Gillian is a learning practitioner, sustainability advocate, student of productivity, and avid blogger. For over 20 years, she has worked across the various social platforms to help the sustainability community engage with more considered learning processes. Since 2006, she has blogged (www.welearnsomething.org) actively about her work in informal and formal learning within different environment and development organizations. From her previous position as Head of Learning at the International Union of Conservation of Nature (the oldest and largest global conservation network) to her current one as founder of the social micro-enterprise Bright Green Learning, she helps organizations increase their resilience and leverage their impact through learning. Gillian also serves as Co-President of the Balaton Group, a cross-disciplinary, multi-cultural and inter-generational network of researchers and practitioners in fields related to systems and sustainability which was founded in 1982 by Dennis and Donella Meadows—co-authors of the ground-breaking book "The Limits to Growth". This is an important community for her, and one to which she has actively contributed for over 15 years. Previous work affiliations include: Director of Capacity Development at LEAD International (Leadership for Environment and Development - London), Programme Manager at the International Academy of the Environment (Geneva), and Environment Specialist, International Labour Office (United Nations Geneva). Gillian is also a Certified Professional Facilitator.
TEDGlobal 2014, TEDGlobal 2013, TEDGlobal 2012, TEDGlobal 2011, TEDGlobal 2010
Areas of Expertise
leadership development, Systems Thinking, Sustainable Development, Learning and Development, blogging and social media, Process Facilitation, informal learning, Intercultural Communication
An idea worth spreading
How can we change the way people look at growth and consumption issues? How can we generate enthusiasm and creativity around notions of sufficiency in material goods, yet drive growth in areas like personal development, learning, and community engagement? I believe that people have a genuine desire to better themselves. And I think that in the past betterment has been primarily defined in economic terms. For many of our global citizens, this is an absolutely valid interpretation. However, for others, those with better access to resources, there are opportunities to broaden this definition of betterment. I would like to champion "learning" as an option for attaining those feelings of satisfaction/achievement/competition. In the final chapter of Limits to Growth "Tools for the Transition to Sustainability" the authors talk about visioning, networking, truth-telling, learning and loving - and perhaps in these areas there are no limits to growth.
I'm passionate about
Sustainable development, informal learning, my blog, web2.0, working with others, communities of practice, cool new facilitation techniques, games, systems thinking, & my family -but not in that order
Talk to me about
New models for learning; Social media applications for the sustainability community; and how business will become both social, and socially responsable in the next 5 years.
People don't know I'm good at
I grew up in a rural area so I am very good at self-sufficiency things like fishing and foraging, as well as vegetable growing and chicken raising.