Operating In Challenging Environments, Advanced Ops, Masterclass


OCE Advanced Ops is available for organisational bookings. 
Contact us for availability and pricing.

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The greatest opportunities often lay outside the boundaries of our team and our organisation’s comfort levels. Whether it’s conducting business in or developing opportunities in new markets, places with minimal infrastructure, or a variable rule of law. 

How do we prepare our teams and organisation for OCE travel? How do we  set them up for success, and ensure they do the right thing, legally and morally, under difficult circumstances? How can we inform and inspire our teams, while managing risk and maintaining the integrity of the organisation?



Studio D has extensive experience of running design, research and strategy projects on the ground in some of the world’s more volatile places, often for months at a time. For the OCE Advanced Ops Masterclass we’ve partnered with the team at Spartan9, specialists in risk assessment, mitigation, and evacuations to develop a curriculum that combines the best of nimble research practices with agency-grade mindset and processes.

It complements the Operating In Challenging Environments Fundamentals, Masterclass.


The masterclass combines focussed talks, hands-on activities and group discussion, with plenty of unique support material. 


The masterclass focuses on two core themes: how to prepare the organisations and teams for travel; and how to operate on the ground.

Our approach will show you how to realistically assess risks and threats, understand organisational and team tolerance for risk, and build out an appropriate risk mitigation strategy.

You’ll learn how to assess the suitability of the team to OCE travel, identify and mitigate shortfalls, and help them mentally prepare, and when on the ground how to maintain morale, and return home ready for the next.

We'll cover how to assess suitable team accommodation and transport, and build out local trusted teams—this includes processes that may seem counter intuititve, but that have proven surprisingly effective.

We’ll share insights in how to navigate corruption, and how to frame it in a way that enables you to achieve your objectives without compromising legal and moral responsibilities.

We wrap up the masterclass by learning what to do when the proverbial shit really does hit the fan and you need to haul the team to safety.



  • Protect your teams and your organisation when undertaking challenging travel.
  • Prepare teams for being so they can hit the ground running.
  • Develop organisational protocols.
  • Ensure cost effective risk management.
  • Enable the long term sustainability of OCE travel for your organisation and teams.


For team leaders and organisations that have employees that need or wish to operate in challenging environments. People who recognise the value and opportunities that come from being able to operate effectively anywhere.



OCE Fundamentals is lead by Grant Rayner, the founder of Spartan9 and advises Studio D across a range of projects.

Grant has spent the last seventeen years working across Asia and the Middle East as a security and crisis response consultant, solving difficult problems in challenging environments. Prior to this, he served thirteen years in the military in a range of special operations and intelligence roles.

He brings a wealth of diverse real world experiences to the masterclass from protecting maritime vessels from pirates, establishing security protocols in volatile regions, negotiating with warlords, to extracting nationals in life-or-death situations.