suzanne whitby: archives

Thinking

An Austria with less snow: what are the impacts?

Warmer, drier summers. More precipitation and less snowfall in winter. That’s what climate experts are expecting in Austria if we don’t sort out the problem. So what are the impacts for Austria and in particular, the ski resorts? Here’s a short thought experiment.

Let’s have faith in reality and humanity, not the tired hopes of modernity

“With the environmental crisis, it’s too late for humanity to get an A-grade. It might even be too late to pass. However, to try to do as best we can, while not ruining our lives in the process, makes sense to many of us. We don’t give up because we won’t get an A-grade or because we might not even pass. We keep trying because it feels right to do so. But the way we will keep trying doesn’t mean ruining our life, or that of others, in the meantime.” – Professor Jem Bendell

Sustainability meets heritage: powering heritage buildings with solar electricity is a no-brainer

On an extended trip to Italy, hotel and business owners told me time and again of the dramatically increasing electricity costs and their struggle to survive and thrive in challenging times. Italy is a country of glorious sunshine, so why isn’t the country embracing solar electricity and installing solar panels on every available roof? The “protected status” of heritage buildings means that getting permission to install PV panels is a challenge, but does this make sense—in Italy and elsewhere—when generating clean energy and getting rid of “dirty” energy is so important for people and the planet?

Aligning values with your recruitment process

If your corporate or brand values involve anything to do with “caring about your people”, then you should care enough to tell potential employees when a job has been awarded to someone other than them. If you can’t be bothered to do this, then I question how much you really DO care about people and whether your brand values are nothing more than “blah, blah, blah” for your website and corporate image.

Using framing to unlock change

Research into the science of framing and how it can help us to be heard and understood. When we change the story and how we tell it, we can change the world. [Fran mentioned this in Storytell.] #framing #conversations #facilitation #scicomm #climate

What if?

I am privileged to be able to spend my days working with scientists who want to learn how to turn their academic findings into information that the “general public” can understand and hopefully act upon. Many of the people I coach and train are natural scientists who have an up-close-and-personal view of human-caused climate change and global heating. Not only are they witness to what is happening now, but thanks to modelling, they have insights into what is likely to happen in the future. And frankly, for many of them, the future is at best worrying and at worst terrifying. They are continually perplexed at the disinterest in the problems they are uncovering by politicians, policy makers, the media, and us, the “general public*”.

I mention this because when I watched “Don’t look up” last night, I was overjoyed that someone in Hollywood had finally created a film that captured what scientists tell me that they experience. Sure, it’s a satire, but the basic storyline is one that I’ve heard time and again in my workshops and talks.

The Work That Reconnects

Interesting for my facilitation work, work with groups, and in helping people think about climate and environmental disruption. The Work that Reconnects helps people discover and experience their innate connections with each other and the self-healing powers of the web of life, transforming despair and overwhelm into inspired, collaborative action.

Look UP! That’s what I am taking from “Don’t look up”.

I am privileged to be able to spend my days working with scientists who want to learn how to turn their academic findings into information that the “general public” can understand and hopefully act upon. Many of the people I coach and train are natural scientists who have an up-close-and-personal view of human-caused climate change and global heating. Not only are they witness to what is happening now, but thanks to modelling, they have insights into what is likely to happen in the future. And frankly, for many of them, the future is at best worrying and at worst terrifying. They are continually perplexed at the disinterest in the problems they are uncovering by politicians, policy makers, the media, and us, the “general public*”.

Re-naming and re-framing

Re-naming and re-framingAs a fish hugger (compare with tree hugger), I am always baffled at how people describe sea creatures as ugly. Who do we...

A thought about small talk

A thought about small talkI came across a thoughtful article this morning on the art (and power) of small talk. As someone who facilitates group...

Do you inadvertently turn your statements into questions?

Raising your pitch at the end of a statement makes that statement sound like a question. Whether you’re communicating in person, online, or over the phone, this speech pattern can make you sound less confident, less credible, and uncertain about your content. This article talks about why we do it, and how to stop.

What’s in a name? Why getting people’s names right is part of effective communication.

Remembering someone’s name and pronouncing it correctly is a key part of making a positive impression. It’s also part of being a good communicator. Not bothering to remember someone’s name or continually pronouncing it incorrectly, or worse, using a name that they dislike (nicknames they didn’t choose, for example) tells people that you don’t value or respect them. Here are 9 things that you can do to remember people’s names, along with some information about why names matter, why we mess them up, and why, in a socially-distanced world, remembering names is more important than ever,

Are we just going in circles? Maybe not.

I came across an incredibly inspiring quote today from Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun”. If you’ve ever felt despair, convinced that the human race is trapped in an unbreakable circle, then this is for you.

Literacy first, please

Literacy first, pleaseI’m a big supporter of literacy projects, whatever the language, and whilst oral storytelling imparts a number of literacy...