Still - conversations for sustainability leaders

Credit: David Caines

Credit: David Caines



is a series of conversations for people who work in sustainability.  Still lets you think aloud, drawing on the support and wisdom of a small group of people whose experiences of leadership in the sustainability field have thrown up challenges similar to your own. 

  • If you long for time to get your ideas straight, away from daily urgency...
  • If you need to look at things differently, to get out of a rut...
  • If you want to move further and faster while bringing others with you...

...join with others who are facing the same tangled complexity and take some time out to be still.

What is a still conversation?

Imagine being given half a day to sit comfortably with a small group of like-minded people (ten at most), taking time to explore without competing or being lectured.  Conversation is focused, with expert facilitation providing a light structure which means everyone can share insights. A coaching approach means that you find your own ways forward and emerge refreshed and excited about what you can do next.

Still conversations are hosted by Penny Walker, a facilitator and coach with over twenty years' experience of supporting sustainability leaders.

“When I think of the times I have made a contribution to sustainability, the best outcomes were a result of conversation, and in most cases that chat has occurred outside formal meeting but on a sofa, in a pub or sharing a trip. In a world of schedules, e-mails and process, we are losing the art of conversation  just when we need it the most. Penny's initiative is brilliant and I could not recommend these workshops enough.”

Dr Alan Knight, Corporate Responsibility General Manager, ArcelorMittal


Who are they for?

If you are heading up a sustainability team, leading on environmental, CSR or social issues in your organisation, shaping projects or policies with a sustainability ambition or supporting others who are, you will benefit from - and have something to offer to - a still conversation.

You're not a beginner, but you want fresh ideas.  You have built and achieved things, yet you'd like to do more and find the cutting edge again.  

You're willing to trust and be trustworthy, sharing the doubts and weaknesses as well as the triumphs and achievements; respecting others' confidences while gaining from the ideas they share.

Sustainability leaders benefit enormously from being able to talk together freely about their work. Penny has been facilitating conversations about sustainable development for decades. I have seen at first-hand how skilful she is in enabling people to get to the heart of the matter, helping them to deepen their understanding, to make breakthroughs and develop better plans for a more sustainable future.  Penny’s ability to build trust and confidence, whilst being both challenging and engaging, is one of the keys to her effectiveness.
Dame Polly Courtice, Director, University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership


What shall we talk about?


This Spring 2017 season, our conversations will be about:

You can come to one, two or all three of the conversations, which will be on Wednesday afternoons in central London.  Each one costs just £100 plus VAT, with discounts if you are self-funded, make multiple bookings or are an IEMA or ASP member.  Full terms and conditions are here.  You can book online using paypal or a card, using the links above.   If you would prefer to be invoiced, please email and we can sort that out.

Why Still?

I am very excited about the idea of bringing together sustainability people of various kinds, to talk with each other about their challenges and ideas in a more expansive and easeful way than a conference allows.

I have seen how much people benefit from being able to think aloud in coaching conversations.  I have also seen how much people benefit from comparing their own experience, seeing different ways of framing things and exploring ideas about ways forward with peers.  Still will combine these things, making peer learning available in smaller groups and smaller chunks, where the atmosphere is more like coaching.

"Penny's open and engaging style provides the perfect platform for you to think differently about sustainability. You'll be offered support and challenge in equal measure, all in a safe space designed to enhance your learning."
Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor, IEMA

what will you get out of it?

Stronger, deeper relationships with other sustainability leaders.  A chance to think about knotty problems with others who really get it.  Greater clarity.  New solutions.  The inspiration and energy to do more. Seeing with new eyes the things that you've been looking at for so long. 

Of course we won't know until it happens, but these are the likely outcomes. 

"Penny is one of the most skilled facilitators of engaging conversations that I know.  Her combined knowledge of sustainability and coaching ensures that she is able to guide a great conversation that puts the people at the heart of the issues that they are trying to solve”
Stephanie Draper, Deputy Chief Executive at Forum for the Future