suzanne whitby: archives


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.

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 recipe for cremation

A recipe for cremationBarlow Bonsall, Cook @ 1700 to 1800 degrees for 2 to 3 hours This is the text of a tattoo surrounded by a yellow and orange...

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,

A beautiful watch

Whilst everyone is diving into the world of smart watches, I’m opting for a dumb watch that does two things: it tells the time and looks gorgeous. And that’s good enough for me!

The Man in New Orleans

In 2001, I travelled around the US in 30 days and I had an interesting encounter in New Orleans with a homeless gentleman that made me rethink kindness. Enjoy!

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.

Ponte: Tower of Dreams

Ponte City was built in 1975 to be the tallest residential building in Africa, with 55 floors of living space and a cylindrical form that still dominates the skyline. After a rocky series of decades, this building – which fascinated me as a child and still does – is on track to be Jo’burg’s Tower of Dreams for a new generation.