Our Story

We started Impact in 1980 with nothing but an idea and a passion for developing people. We had a dream of delivering experiential learning that was inspirational, motivating and memorable.

  • training industry award


    Training Industry

    For the 8th consecutive year, Impact has been named a Training Industry Top 20 Leadership Training Company.

  • creative change agency


    Creative Change Agency

    Our transformation into a Creative Change Agency is taking us into new markets, creating organisation-wide change with our clients and developing a wider range of creative solutions. 

  • learnfest 2016


    A sell out festival

    With an impressive line-up of headline acts, practical workshops to build and apply skills, and a stack of exciting fringe activities…in only its fourth year, Learnfest sold out!

  • 2015


    Sustainable Development Goals

    Our commitment to the SDG’s and CSR activities - embedding them into our programmes and embracing them internally - was recognised in 2015 with a Gold Standard from EcoVadis.

  • 2001


    Impact San Francisco and Miami Open

  • 2013


    A festival of learning

    After sixteen conferences we broke the mould… Learnfest combines professional and personal development into an action-packed 3 day festival of inspiration, collaboration and adventure!

  • 2011


    Sustainable partnership

    Partnering with Cumbria University, we created the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability, a global hub enabling the transition to more fair and sustainable societies.

  • 2010


    Impact Hong Kong & Boulder Open

  • 2008


    Beyond social responsibility

    Impact Beyond, our social enterprise, was initiated to support schools, charities and social enterprises to enhance effectiveness and efficiency of organisations in need.

  • 2007


    Impact Singapore Opens

  • 2006


    UN Global Compact

    Highlighting our dedication to shaping a sustainable future, Impact became the smallest signatory of the UN global compact, the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative.

  • 2005


    Challenge events

    Impact’s 25th birthday saw a series of European Challenge Events, including guiding groups up mountains, through canyons, skiing and climbing, experiencing adventures throughout Europe.

  • 2005


    Giving something back

    In our 25th year Impact dedicated 25% of profits to a huge HIV project in Zambia, with manpower from every global office. Our entire Asia team also rallied in Phuket for a post-tsunami project.

  • 2004


    Impact London, Milan & Shanghai Open

  • 2004


    Driving Change in Africa

    Impact established a relief and development group to support relief efforts around the world. This has now grown into a separate sister organisation, Wasafiri.

  • 2004


    First Sunday Times Award

    2004 saw the first of ten consecutive ‘Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work For’ awards. Now our cabinet is packed full of trophies for the work we do internally and with clients.

  • 2001


    The American Dream

    In response to client demand for Impact’s unique approach, our first Impact Americas office opened in New York in 2001. We now have four offices spanning North America.

  • 1997


    Impact Rome, Sydney, Auckland, Warsaw and Dublin Open

  • 1997

    Impact’s first flagship event

    We launched the first of 16 annual conference at our Lake District HQ – bringing together inspirational guest speakers with leaders, HR and L&D professionals to discuss emerging trends and topics.

  • 1996


    Impact Aid

    Passionate about supporting a diverse range of democratically selected charitable causes; our team has raised £40,000+ for 200+ charities since Impact Aid began in 1996.

  • 1994


    Kids’ holiday

    Impact UK has run an action-packed residential holiday for disadvantaged children since 1994. This is now being replicated around the world, giving a confidence boost to those who need it.

  • 1993


    Impact Bangkok Opens

  • 1991


    Providing development on location

    Due to the success of the first forays into mainland Europe, Impact now seamlessly deliver programmes to suit clients' needs worldwide in 40 countries and 21 languages.

  • 1989


    Impact goes international

    Opening an office in Tokyo led to 17 offices worldwide. Combining our unique approach with multicultural leadership best practice helped us to become a global industry frontrunner.

  • silver screw


    Learning from mistakes

    The ‘Silver Screw’ award is a celebration of the most conspicuous mistake of the year. First awarded for breaking a boat propeller - it helps us to learn from, and laugh at, our mistakes.

  • 1985


    On the Property Ladder

    Using all of our savings and more, we purchased Cragwood country house. This base on the shores of Windermere is an inspirational place for outdoor activities and personal reflection.

  • 1983


    Pioneering Community Action Learning

    Impact began to partner clients with community organisations, providing responsible learning experiences that stick. We inspire participants, simultaneously supporting not-for-profits.

  • 1992


    Developing Leaders

    Having proven our behavioural change credentials with outstanding feedback from national UK organisations, we began customising senior leadership programmes.  

  • 1980


    In the beginning

    Around a kitchen table in the English Lake District, David Williams and two friends used their passion for inspiring and developing people using experiential learning to create Impact.

There is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing

Sir Ranulph Fiennes