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  • Finding inspiration and strength in challenging times

    Being a sustainability practitioner, a change agent, a champion, a leader in sustainability, an activist - what ever badge we wear - is a challenge (in many ways!). Aware of the enormous challenges of the world, we often try to put on an outward face of optimism, hope and strength. It isn't easy, and it can be really tiring.

    How can you stay fresh, inspired and honest with yourself despite those around you telling you it is too late or too difficult?

    I have been holding this inquiry over the last year whilst training in delivering the Work That Reconnects, the inspiring empowerment approach developed by Joanna Macy. This work is incredible, encouraging participants to acknowledge their fears for the world, rather than squash them down. Releasing these concerns is liberating, but more than that, it clears the way for clarity and creativity.

    I am now really excited to be offering workshops based on the Work That Reconnects but recrafted specifically for sustainability professionals, change agents and champions. These workshops offer an opportunity to stop, reflect and remember what it was that inspired you in those early days. And re-energise, refocus and clarify what it is they you wish to focus on now. The workshop has already received great feedback when bringing together sustainability professionals from different organisations at the start of a conference, as this testimonial shows:

    “Kirsti’s ‘Inspire and Strength’ pre-conference session certainly did what it says on the tin. She helped to guide the audience in the limited time available to open up and examine their own motivations and appreciation of sustainability. She provoked and inspired conversations that we would never have started ourselves which were very revealing in terms of why we are motivated to be sustainability professionals.

    The best thing about the session was leaving with our own mini project overview which we could then start to work on. The session is not just about reflection but also about guiding that reflecting process into something productive.

    Thanks Kirsti for helping to kickstart the conference in such a positive way!”

    If you or your colleagues would be interested in attending or hosting a workshop, please do get in contact!

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  • Sustainability WHAT?!

    Ever get the feeling we're talking a different language - so ingrained in what we mean, or so passionate about our aims, we forget that we need to keep our language appropriate to the audience?

    Action for Sustainability is investigating the language we use around sustainability along with Sandra Lee from the University of Leicester, and co-ordinator of the Behaviour Change Communities of Practice for the EAUC. We have been "harvesting" the language that sustainability professionals use, and noticing when and with whom they use different terms. I'll add some of our initial findings here soon.

    In the meantime, take a look at my new animation - Sustainability What?! It is my first attempt at animating, so would love to know what you think!

    And it would be great to hear your stories. What words do you use - and what words do you avoid - when communicating with different people?

    Have a lovely ...Winter / Solstice / Christmas / Hanukkah / Festive Time*

    *wasn't sure what best to use - delete as appropriate!

    Kirsti Norris - Action for Sustainability

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