Skid Row School for Large-Scale Change


The Skid Row School prepares change agents to design & lead large-scale change initiatives.

The key to leading large-scale change is a paradox we call unleashing — orchestrating the loss of control of thousands of people moving in the desired direction. Unleashing is counter-intuitive, vastly different from the systems of control that are widely taught in management programs and practiced in most organizations. Systems of control backfire when it comes to making large-scale change, which requires engaging those outside of our direct sphere of influence. Create a context of unleashing and there is nothing you cannot accomplish.

At the Skid Row School, we will teach you how to unleash yourself and thousands of others, too. You will learn how to apply our approach, the Model for Unleashing, to the big change that you want to create in the world. We’ve distilled our model down to the most essential things you need to know and assembled a world-class faculty to teach you how to apply it to your own work.

July 10, 2018 – July 13, 2018 in Los Angeles – Register Here

October 23, 2018 – October 26, 2018 in Los Angeles – Register Here

The Skid Row School Will Help You:

  • Gain clarity about your purpose and what you really care about changing in the world
  • Better grasp how you want to contribute to changing the world
  • Identify the countervailing systems of oppression that are reinforcing the status quo in your sector
  • Refine your intervention so that it is primed for scale
  • Set a compelling aim that catapults your team from ideating to action
  • Select expansion methods that work for where you are on your scaling journey
  • Develop a viable and compelling theory of change for your initiative
  • Identify leadership mindsets and behaviors that will mitigate against fear
  • Tackle the dysfunctions that sabotage teams and large-scale change networks
  • Adopt the day-to-day operational behaviors that are required for successful execution

The Skid Row School is:

  • A four-day residential immersion training
  • Offered to no more than 40 leaders at a time allowing for ample individual support from faculty
  • A blend of instruction and opportunities to apply what you’ve learned right there on the spot with your team

View a Sample Agenda

Who Should Apply?

Who Are the Faculty?

Application: Please complete the online application form to be considered for an upcoming cohort. We’re especially eager to find leaders who resonate with all aspects of what we’re offering and share our aim of building the force of leaders who can transform the planet. We reserve the right to reject applications that are inconsistent with the aims and values of the Skid Row School. The Billions Institute is committed to racial equity and we especially encourage Native people and people of color to apply.

Cost: $3,500/person for an individual or $3,000/person if your organization is sending 2 or more people. This does not include travel, accommodations, or meals.

Check out our FAQs, and/or email our Training Manager, for more information.


July 10, 2018 – July 13, 2018 in Los Angeles – Register Here

October 23, 2018 – October 26, 2018 in Los Angeles – Register Here

“I knew that leading large-scale change would be exhilarating work. What I didn’t know was that it could also feel incredibly isolating. Skid Row School gave me a community to call “home” in this crazy journey — a safe harbor to openly discuss challenges and barriers, to try on new ways of thinking, seeing and doing, to confront my own fears and biases, and to be inspired by the sheer humanity and ambition represented in the room.” ~ Eunice Nicols, Vice President at

“Being a change agent in the world is a fullKatie Hongcontact sport and requires that you bring your best in mind, body and spirit. If you want to be a more effective change agent and do the work in community with other incredible change agents, then I would HIGHLY recommend the Skid Row School. This has been a transformational experience and I love being part of the Skid Row School community.”             ~ Katie Hong, Director of Raikes Foundation

Maša Užičanin “This seminar translates large-scale change into a set of concrete actions you can take tomorrow. If you’re looking to go beyond theory then this is the training for you. The faculty have done the hard work of large-scale change which makes all the difference. Their shared experiences of collective successes, and failures, inspired and reignited my flame and made me believe that the change I personally want to see is possible after all.” ~ Maša Užičanin, Executive Director of Sevenzo

Holmes Hummel “Devoting a week to this smart, structured process advanced our work by light years” ~ Holmes Hummel, Clean Energy Work

Marc Skvirsky “The passion, creativity, and skillful facilitation was evident and  energizing every minute of the workshop – no small feat with a room full of seasoned professionals. I left with so many innovative tools and strategies that will assist our organization as we scale to have an even greater impact in helping to create a more just society.”~ Marc Skvirsky, VP Facing History and Ourselves 

Jenn Hoos Rothberg“This is truly a “master class” for large-scale social change. I will look back on my experience as a catalyst in my own work and personal transformation. I will be able to apply this approach and lessons learned throughout my life.” ~Jenn Hoos Rothberg, Executive Director, Einhorn Family Charitable Trust

Tom Low Playworks (1) “This is not death by PowerPoint! This is all about doing: ideating, testing, piloting and iterating. As a practitioner of nonprofit scaling and systems transformation, I found the Billions approach, supported by the Switch framework, gave me the confidence that leading transformative scale is indeed possible.” ~ Tom Low, Chief Financial Officer, Playworks

Mary Tobin “I keep bragging about the Skid Row School and how it was literally the BEST training I’ve ever been to. Becky is every good thing anyone has ever said about her. Thank you for being so authentic and selfless in your desire to share your experiences with all of us. You made me feel like I can literally change the world and that’s just what I plan to do.” ~ Mary Tobin, Director, Brownsville Partnership

Amy Baker “I say this without hyperbole – this was the best training I’ve ever been to. It felt complete and whole to all sides of what it takes to pull off large-scale social change. It’s not just the strategy and aim; it’s also as importantly how you function as a human being and leader. Somehow the “fluffy” stuff didn’t feel fluffy, and that was a huge benefit. I felt like I was in a room of “do-ers” not a room of consultants, and that shared vibe was as palpable as it was helpful.~Amy Baker, Managing Director at Service Nation


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