Creating an alternative business school in Brighton


In May 2015 Wild Things launched its first project - turning a derelict betting shop into an alternative business school.

Based on the premise of 'working-out-loud' and asking for help, the school started with no money, no staff, no students, no curriculum and no name.

Finding people and money

The first announcement was a blog post outlining the idea, along with a request for support finding funding and equipment.

Around 40 people, from across the world, got in touch offering their help and support.

Over the following month, a blog post detailing a proposed curriculum requested expressions of interest in becoming a student.

14 people applied, and through a collaborative process, 10 became cohort one of Wild Things 

Using a patrons and backers model of funding, individuals and organisations donated money (these amazing people) to support the school, which was supplemented by course fees and personal investment by the founder.

Delivering the curriculum

The core programme lasted 10 weeks, and took students through four core areas:

I became much clearer and much more defined, about the path I’d like to go on - and I noticed that I became much happier!
— Zoe, Cohort One

Modules were taught by the founder, Max, alongside experts from the US, Holland and Portugal.

The school ran for six months in the betting shop space in the London Road area of Brighton.

Over that time, 10 other events and workshops were held, and 266 people came through the school.


The space became a meeting place, training centre and workshop venue for the business and social impact community in Brighton, a hub for purpose-led entrepreneurs and changemakers.  

I became really clear about my vision to set up a care school that I’m really excited about, and I couldn’t have done it without the Wild Things.
— Andy, Cohort One

After six months, the business model of 'physical space in a city with high rental costs' proved to be unsustainable and destabilising for the initiative, and the decision was to move from the space and iterate with new projects.

The students from the core programme have gone on to start new projects, businesses, and to lead change in their organisations. 


Read a summary by Cami of Cohort One of her experience.

Watch videos of Cohort One reflecting on modules and the course.

All learning was documented on the Wild Things Tumblr

This project was made possible by our Backer:

And our Patrons:

Jenni Lloyd, Marc Lewis, CSMA, Sophie Kramhoft, Caroline Rennie, Natasha Stallard, Nina Timmers, Adam Strawson, Bruce Waskett, Shani Eliraz, Tom Warner, Kevin Bartlett, Gerardus Driesen, Scott Andrews, Steve Winton, Jon Barnes, Culturevists, Caroline Yetman, Nikki Gatenby, Marc Munier, Miranda Ash, Lasy Lawless Matt Matheson, Ben Cheston