From where you are now to where you want to be.
Organisational • Individual • Relational Development


We facilitate personal and professional development through training, mediation, facilitation and coaching with organisations, individuals, personal and professional relationships.

We collaborate with a range of highly experienced consultants and works across the cultural, educational, health, private and voluntary sectors worldwide.

Upwording is at the core of our approach, a practice evolutionising thinking through everyday use of language, iniated in 2016.

  1. Approach
  2. Upwording
  3. Rivca Rubin
  4. Clients
  5. What They Say
  6. Consultants


Our approach is founded on our experience that spans more than 30 years working primarily across the Arts, Cultural and Educational sectors. Through our work, we have acquired techniques, theories and tools from a variety of the most successful methodologies including Non Violent Communication, Neuro Linguistic Programming and a range of Behavioural Change and Systems Theories. To these we have added our own brand of creative inquiry…and humour. Our experiences of working in different countries, with different cultures and religions, has shaped a versatile, empathic approach that allows us to be at ease working across many arenas. Our approach is to engage and support individuals and organisations to address their circumstances and issues with a focus on solving, resolving and evolving.

Taking a direct approach to the core issues with a flexibility to follow the different directions presented. Providing space to vent feelings of frustration and disappointment, supporting individuals and teams to move forward to address solutions. Deploying a range of tools and techniques, including humour, to understand and manage change and conflict situations.

Creating and maintaining a safe space that encourages individuals to express themselves honestly. A genuine impartiality in debate allows a state of active listening, cultivating curiosity, to tease out contribution from all participants. Engaging creative thinking techniques explore issues raised with confidence. Facilitating understanding beyond what can initially sound like challenging and negative viewpoints; to what is being said beneath the way it is being said.

The ultimate focus of our approach is on facilitating a sense of ownership and responsibility of actions, impact and response, to support improved interpersonal, interdepartmental and interorganisational communication. This leads to energised and productive home and working environments, maximising contribution and effectiveness to bring about a sense of invigorated joy.


A global appeal for change to a desirable world for all by evolutionising thinking through everyday use of language. First initiated in 2016 by Rivca Rubin.

The way we move through the world is hugely shaped by language, from our day-to-day communication to our internal thought patterns, our relationships with ourselves and others, to our attitude and approach to life. As thinking and speaking are so habitual, the language we use and the impact it can have on our daily interactions and stream of consciousness goes largely unnoticed.

Our communications today are still riddled with phrases and concepts that cultivate hierarchies and uphold inequalities. If our intention is to move to environments that nurture mutual benefit, promote autonomy and responsible living, we can choose to make active shifts in our intention and language that facilitate, rather than hinder this; Upwording.

When intention changes, the impact is instant – even very small changes create instant positive impacts with self and others.

In this global moment of increasingly divisive, fear-driven politics, Upwording can lift our thinking quickly, facilitating a collective re-imagining of what else could be possible, to action towards more satisfied, invigorated and sustainable interactions; relationships; family lives; workplaces; societies; cultures; a desirable global world for all.

This is a grand vision and it is pragmatically achievable through Upwording – with ourselves, partners and family, our peers, colleagues and students, strangers and friends alike, and our children, right from birth.

Upwording: words change worlds. Join the movement.

If you would like to get involved and help achieve critical mass, email to register your engagement, keep informed, learn how to Upword, or be part of disseminating and developing Upwording. You can also visit the Upwording website at and join us on Instagram and Facebook @Upwording #Upwording.

What has happened so far...

Our first Upwording (initially known as Uptimism - the underlying approach of Upwording) Think Tank took place in January 2017, gathering together minds from across Education, Politics, Social Work, Creative Industries, Theology, and Science to develop the core ideas of Uptimism and Upwording; our word choices when we address and respond to each other in a non-coercive, non-authoritarian way. We have since delivered workshops and presentations (in the UK, Czech Republic, Germany and South Africa), and apply the Uptimism approach to all of our facilitation, moderation, mediation and training. This year, we continue our presentations and workshops at Conferences, Festivals and Events, starting off in January 2018 at Dortmund's NRW Landesbüro Freie Darstellende Künste and Frankfurt's Künstlerhaus Mousonturm. This year, we launch the two-stage Upword language training programme, begin developing a short book and throughout the year will be in residence at Islington Mill, Salford working with artists to design Upword inspired iconography. If you would like to get involved in learning, developing and disseminating Uptimism, please email:

Rivca Rubin

Photography portrait of Rivca Rubin

Rivca Rubin assists people to live the lives they want to live, artists to ascertain their vision, locate the essence and refine their practice, companies to refine their vision, grow purpose, align practice to values, and create working cultures people engage with, flourish and enjoy working in.

‘Creative, stimulating and sharp’ and bearing ‘an incredible precision of language’, her distinct approach and expertise has seen worldwide application across the Cultural, Education, Health and Social Change sectors since 1997 with a focus on leadership, organisational, team, board and individual development, predominantly in the Cultural, Education, Health and Social Change Sectors. She facilitates Visioning and Developmental Meetings and Away Days, SLT/SMT development, and delivers training. She is frequently called on to work with ‘dysfunctional’ teams, mediating difficult conversations and conflicts, and tackling ‘the Elephants in the room’ in a safely and thoroughly so they really do disburse. She coaches and mentors cultural leaders on a number of Leadership Programmes. With NGO’s she delivers training for mentors and trains trainers, to facilitate social and educational change globally.

Rivca is a behavioural scientist specialising in the psychology and sociology of linguistics. Her expertise lies in understanding the impact of how we think and speak to ourselves and others, in particular as to what it is helpful, motivating and liberating or hindering, demotivating, and even harmful in our communications with peers, public and ourselves to achieve our organisational, global, professional and personal endeavours. At the heart is a shift from ‘power over’ to ‘power with’ thinking, communications and behaviours and aligning our language with our ethos of how we wish others to be with us and how we wish to be in the world. She is currently preparing a TED talk on this topic.

Rivca co-produces and co-delivers with a variety of UK, Europe and Worldwide based associates and organisations. She has recently become an associate of TimeWon’tWait working with the corporate sector.

She was as a producer and practitioner in the arts for 20 years, touring extensively throughout Europe. She ran Physical State International 1985-1995 and Kaizen Creative 1997-2002, catalysts for cross- disciplinary CPD training and laboratories for emerging artists. From 1997-2001 she was a Research Fellow at MMU. This year she started engaging with performance again, as a dramaturg.

Rivca holds an M.Sc in Applied Behavioural Sciences, is an NLP Master Practitioner, Independent Trainer of NVC, studied Clean Language, Spiral Dynamics, Systems Thinking and Philosophy, and has extensive experience in Performance, Dance, Improvisation and BodyMind Methodologies. She is member of the 'Association of Coaching', the 'International Association of Facilitators', and 'A Blueprint for Better Business Network'.


Clients include The British Film Institute & Regional Screen Agencies, The BBC, ITC, Heatherwick Studios, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Government Departments, Creative Partnerships, Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums, MIMA, The Royal National Theatre, The West Yorkshire Playhouse, The Lowry Arts Centre, Contact Theatre, Redeye, Panda, Islington Mill Salford, Manchester International Festival, The Clore Leadership Programme, Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy, Engage’s Extend Programme, Primary and Secondary Schools SLT, Staff and Inset training, TIPP; Theatre in Prison and Probation, NHS Leeds Care Trust; The Police Custody Team, HMP Prisons Armley, Wetherby, Wealsdun, The Program for Social Creativity & Arts in the Community Shenkar College Israel, SEED Community Johannesburg, AllOutAfrica Swaziland, The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, York St John College University – Executive Team, International, Arts, Business, Human Resources, Student & Staff Services Departments. She has worked in South Africa, Swaziland, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Ireland, Israel, France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Portugal, Romania.

Please follow the link below to see a cross-section of clients.

View Clients

What They Say

  1. Organisational Feedback
  2. Training Feedback
  3. Coaching Feedback

“Rivca came to work with us on a project which brought together a diverse, intelligent and challenging group of people at a time of enormous change. Her preparation in advance of the meeting she facilitated and her management of the group on the day was professional, calming and objective. The environment she created and the ground rules she laid down ensured everyone had a say, felt able to say what they thought and created a good outcome. I would have no hesitation in using Rivca again in the future.”
- Sally Joynson, CEO Screen Yorkshire

"Rivca's ability to ask a well-timed open question has unlocked many opportunities for my clients/ projects during the times I have used her skills. Her preparation and planning are detailed, her presence in the room attentive, and her assistance in getting agreement and action most effective. Having done training with her too, I would highly recommended it for anyone who wants to learn how to communicate and facilitate with clarity."
-Laura Drane, Consultant

“Bringing Rivca in to facilitate a number of sessions has moved a fairly complex partnership project on considerably. Her ability to listen, probe, reflect back and hold a strong overview of the all aspects of the process was invaluable. Her confidence, enthusiasm and humour put people at ease and her ability to be strong /tough when needed got people working effectively. As project manager, working with Rivca has been really valuable – we were able to plan and scope out the sessions together as well as reflect on outcomes and issues. The first session was so productive we have now brought her in to facilitate a further two sessions.”
-Sue Todd, Screen Heritage UK Programme, Regional Manager

“Rivca is undoubtedly one of the few trainer/ facilitators currently working in the UK, whose understanding of human interactions is reflected in her confident and humorous delivery style. This in turn is matched by high personal integrity and superb attention to the issues of importance to others, I cannot recommend her highly enough.”
- Viv Lever, Staff and Educational Developer, York St John University

“Her flexible, open approach inspires trust and confidence. She has been instrumental in developing effective teamwork and cohesion amongst the core staff team following a period of challenge and change. The mutual spirit of trust and respect generated has had a huge impact and enabled strong and lasting collaborations.”
- Nancy Barrett, Director, Creative Partnerships Greater Manchester

“Ranging from coaching to facilitating to training, the work Rivca has done has made a considerable impact on staff in all areas of the College. Her innovative and practical approach has not only enabled a diverse community of people from the Principal to the Porters to handle difficult changes but, for many, has also resulted in new ways of thinking positively about change and conflict.”
- Dr Judy Giles, York St John University

“When working with a University senior team -Vice Chancellor, Deputy VC and Pro-VC and the Senior Leadership Team, Rivca facilitated them to fully understand the strategic significance of how they communicate not only with each other in terms of embodying the core values of the organisation and illustrating this through personal action, but also directly creating opportunities for them to envisage how they might create an ecology where radical sector change is viewed as a place for opportunities and development.”
- Professor Steve Purcell, Professor of International Cultural Development York St John University

“Rivca is good at probing and drawing things out, and listening, and also straight forward and deal with what’s at hand. She has no vested interest in the debate which is vital. She hears and safeguards somebody’s point of view however apparently negative or challenging that point of view may sound, capturing the positive essence of an essentially negative contribution.”
- anonymous

“I thought you did exactly the job we needed you to do at that moment. Our conversations in advance helped you get the tone and the feeling right and I do believe that people trusted you in the room. We needed a light touch and you gave that yet also allowed people to express their deeper feelings.”
- Peter Moser, Artistic Director More Music, Morecambe

“Now our group can speak very openly and honestly in our sessions, and that is down to Rivca…“
- Member of Staff Pioneer Projects


“I went to Rivca after being asked to facilitate an important leadership development session at Heatherwick Studio. Rivca was fantastic at tailoring her ‘Facilitating with Ease’ course with specific reference to the work I was going to be undertaking and extremely sensitive to my pace and needs at all times. She showed a genuine care and commitment to the work I was doing. I would thoroughly recommend this course, and Rivca herself as a person, to anyone who lacks confidence or knowledge- I came away with both.“
– Emily Gottlieb, Royal Opera House

“Your style is fab ;-) I can’t bear being patronised or bored (which usually happens to me in training) but you make it hugely interesting. And amusing.”
- Claire Frawley, Dance City Creative Partnerships

“I would like to thank you for an inspiring three days. I found doing your course incredibly useful and it has helped me in lots of ways - I guess the main thing has been that I have been able to step back from situations and be more objective and less emotional about encounters as a whole.”
- Kate Hobson, Programmer Creative Partnerships East Lancashire

“I feel you are a real person, not a'' pretend'', to be a master in so and so..., ego character. I feel I can reach out to you, helping me over shyness and I can ask questions without the fear to sound stupid. You use a lot of humor and your own life experience to make it lively, entertaining and human. I feel curious in deepening some issues and go further than I normally would. It feels to me that you have curiosity in the subjects and knowledge, experience and understanding, so that I can trust to try out in a new way. So in other words; I think you hold the space really well, without moving on to fast so to give us time to really experience an exercise and not just touching on the service.”
- Sophie Ferman Course Delegate

“… the course gave me a renewed sense of confidence, and helped me to think about getting back in control of my life. Before then, I felt that things were happening to me over which I had no influence, but now I’m able to think more clearly about what I want, and how I might plan effectively to achieve it.”
- Jennifer Vickers Course Delegate

“I would describe Rivca’s approach as direct and friendly, grounded, clear, inclusive, generous, deliciously brain-frying in its intensity and fullness, with a welcome dose of humour and lightness.”
- Jo Shapland Course Delegate

“Practical, inspiring, no-nonsense, informed, fun. Rivca’s style is great for me as I know she will move at a quick pace which I like and that everything is fully practiced and comes from a place of experience.”
- Mairead Turner Course Delegate

“Rivca's style is both revealing and revelatory, direct to the core of the issue, while also leading in many directions.”
– Lucy Course Delegate

“They were the most interesting and useful 3 days I've had in years and the understanding and the skills you taught are already helping enormously. I found it all quite profound actually!”
- James Boardwell Course Delegate

“Rivca's style is that of the well-informed, well-practiced professional - her relaxed manner communicating a mastery of her subject matter.”
- Wayne Thexton Course Delegate

“Your approach, presentation and delivery felt smart, unique and authentic. I'm inspired!”
- Anisa Saleh Course Delegate

“Even though I regularly facilitate discussions I was amazed at how much there was to learn for me and after two days of training with Rivca I can honestly say I am now more prepared than ever!”
- Lindsey West Course Delegate

“It felt like several little light bulbs in dark corners of my brain were being switched on. The course will help you to better understand others, deal with conflict, be more assertive (without playing mind games or causing fights) and find your place in life and work. Highly recommended.”
- Si Waite, Artist and Musician


“Coaching has been a lifeline for me over the last couple of years as I've been faced with taking my organisation through significant change. Having the support of a trusted coach provides just that space you need as a leader to work through issues and has both renewed my confidence and helped me to unlock potential in myself and my team. I would also say its really helped me to become happier in my own personal leadership skin and find a more satisfying work/ life balance. I'm a real convert!

- Kate Brindley, Director Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

“Working with Rivca gave me clarity when I felt clouded and confused, and it put me back in touch with what I really wanted from work and from life, a perspective I had managed to lose in the anxiety and frustration of my work. Many of the good things I visualised with her have now happened, which shows her gift and skills, and also the power of working with someone who can help you unlock your own truth.”
- Simon Seligman Coachee

“When encountering wide ranging issues during a long career you need regular to take regular stops to take stock and learn. I have found myself returning to Rivca Rubin again and again to help unpick or bring clarity to situations for me and my teams in various posts. This is because Rivca Rubin's skills always produce resolution or, at the very least a finding the loose string to unpick the knot. More recently I asked Rivca Rubin deliver personal coaching as I wanted change and new challenges but wasn't sure what or how. The sessions were insightful, responsive and worked because they did not follow an off the peg model of coaching and worked beautifully. So much so that I regularly tell peers to bring Rivca Rubin in when they feel things need to change, either within their organisation or within themselves.”
-Andrea Hawkins, Independent Arts Developer & Producer

“Coaching has been an invaluable tool in enabling me to take on increased leadership responsibilities, feel more confident in those abilities and create time and space to develop new ideas and think strategically. The benefits have considerably outweighed the time spent.”
- Erica Love, Director PiCL

"The experience of being coached and then training to be a coach, completely transformed the way I approach my role as a leader. The biggest impact has been becoming able to differentiate between management and leadership and being conscious applying them appropriately.”
- anonymous

"Thanks for your coaching it really really helped - it gave me momentum and some bottle!"
- anonymous


Rivca Rubin collaborates with a range of highly experienced consultants, including Charles Lauder, Venu Dhupa, Eva Hartmann, Emma Haughton, Michele Taylor, Steve Purcell and Federico Schwindt.

Previous co-trainers and facilitators have included Linda Green/BBC, Laura Drane, Lesa Dryburgh, Sanson Sansom, Kate McCoy, Andy Readman, Deborah Barnard, Robert Meadows, Sara Robinson, and Nancy Barrett.

Leadership & Executive

An efficient and effective service that supports you in removing barriers to access your unique personal advantage. This enables you to maximise your potential for the fast moving multi-task work environment.

  • Skills and techniques
  • Focussing your business vision
  • Creative thinking strategies
  • Setting achievable short and long-term goals
  • Effective and enjoyable managing of (yourself, your team, your managers, and your board)
  • Creating and maintaining a productive workforce
  • Attentive listening
  • Idea development
  • Presentation and public speaking
  • Interview preparation
  • Meeting preparation
  • How to identify and realise your unique personal advantage.


At the heart of our consultancy is the belief that the ideas, solutions, and the ability to move an organisation forward exist largely within the individuals who make up that organisation. The role we take is to elicit what is happening, then help to determine what is needed and recommend what can be done.

When the people within are supported to drive what happens, devise ways to develop and grow, and deal with issues and move forward; change is owned, embedded, and lasting. The result is a renewed, empowered and willing work force, with a new lease of life and vibrancy.

Throughout the consultation period, your organisation will be challenged, encouraged and supported to find new mechanisms to generate ideas and explore different approaches where required. The goal is to ensure that in a climate of economic change and constant development your organisation can remain flexible and be ahead.

The work with you may include:

  • Improving communication between individuals or teams/divisions, with the board, funders, or partner organisations
  • Approaching challenge and conflict constructively
  • Becoming resilient, being resourceful
  • Conducting meetings with structure and purpose
  • Creating and maintaining positive and productive work environments and a willingly engaged workforce.

Where suitable a training, coaching or mediation element can be provided.

Staff Development

We offer staff development in the form of tailored development programmes and coaching. We also offer development in additional areas, including board development and governance (contact for more information).

Development programmes often follow on from an in-depth consultation process; working with individual staff, managers, teams, executives, boards and trustees to design and deliver programmes that meet their particular needs.

These programmes fall into three broad categories:

To increase awareness, develop new approaches and improve overall communication interpersonally, interdepartmentally, as well as externally with clients, the public and audiences.

Leadership & Management
To develop leadership confidence and a leadership style that maintains reciprocal flow of ideas and communication, generating a working environment where everyone feels valued, takes responsibility and contributes fully.

Conflict Skills and strategies with which to approach conflict as a creative challenging; to identify, understand, mediate, and resolve.

Our staff coaching helps to improve performance, facilitate improved co-working, assists in overcoming obstacles, develops new skills and approaches. Advantages can be immediately discernible for both the organisation and the individual. See individual COACHING section for more on our coaching approach.


We offer facilitation for visioning meetings, retreats, diagnostic meetings, strategic meetings, and difficult conversations. Our facilitation offers a safe and open environment to encourage and enable open and honest contribution from participants; providing opportunities for all voices to be heard. This approach ensures that the essence of issues is reached, whether they be concerns, ideas, feelings, or visions.

By addressing the ‘elephant’ in the room with ease and humour; in a way that avoids unnecessary confrontation, sessions can be enjoyable as well as effective. Enabling groups of people with potentially disparate ideas to converse, converge and reach agreements with mutual benefit and respect.

With a focus on solutions and actions, and rigorously maintaining a flexible structure with clear outcomes and trajectory, participants leave feeling motivated and capable of moving forward.

Idea Generation

Our approach is built on a 30+ year career of working with creative thinkers and makers. Our idea generation session curiously explore the seemingly impossible. By assisting you, your team or your organisation to think beyond limiting habitual thought patterns, different perspectives are accessed and assumptions challenged to be able to fully explore ideas. This supports you to arrive at the essence of an idea, project or future vision - however crazy or impossible it may seem at the time. From here we can assist you in shaping it and making it realistically achievable.

We can also engage more directly in a creative dialogue by harnessing your thought process to facilitate your creative explorations, working with you in what is more of a thinking partnership.


We deliver a professional and confidential in-house mediation service that enables individuals to voice their concerns and perspectives, to identify underlying issues, and find effective strategies and constructive solutions at less cost; financial, emotional and psychological.

Change in employment legislation advocates the use of mediation within the workplace and has received national publicity.

"Indeed, the old statutory three-step grievance procedure (statement of grievance, meeting, appeal meeting) has recently been repealed. New employment legislation gives statutory force to a code of "best practice" set out by Acas, the advisory, conciliation and arbitration service, which includes guidance advocating mediation."
- Can't we talk about this? by L. Tickle, The Guardian, 31.10.09


Using a wide range of coaching structures and techniques, we challenge, encourage and support you to identify what you really want and explore what you can and are prepared to do to achieve it. The process is tailored to you, your way of thinking and working. It begins where you are now, identifies where you want to be and when. Mapping the terrain between those two then allows you actively to choose the route that suits you best.

We do not lead or advise. The real ‘penny dropping’, ‘light bulb’, ‘aha’ moments come when making your own discoveries, finding your own insights. You visualise the impact of achieving your desired outcome and understanding this impact is what motivates you to take decisive action. You own your ideas, take responsibility for your actions and enjoy personal fulfilment when you succeed.

By actively listening, without evaluation, analysis or judgement, we create a confidential, safe space where you can be open and honest with yourself; a place from which development is possible. The work with you may include - Future visioning: what to do with your life, work and relationships - Learning or improving mental or physical skills - How to change unhelpful behaviours or thought patterns - Interview preparation - How to be resourceful in dealing with illness.

With these you will confidently be able to go from where you are now to where you want to be.

Open Courses

We offer a range of open courses covering training across coaching, facilitation, mediation and creative thinking techniques. We also deliver these as tailored training in-house globally. Please email for course information packs, booking forms and to register interest.

// Upcoming 2018 Courses //

  1. The Refinery
  2. April 26th & 27th, The Studio Brighton UK
    Co-delivered by Rivca Rubin and Emma Haughton
    An advanced 2 day course designed specifically for those with extensive experience in assisting organisations and individuals, including trainers, teachers, facilitators, group coaches and therapists.
    Bookings now open, spaces limited - Click here to go to the Eventbrite page for course information and to book your place.

  3. Upword training
  4. March 7th & 8th, Islington Mill Salford UK
    This will be the premier of our new 2 day training, delving into the approach of Uptimism and the use of the Upword language in everyday life; with yourself and those around you.
    For more information and to book your place, please email:

  5. The Vision The Essence: Coaching for Mentoring & More
  6. Levels 1 & 2 Spring dates TBC, Manchester & Berlin
    Delivered by Rivca Rubin. Berlin course co-delivered with Eva Hartmann
    A 5 day course (over 2 levels) covering tools and techniques to support individuals, teams and organisations in their development - from vision and essence to strategy and action. (3 day option available).

  7. Facilitating with Ease
  8. Dates TBC, Nottingham, Manchester & Berlin
    Delivered by Rivca Rubin
    A sought-after 2 day in-depth workshop for those with some experience in facilitation wishing to improve their skills in handling groups and the individuals within, comfortably and with confidence.

  9. NLP Approaches for Coaches & Facilitators
  10. Dates TBC, Manchester
    Delivered by Rivca Rubin
    A 2 day intensive on Neuro Linguistic Programming's most effective approaches and techniques to use in coaching and facilitation.

    Other available courses

    These courses can be held in the country and location of your choice for groups of 9 upwards.

  11. NVC Introduction & Integration into Everyday Life
  12. A 2 day intensive exploring Non-Violent Communication and ways to integrate NVC into your daily life at home and at work.

  13. Communicating with Clarity
  14. Mediating with Integrity
  15. The Creative Mind
  16. The Giving & Receiving of Feedback (GRoF)
  17. Organisational in-House Training & Facilitated Development

  18. Preparing for the Future: An Evolving Organisation
  19. Working and Welcoming with Ease
  20. Creating the Working Life We Want
  21. Creating Staff Engagement & Motivation
  22. Creating Learner Engagement & Motivation

Trainer Training

From time to time, usually as a direct result of issues developed during the Open Courses, there is a request for Trainer Training sessions. As a demand-driven service, this programme is specifically tailored to meet the requirements of the cohort of trainers. The most recent has been an advanced version of ‘Facilitating with Ease’ for very experienced facilitators. It is usually co-ordinated by one or two participants in the geographical location where it be held and then publicised to peers with my support

Please contact me direct to discuss the particular are of expertise you wish to hone, expand on or sharpen.

Programme Design Support

We assist individuals and organisations in designing their training programmes, delivery plans and facilitating structures.

Previous programme designs include:

  • BBC’s Leadership Level 3 Training - delivered by Linda Green
  • Leadership Development Day for Heatherwick Studios - delivered by Emily Gottlieb
  • We also design development manuals for remote individual and group learning

Supervision & Mentoring

We offer supervision for accredited coaches. This can be on a one-to-one basis or withiin shared co-learning sessions.

For mentoring, we adopt a coaching approach to facilitate professional development, growth and refinement. We can work with you face-to-face or via phone/skype, at our studio in Manchester or at a location of your choice.


We facilitate conversations between partners, friends, parents and children, and siblings to improve, develop and refine your quality of connection, find mutual solutions to problems and break unhelpful patterns.

  1. Coaching
  2. Mediation


There may be instances during relational work where it may be determined together that participants within the group could benefit from an individual focus. See the Individual Coaching section for more information and approach.


If we aspire to have full and harmonious relationships with our family, friends and lovers, at times we may feel that our quality of connection with someone could be refined, or benefit from some improvement. Our relational mediation offers facilitation support for people who would like to feel more in tune with one another.

The focus is not on problems, but desired outcomes. Issues will be voiced, heard and acknowledged, not in order to apportion blame, but to create empathy and the willingness to move out of stuck situations and repetitive unhelpful behaviours. Our approach doesn’t trawl through the past, nor do we believe that there is an ideal way to carry out relationships.

Rather than giving advice, offering solutions or taking sides, we facilitate you in resolving your particular tensions and finding the best, most constructive solutions by all parties reaching consensus rather than compromise.

Whether you want to shift deeply ingrained dynamics or are looking to fine-tune specific aspects before they begin to jar, we can assist you in laying out and achieving your desired outcome for now and the future. You can decide the focus of the work and the number of sessions; a lot can be achieved in just one session.

Throughout the sessions you will gain a heightened awareness of how you are communicating and listening, as well as the expertise to become self-sufficient in the continual refining of your relationships.






Royal National Theatre

Royal National Theatre

Heatherwick Studio

Heatherwick Studio

Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland

British Film Institute

British Film Institute

The Lowry

The Lowry

Creative Partnerships

Creative Partnerships

Manchester Metropolitan University

Manchester Metropolitan University

York St John University

York St John University



Maghull High School

Maghull High School

Partners in Creative Learning

Partners in Creative Learning

Walk The Plank

Walk The Plank

Leeds University

Leeds University

Knowsley Council

Knowsley Metrolpolitan Borough Council

Cultural Enterprise Office

Cultural Enterprise Offices, Glasgow

Drake Music Scotland

Drake Music Scotland


engage - 'extend projects'

Let's Go Global

Let's Go Global



Danse Hallerne, Denmark

Danse Hallerne, Denmark

Middlesborough Institute of Modern Art

Middlesborough Institute of Modern Art

University of Derby

University of Derby

South East Dance

South East Dance

Delivered Dance Advocacy training in 2 full day sessions in Oxford and Brighton.

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery

Whitworth Art Gallery

Whitworth Art Gallery

Independent Theatre Council

Independent Theatre Council

Newcastle Gateshead

Newcastle Gateshead - Culture 10

Crafts Council

Crafts Council



Belfast Queens

Belfast Queens

Other clients include: Panda, UHC, Nunthorpe High School, CultureShift, Foundation for Community Dance, Uni of Hull, Uni of Salford, Lincolnshire Dance, Bretton Hall University Israel, CCT NGO Columbo Sri Lanka, Arts Compass, Dance Northwest, Force 5, Dance 4, Target Training, The National Writer's Association.


  1. Upcoming news
  2. Recent news from 2018
  3. News from 2017

January 2018 Newsletter

Could 2018 be a year in which we develop a more egalitarian and connected world society?

2017 was a year characterised by an ongoing culture of power over, inequality and polarisation: a year in which Trump became the US President, North Korea threatened nuclear war, and Britain moved forward on a conflicted Brexit vote. A year of terrorist attacks, mass shootings and bombings, of starvation crises, child poverty, human trafficking and ongoing persecutions. A world of cyber attacks, offshore accounts and an outpouring of decades of deeply-ingrained systems of sexual harassment and abuse of power.

We know a shift from this can feel implausible, Utopic; too large to actually take place. However, we also know that small actions create huge movements, and believe doable changes in the way we talk to one another and to ourselves can lead to a seismic reshaping of our world. There are many calls to action, yet how can we expect society to change fundamentally when individually, we are unconsciously upholding the systems that maintain power imbalances through the language in which we think and speak?

This is our global appeal for change: Uptimism - to revolutionise thinking through everyday use of language. In 2018 we will be running presentations on Uptimism and training in the Upword language. We invite you to be part of this movement to create more satisfied, invigorated and sustainable relationships, family lives, workplaces, societies, cultures; a desirable global world for all.

If you would like to get involved and help achieve critical mass, email to register your engagement, be kept informed, learn how to use the Upword language, or be part of disseminating and developing Uptimism.

Read the full January 2018 newsletter

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Upcoming News

Resident Consultant
Islington Mill, Salford UK

Throughout 2018

This year we will be in residence at Islington Mill, delivering consultancy to continue to test and embed the approach of Uptimism and use of the Upword language within the culture of the organisation. We will also be working with artists to design Uptimism and Upword inspired iconography.

Clarity & Confidence in Taking a Coaching Approach in Mentoring & Advising
CCE England, Newcastle UK

July 10 & 11 2018

A 2 day training programme on taking a coaching approach in mentoring and advising, delivered for Creativity Culture and Education - an organisation offering programmes for children and young people, educators and practitioners, with creativity at the heart of learning.

The Vision The Essence Level 2
Berlin Germany

September 27-29 2018

Rivca Rubin and Eva Hartmann will be co-delivering Level 2 of this 5 day open course over 2 levels at PAP/LAFT. The course covers tools and techniques to support individuals, teams and organisations in their development - from vision and essence to strategy and action. For information and bookings, please contact:

The Vision The Essence Level 1&2
Manchester UK

Dates TBC, please enquire

Rivca Rubin will deliver The Vision The Essence: Coaching for Mentoring & More (5 day open course over 2 levels) covering tools and techniques to support individuals, teams and organisations in their development - from vision and essence to strategy and action. Berlin course co-delivered with Eva Hartmann. For information and bookings, please contact: Dates will be set to suit cohort.

Facilitating With Ease
Nottingham & Manchester UK

Dates TBC, please enquire

A sought-after 2 day in-depth workshop for those with some experience in facilitation wishing to improve their skills in handling groups and the individuals within, comfortably and with confidence. For information and bookings, please contact: Dates will be set to suit cohort.

Recent News From 2018

Liberating Language, Feedback, Creative Perspectives
BFDK, Mannheim Germany

June 3-6 2018

Two training sessions delivered as part of Bundesverband Freier Darstellende Künste's (BFDK) On The Road Programme; 'The Art of Communication' and 'Working Together with Creativity' introduced Uptimism and a range of communication and coaching approaches.

The Vision The Essence Level 1
Berlin Germany

May 31 - June 2 2018

The first 3 days of a 5 day course at PAP/LAFT. This course covers tools and techniques to support individuals, teams and organisations in their development - from vision and essence to strategy and action. Level 2 will be delivered September 27-29. Co-delivered by Rivca Rubin and Eva Hartmann.

Training Programme Moderation
AKADEMIE für Performing Arts Producer, Germany

January-May 2018

Rivca Rubin moderated (in English and German) this brand new 12 day modular training programme for the AKADEMIE für Performing Arts Producer Programme, supported by the German Government Commissioner for Culture and Media. This was delivered across Germany in Frankfurt, Essen and Hamburg over 5 months.

The Vision The Essence Level 1
Manchester UK

May 24 & 26 2018

The first 3 days of a 5 day public course. This course covers tools and techniques to support individuals, teams and organisations in their development - from vision and essence to strategy and action. Delivered by Rivca Rubin at the Imag?ne studio.

NLP Approaches for Coaches
Manchester UK

May 19 & 20 2018

This was a rare opportunity to attend a two-day intensive course on Neuro Linguistic Programming's most effective approaches and techniques to use in coaching and mentoring. Delivered by Rivca Rubin at the Imag?ne studio.

Train the Trainer
a-n, UK

May 8-10 2018

A 3 day workshop to equip the participants with a framework and the skills to design and deliver training sessions for a-n, which can be adapted for use in a number of scenarios and for different groups, to aid the implementation of a-n's Exhibition Payment Guide (EPG) across the visual arts sector.

The Refinery
Brighton UK

April 26 & 27 2018

A 2 day advanced course designed specifically for those with extensive experience in assisting organisations and individuals, including trainers, teachers, facilitators, group coaches and therapists. Co-delivered by Rivca Rubin & Emma Haughton.

Upword Training
Middlesex University, London UK

April 24 2018

A day of training on the approach of Uptimism and the use of the Upword language for the Computer Science Department at Middlesex University.

Working Without Conflict in Creative Collaboration
Upswing, London UK

April 23 2018

A day of training around conflict in creative collaboration for Upswing's Circus Past, Present, Future Programme. Upswing is one of the UK’s leading contemporary circus companies.

Upword Training
Hyper Island, Manchester UK

March 26 2018

A day of training on the approach of Uptimism and the use of the Upword language for Hyper Island. Hyper Island designs learning experiences that challenge companies and individuals to grow and stay competitive in an increasingly digitized world.

Communicating; getting the most out of it
Global Grooves, Manchester UK

March 24 2018

In March we will be working again with Global Grooves, a UK Carnival Arts Organisation, delivering Practitioner Communication Training for Global Grooves' Future Leaders.

Upword - A Visual Response
Islington Mill Art Academy, Salford UK

March 7 & 8 2018

Rivca Rubin together with Maurice Carlin ran this 2 day workshop at Islington Mill's Art Academy, exploring the Upword language through visuals. Using a range of mediums including drawing, collage and block letter printing to create iconic designs and imagery, visual slogans, memes, gifs and more!

Team Facilitation & Leadership Coaching
York St John University, York UK

February 7 2018

A day of team facilitation and leadership coaching for York St John University.

Uptimism Presentation
Engage, Clifford Chance London UK

February 6 2018

Rivca Rubin delivered a short presentation on Uptimism for the Engage Alumni. Uptimism is a global appeal for change to revolutionise thinking through a shift in everyday language. Uptimism proposes the Upword language - active language choices to address and respond to each other in a non-coercive, non-authoritarian way.

Uptimism Presentation
NRW Landesbüro, Dortmund Germany

January 19 2018

Rivca Rubin delivered an indepth public presentation on Uptimism in Dortmund, to an audience of people from across Germany.

Uptimism Presentation
Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt Germany

January 12 2018

Rivca Rubin delivered a public presentation on Uptimism in Frankfurt, Germany. This was the first Uptimism presentation of 2018 and we look forward to many more to come!

News From 2017

Nominated for Mentor of the Year
Europia Women's Award


We closed 2017 with a nomination! Rivca Rubin's continued international work across leadership coaching and mentoring within the NGO, Arts and Education sectors was recognised this year with a nomination for Europia's Mentor of the Year Award!

The Vision The Essence Level 2
Imag?ne Studio, Manchester UK

December 13 & 14 2017

Rivca Rubin delivered Level 2 of 'The Vision The Essence' at the Imag?ne Studio in Manchester. This was an opportunity to refresh, refine and expand approaches and techniques in working with others and assisting them in their development.

Article Commissioned by a-n

November 23 2017

a-n, The Artists Information Company commissioned Rivca to write an article on 'Negotiating with Confidence', following a series of workshops delivered throughout 2017. The article is in two-parts and is available to a-n members (annual membership costs £38/£16). To read Rivca's article, click here.

The Vision The Essence Level 1
Performing Arts Programm, Berlin Germany

November 16-18 2017

Rivca Rubin & Eva Hartmann returned to Performing Arts Programm to co-deliver Level 1 of 'The Vision The Essence: Coaching for mentoring & more'. This course in 2 parts regularly takes place in Berlin and Manchester. To find out more, click here for the information pack.

The Vision The Essence Level 2
Performing Arts Programm, Berlin Germany

October 5-7 2017

Following Level 1 (delivered in Berlin in May & Manchester in July), Rivca Rubin & Eva Hartmann co-delivered Level 2 of 'The Vision The Essence: Coaching for mentoring & more'. This course in 2 parts regularly takes place in Berlin and Manchester. To find out more, click here for the information pack.

Staff Away Day Facilitation
University of Cumbria, UK

September 12 2017

In September Rivca Rubin facilitated the away day for the University of Cumbria's Department of Contemporary Arts in Ambleside this September.

Coaching Choreographers
Studio ALTA, Prague Czech Republic

August 16-24 2017

Rivca coached 9 choreographers over the course of a week, to assist their process leading up to a performace at Studio ALTA, Prague. This was part of the 'Centrum choreografického rozvoje Residency'. During the residency, she also ran her first warm up dance class in over 22 years!

Business Development Facilitation
York St John University, UK

August 11 2017

Rivca recently facilitated YSJ's business development on their business team strategy away day.

Uptimism Presentations
Czech Republic & UK

August 2017

This August Rivca Rubin presented Uptimism at Islington Mill, Salford and Studio ALTA, Prague. Uptimism is a global appeal to revolutionise our thinking through our everyday use of language. If you'd like to find out more about Uptimism, watch this space as we announce further presentations.

The Vision, The Essence Level 1
Manchester UK

July 4-6 2017

This summer Rivca Rubin ran 'The Vision-The Essence: Coaching for mentoring & more' Level 1 in Manchester. Level 2 will follow in Manchester this November. If you have completed Level 1, you can book your place for the next course, please email:<

Speaking in Public
Eastside, Birmingham UK

June 26 2017

This was a one day workshop on public speaking designed for visual artists at Eastside Gallery in Birmingham. The day was open to Eastside members and volunteers. More information can be found on their website here.

Post-Election Debate
a-n network, Bristol UK

June 9 2017

Rivca Rubin chaired a post-election debate in Bristol, organised by a-n, on what comes next. The 4 speakers were Kayle Brandon, Louisa Fairclough, Fozia Ismail, and Alistair Gentry. They tackled a range of challenging subjects - from diversity, gentrification and Brexit, to the difficulty of criticism in a nepotistic art world and the thorny issue of artist pay. As chair, Rivca used the approach of Uptimism.

Future Visioning
in-situ, Lancashire UK

May 25 2017

Rivca delivered a one day future visioning session for in-situ, an arts organisation creating work, running events and delivering residency opportunies for and with the Lancashire community.

The Vision The Essence, Level 1
Performing Arts Programm, Berlin Germany

May 18-20 2017

In Spring Rivca Rubin & Eva Harmann co-delivered Level 1 of 'The Vision, The Essence: Coaching for mentoring & more' at the Performing Arts Programm in Berlin. Level 2 will follow in Berlin in October & Manchester in November. For information & bookings, please email:

Imag?neer Training
SeedCommunity, Johannesburg South Africa

May 2-3 2017

In May we continued our work with the NGO SeedCommunity, which promotes and supports education for girls in South Africa. Lead trainer Rivca Rubin delivered training for the educators, mentors and future SeedImag?neer trainers out in Johannesburg. Find out more about SeedCommunity

Staff Development & Future Visioning
AllOutAfrica, Swaziland

April 25-28 2017

We had a fabulous week in Swaziland delivering staff development and future visioning with 20+ AllOutAfrica directors, managers, staff and volunteers who are active in Swaziland, Mozambique and Capetown. Results and feedback have been great and we look forward to continuing our work with them in the future!

Facilitating With Ease
Beat Bazaar Projects, Manchester

April 7 2017

Working with Beat Bazaar, Rivca delivered our facilitation course 'Facilitating with Ease', which is designed to improve skills in handling groups and the individuals within.

Negotiating With Confidence
a-n Assembly Roadshow, UK

February-June 2017

Rivca Rubin delivered 8 one-day workshops on Negotiating with Confidence for artists, as part of a-n's professional development programme. The events took place across Newcastle, Nottingham, Portsmouth, London, Cambridge, Leeds, Liverpool and Bristol.

Communicating With Confidence & Action Learning
LeftCoast Academy, Blackpool UK

February & March 2017

We ran two of the LeftCoast Academy Workshops this winter - Communicating with Confidence on February 6th & Life After Academy: Action Learning Coaching Set on March 23rd. These were designed for creative professionals and you can find more on there website

Uptimism Think Tank
Imag?ne Studio, Manchester UK

January 2017

Starting off the New Year as meaning to go on, the first Uptimism Think Tank took place at the Imag?ne Studio in Manchester. Gathering together minds from across Education, Politics, Social Work, Creative Industries, Theology, and Science the day developed the core ideas of Uptimism and carved out its steps forward. Uptimism is a global appeal to revolutionise our use of language. Watch this space!

Facilitating With Ease
Somerset House, London UK

December 5-6 2016

We ran the 2 day indepth workshop Facilitating With Ease at Somerset House in December, for those wishing to improve their facilitation skills working with groups and individuals.

Mentor Training & The Vision The Essence, LAFT/Performing Arts Programm, Berlin Germany

November 2016

In November 2016 Rivca Rubin & Emma Hartmann co-delivered Level 2 of 'The Vision The Essence' for Mentors of LAFT/PAP as well as Mentoring and Mentee training for the Performing Arts Post-Graduate Staff and Students at HZT Berlin.

Relational Dynamics Coaching & Leadership Course RD23, Lancaster UK

October 2016

In October 2016, course leader Deb Barnard and Rivca Rubin commenced the 15th course since its launch in 2007. The continuously evolving training is an absolute joy to deliver. This 8 day accredited course has been fully booked every time and attracts a range of wonderful leaders, trainers, educators, facilitators, coaches and clinical psychologists.

Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy Programme, UK


Together with first class coaching colleagues Deb Barnard, Emma Haughton and Sara Robinson, Rivca is continuing to deliver individual coaching during Phase Two of the Coaching and Action Learning Section, part of the Development Programme for leaders of organisations and development teams in the arts. For further information go to

Johannesburg South Africa


In October 2016 we delivered further training for educators, mentors and future SeedImag?neer trainers with NGO SeedCommunity in Johannesburg. We will continue this training in May 2017.



We are looking forward to working again with AllOutAfrica in Swaziland to deliver further company and volunteer teacher development in Spring 2017.



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