January 18

To kick off our interview series we’re speaking to Alex Pearson, the Founder and Director of The Yurt Academy, to unearth what inspired her to launch.

Hi Alex, to begin, can you briefly describe The Yurt Academy to us?
The Yurt Academy is about exploring curious and creative, practical, professional and personal development. There are so many things to learn, so many ideas to listen to, and there are so many great people within our communities that have studied or explored a multitude of interesting, and useful, subjects in depth. By tapping into their brilliance, The Yurt Academy hopes to offer Yurt sessions for everyone that will ultimately have a positive impact on their lives. 

What inspired you to start The Yurt Academy?
I have had the privilege to meet a lot of inspirational people, and I wanted to create a space where we could share some of that inspiration. By making sessions self-contained, short and lean, we are able to bring in brilliant people to share their knowledge and expertise in a short space of time. So the model allows for anything to happen, and that excites me. The thought of working with people who think, who create, who make things happen – that was my inspiration.  

Has your previous entrepreneurial success helped?
Absolutely. And not just successes. I have learned so much from all of the projects and businesses that I have been involved in and I hope to be bringing the best of all those experiences into The Yurt Academy. There is one constant that I have enjoyed in all ventures that I have been a part of, and that is the importance of having fun. I plan to be doing more of that, and I hope all those involved in The Yurt Academy will too!   

How do you foresee The Yurt Academy developing over the next 5 years?
We are starting locally in Brighton and are looking to expand into neighbouring areas starting in August of this year. Every community is different and we want to work locally everywhere to build academy sessions run by great Yurt Keepers in those communities for the great people of those communities. I hope that we are running sessions in many cities and towns of south east to by 2019, and then, well, then there will be more.  

If you needed to give an elevator pitch to someone you didn’t know what would you say in no more than 300 words?
The Yurt Academy taps into the vast wealth of brilliant and experienced people in our communities to share their knowledge, spark imagination and awaken a passion for knowledge and learning. From the Curious to the Practical, for Personal and Professional development, The Yurt Academy sessions are affordable in time and money, are face to face, and take place locally in spaces near you. Come and have a look and see if there is something to illuminate your world… yurtacademy.com

Which of the sessions are you most looking forward to attending? 
That is a difficult one, as I want to attend them all! In fact, I am attending them all for the first few months. But I do have a particular interest in the illustration sessions as I would love to be able to draw, (but have yet to unlock that potential) and I have a thing for philosophy and the workings of the mind, so am also excited about Stoicism and the sessions on Positive Psychology and Using your Brain. The cooking sessions are inspired, and I am anticipating growing my culinary repertoire substantially.    

Will you also be a Yurt Keeper and if so which sessions will you be hosting?
Yes, I am also a Yurt Keeper and will be running a session on Creative Thinking Skills which is really about debunking the myth that only certain people are creative, and sharing tools and exercises for building creative muscle for personal and professional use. I am also running a very practical session on how to Mind Map. I have used mind maps for everything for about 30 years and I could not do what I do without them, so I thought others might be interested to learn how to map.