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Robert Poynton

Founder Yellow Learning, Saïd Business School Oxford University, UK and ES

Robert is the founder of and On Your Feet and is an Associate Fellow at the Saïd Business School at Oxford University.

He believes in playing around with people (and things) rather than trying to control them. For twenty-five years he has used ideas, language, and models derived from improvisational theatre as a way of exploring how to navigate complexity and ambiguity. He believes that part of the challenge modern society faces is to learn to embrace (and enjoy) uncertainty rather than dread it. This implies recognizing that the unknown is the source of much of what matters to us most – our identity, creativity, sense of agency, and so on.

Rob is an Associate Fellow at the Saïd Business School and Green Templeton College at the University of Oxford where he helps design and facilitate executive education programmes. He has also taught at Singularity University and Schumacher College. He has worked with clients such as the BBC, Chanel, and Airbus.

During the pandemic, he founded Yellow Learning and The Everyday Improviser, in the process dropping just about every prejudice he had about working online and radically transforming his work.

He is the author of ‘Do Pause’, ‘Do Improvise’ and ‘Everything’s an Offer’.

He divides his time between an off-grid house just outside Arenas de San Pedro in rural Spain and Oxford.

“Change is desperately needed, at all levels of our society and culture, yet we can’t know how we need to change in advance. This means we need structures, which are held with boundaries and intentions, but which are open enough to allow things that can’t be imagined to emerge. The Scaffold is one of those. And as such, I think it is vital. ”

Robert Poynton

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