suzanne whitby: bio

The professional bio

Suzanne Whitby is a seasoned futures thinker, communicator and storyteller who puts sustainability at the heart of everything that she does. She offers 20 years of international experience, with knowledge and insights built from working on a wide variety of projects with customers dotted around the globe. She works with purpose-driven businesses, organisations, communities and individuals to explore possible futures, develop mindful strategies, deliver impactful training, and craft clear, authentic communication that helps humanity co-create hopeful, sustainable futures.

Suzanne uses futures methods, interactive facilitation and strategic thinking to help transform thinking and behaviour, to help businesses build resilience in changing times, harness sustainable business models and future thinking to thrive, and contribute to the betterment of society and the planet.

Suzanne holds a BA in English & Philosophy, an interdisciplinary MA in Classic & Sensroy Studies, and in her free time, she is working towards my PhD, conducting interdisciplinary research in the extent to which multi-sensory, storied experiences that incorporate future visioning can encourage sustainable behaviours.

About me - in my own words

I am driven by a single question: in the face of today’s many challenges, what can I do to help people co-create hopeful, sustainable futures?

I am a pragmatic optimist who believes that co-creating hopeful futures is possible, and that the most important factor in co-creating hopeful futures is people.

I’d love to say that I was a mindful, Zen-like person who has all the answers, but I am not and I don’t.  The only thing that I do know is that everyone has a part to play in creating a better world and that’s where I invest my knowledge and experience. When it’s possible, I bring people together through a variety of events that I organise, because the world doesn’t need one hero: we need many hero*ines working together, and these future hero*ines need places where they can meet serendipitously.

Through communication campaigns, workshops, storytelling, walking, writing and speaking, I harness the power of stories, the senses, emotion and values to engage and involve people in today’s sustainability challenges, challenge thinking, change attitudes, and shift behaviours.

Professionally, I describe myself as a professional storyteller, communication specialist, sustainability catalyst, climate communicator, trainer, facilitator and researcher, although this constellation of “boxes” changes from time to time. I like to think of the stuff I do well as my “superpowers“.

I am interested in making urban spaces sustainable places to live and work, and I design and organise many walking events in Innsbruck and beyond.

In terms of education, I hold a BA in English & Philosophy, an MA in Classics with a focus on sensory experiences, and my current PhD research explores the senses, stories and space as a way to shift thinking around sustainability.

I am often invited to speak, write, train, design workshops, craft performances, facilitate, consult, mentor, and lecture on my areas of expertise.

I love what I do.

Every day, I am excited and empowered by the projects that I am involved in, and the inspired people I meet. I’m incredibly lucky, and I never (well, almost never!) forget it!

If you think we have something in common and you’d like to chat, get in touch. I am always happy to meet new and interesting people, on Zoom or in person for a cup of tea.

In my free time, I am avid reader, writer, fish hugger, star gazer, sailer, classicist, aspiring mindful person, and idea-generator. I am a traditional, oral storyteller. I seem to come up with 100 ideas a day, some of which turn into projects. I am proudly South African, and a long-term resident of beautiful Innsbruck where I live in the foothills of the Nordkette with my endlessly tolerant (and rather marvellous) husband and thousands of books, most of which I’ve read.

Fancy collaborating? Want to work together?

Here’s a (comprehensive!) overview of what I offer

Suzanne Whitby. Co-creating hopeful futures.

Published work & media

A local’s guide to Innsbruck, Austria: from Christmas markets to clubbing and cable car rides by Suzanne Whitby

Published in The Guardian, 7th November 2022
A short, fun piece about Innsbruck – for people who want more than snow and hiking.

 

Say cheese: press photos

Every now and again (seldom, admittedly!), people ask for photos and headshots for interviews and events. Here you go!

Suzanne Whitby Press Photos
Suzanne Whitby Press Photos
Suzanne Whitby Press Photos
Suzanne Whitby Press Photos