Contact Dr Toby Thompson


As a member of Cranfield Executive Development (CED) Toby consults with CED’s clients on designing and implementing appropriate networked learning interventions that suit our clients’ contexts. Toby is currently pioneering innovations in live online teaching, in a specially built studio facility at Martell House, on Cranfield campus. Live online teaching here at Cranfield puts our vast expertise in all aspects of technology and leadership straight onto the desktops of our students and corporate consumers. This reduces learning miles, the time, and the cost on accessing Cranfield's world-leading research and knowledge, and is catered towards both large and small groups of participants.

Prior to joining Cranfield, Toby was a member of the global training strategy team for the corporate university of the former US-based Electronic Data Systems (EDS) Corporation.

Toby has a PhD in the philosophy of executive education from University College London's Institute of Education. His thesis is published in book form with Routledge in 2018. His interest is in how time and temporality are conceived in executive education and development practices. Toby has an MA in management learning from Lancaster University, and a BA in philosophy from York University.

Prior to joining EDS, Toby was a Zen Buddhist monk at Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey in Northumberland, UK. The Zen monastery follows the Soto Zen tradition in which Toby spent 6 years as a monk. Toby exploits these Zen Buddhist-inspired synergies in working with organisations to encourage the release of their true human potential. Prior to his time as a monk Toby was a farm labourer.

Current activities

Toby's current research activities centre around a philosophical evaluation of what constitutes 'executive education' - e.g. operating from under what he calls the 'order-execution' cognate. His particular interest is in applying the philosophy of Martin Heidegger's notions of being and time to existential reflections for senior corporate executives, whose late career stage precipitates philosophical examination.


Articles In Journals

  • Clarke SR, Jones RJA, Thompson T & Palmer RC (1992) The use of a raster-based geographic information system for modelling environmental data as an aid to land management., Geologisches Jahrbuch Reihe B, A122 443-456.