three day Human Development Summits on top of the Great Wall of China, including seminars, interactive workshops, and live entertainment.
  • Published “Beijing: Portrait of a City”, a shared work of some of Beijing’s finest storytellers, authors and academics. Beijing: Portrait of a City (Waterstone’s)
  • Published “Curious Creative Connected: Engaging Human Intelligence in a Tech-driven World” Link (World of Books)
  • Wrote and produced 180 audio clips for China Radio International to promote creative thinking skills, and designed 6 short TV programmes to highlight creativity on 16 provincial TV Stations.
  • Designed the content for Creative Thinking and Personal Development Skills, and taught teachers and students across 12 provinces in China.
Our Yurt Keepers

About our Yurt Keepers

Custodians of knowledge, successful in their own domain and with a depth of knowledge in areas that you won’t usually find on traditional curricula - that is precisely why we have hand-picked them.