BEtreat workshopsStep up your game
Do you want to develop effective strategies for leading or supporting social learning initiatives in today’s more complex and less certain landscape? We think we can help you clarify and focus your strategy, step up your game, and take strategic steps forward.
Our guided retreats are an opportunity for individuals or small groups to take a deep dive into their project or portfolio. We use the latest frameworks, tools, and theories from social learning that help you come to new understandings and a plan of action.
Take a look below to see some of the ways you can join us in a BEtreat.
Who are they for?
Our BEtreats are aimed at sponsors, conveners, leaders, facilitators, researchers and evaluators of communities of practice, networks, dynamic conferences, shared workspaces and other social learning spaces.
Led by experience
Etienne and Bev have been writing and consulting across sectors and the globe for more than thirty years. Etienne, mostly known for his seminal work on communities of practice, and Beverly, mostly known for her work internationally and use of new technologies, live out their passion for learning to make a difference.
Since 2010 we have been hosting four-day BEtreats in California – with small groups of people from different contexts. You can join the state-of-the art, cutting-edge, or research and evaluation. We have also held regular BEtreats in partnership wih ex-BEtreaters in Canada, South Africa, and Slovenia.
Dates in 2017
July 11 – 14: State-of-the-art
July 18 – 21: Cutting-edge
July 25 – 28: Academic
Click for the page on
Custom BEtreat, California
Your group or organization can join a BEtreat at our venue in Grass Valley, California, at dates that work for you. We work with a maximum of ten people participating in-person and three people participating online.
Price for two days is $6,000 and $2,400 for each extra day. The price includes lunches, refreshments, and at least one dinner. It does not include lodging or travel.
Custom BEtreat at yours
Organize a customized BEtreat at your venue. You provide the context and venue (up to ten people in person and three online) and we provide the expertise and facilitation.
Price for two days is $6,000 and $2,400 for each extra day. This price does not include refreshments or our travel costs.
A private BEtreat
Take a weekend away to use us as guides, critical friends, or thought partners on your specific challenge or opportunity. Perhaps you want help writing a paper, preparing a proposal, or developing an evaluation strategy. Do you need time to develop your digital footprint, or think through a phase change.
Price, including accommodation (for an individual or partners): $2,400 for two days and $1,000 for each extra day.
Talk to us about your custom BEtreat
More about BEtreats
Online and face-to-face
Your participation can be face-to-face or online. Face-to-face takes place in beautiful and intimate surroundings in Grass Valley, California and, occasionally, in other parts of the world.
Online participation is a full experience of participating from wherever you are. Together we push the practice of integrating online and face-to-face involvement in events with a variety of social media.
Small and focused
To ensure we address everyone’s situation, we limit the number of participants to 12 maximum (including up to 4 online).
In a collaborative atmosphere with a small, strategically committed group, we spend four intensive days developing leadership and facilitation capabilities for cultivating communities of practice and networks.
Together we push our current practice, explore the state of the art, and produce resources to address our respective challenge.
For a systematic overview and firm grasp of current principles and practice in social learning as it applies to your context.
For people who have experience of existing social learning models and want to develop more pioneering apsects of the field.
Research and evaluation
For good discussions about the theoretical concepts of social learning, and when and how it’s relevant for a research project.
“The social learning model has helped to form a successful company this year as well as supporting the services that I coordinate. Thank you very much.”Matthew Laurie
“BEtreat brings together a very diverse group of CoP practitioners for a robust learning experience. It’s about real-world learning from one another while being guided and challenged by Etienne and Bev. “Ed O'Neal
“It’s hard to convey the experience in words. And it isn’t just about geeky techy stuff. There’s an important interpersonal dimension to carrying off what my expert chums out here call a ‘blended’ (online/offline) community of practice.”Angie Hart
Frequently Asked Questions about BEtreat workshops
What does BEtreat mean?
We started the BEtreat workshops in summer 2010. Both of us have our birthdays in July. We thought it would be interesting to celebrate our birthdays with a retreat for our clients and others working in the field of social learning. So the workshops were named Bev (B) and Etienne’s (E) retreat (treat)!
Where do the workshops take place?
If you are participating in the regular face-to-face or individual BEtreat in California, then the workshops happen in Grass Valley California. It is a charming historical mining town located in the “Gold Country” in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. There are street fairs in the summer, tasting rooms for local wineries, and beautiful hiking and swimming at the nearby Yuba river.
Grass Valley is easily reachable from Sacramento airport. There are accommodations for all tastes and budgets, including small “bed & breakfast,” historical and modern hotels, and affordable motels.
Other BEtreats can take place in most parts of the world. Just talk to us.
Is accomodation included in the price?
Accomodation is included in an individual BEtreat.
For the regular BEtreat in California, you need to find your own accomodation. We have a list of the local hotels, their distance from the venue, and prices on this page here. You could also check out Airbnb for other options, mostly cheaper than the hotels.
I'm thinking of participating online. What do I need to know?
Integrating online and face-to-face participation is a core theme of the workshop. To this end, we commit to offering online participants a full experience of the workshop. This means that everyone in the workshop endeavors to make this integration possible by exploring the technologies and the practices that are required.
All online participants have reported that it was a unique experience. For those who have done both online and face-to-face participation some say they preferred the online experience, others say they preferred to participate face-to-face. Perhaps it has something to do with your learning style.
It is a lot of time in front of the computer, so if you are thinking of participating online, do this short survey to see if you are prepared for it.
I work with communities of practice in Higher Education. Should I do the professional or the research and evaluation?
Generally speaking the state-of-the-art is for people who are working with communities of practice and want to get better at it. The research and evaluation is for people who are interested in the theory for research purposes of the value-creation framework for evaluation. Having said that, we do get academics and evaluators in the state-of-the-art and practitioners from Higher Ed in the research and evaluation.
You will most likely meet people who work in academic institutions at the academic BEtreat and people from different sectors at the state-of-the-art. The sorts of outcomes we have for the different workshops look like this:
- articulate the context and the challenges of a social learning endeavor
- argue for the value of a social learning approach to stakeholders
- employ the basic models of social learning
- take a social learning approach to solving problems
- perform as a social learning leader
- discuss the theoretical concepts
- decide when a CoP perspective is useful for a research or evaluation project
- apply that perspective to data analysis
How much does it cost to participate in a BEtreat workshop?
Do you offer group discounts?
Yes, contact us for multiple BEtreat or group discounts, company programs, and BEtreats hosted at your location.
I am constrained by funds. Can you guide me to places of funding support?
Funding is definitely an issue. We don’t have access to funding sources ourselves. We do offer 50% scholarships for people from low and middle-income countries and may be able to find a neighbor to host you here, if you are planning to participate face-to-face. But we have no way to help with travel expenses. We can also write a letter if you apply to a source of funds.
- Refunds of the full fee will be made up to April 30.
- Refunds of 50% will be made until June 1.
- All refunds incur 100 dollars administration fee.
- No refunds after June 1.
- Substitutions possible at any time.
Could I partner with you to host a BEtreat?
If you have done a BEtreat workshop yourself and would like to spread the experience, or if you come from a low-income country with no way of participating in BEtreat unless it’s near you, then contact us to see if we can make it happen together. We partnered with Tony Carr, University of Cape Town for a BEtreat in South Africa in 2013. And in 2014 we held BEtreat Canada in partnership with Sylvia Curry and Leva Lee of BCcampus.