About Black Mountains College

A college for the future

Black Mountains College is a new educational institution located in the Brecon Beacons National Park. BMC will prepare students to lead the change towards a very different future.

The brainchild of writers Ben Rawlence and Owen Sheers, BMC proposes a new approach to undergraduate education focused on core skills, systems thinking and empathy, that is designed to spark creative and adaptive thinking in tune with nature. At BMC the mountains and forests of the National Park are our classroom.

The planet is in crisis.

Our carbon-heavy economy and society cannot continue as it is. As recent UN reports on climate change and biodiversity have urged, we need to transition to a much more low impact way of life. And we need to do it soon.

BMC will focus on skills not subjects. The grand challenges of the 21st century – a rapidly changing climate, economy and society, will require flexible and adaptive thinking.

We need creative thinkers like never before. To overhaul our social and economic habits and systems, first we need to imagine alternatives.

Imagination is the key to the future.

How to spark and encourage imagination and creativity?

BMC goes back to the neuroscience of how human beings learn, and how the planet functions. Our new approach to learning will produce multi-skilled graduates with a 360 degree outlook. They will be equipped to bring society and economy into
a closer relation with nature and to drive and manage change in a turbulent world.

BMC will also offer a new approach to further education. Future vocational skills delivered in small bespoke class sizes at sites of learning within the community. And BMC will support lifelong learning and transition to a sustainable future through:

• short courses and public events

• a creative teacher training network

• our residential summer school