Workshops

I offer customizable workshops appropriate for faculty or organizational development on Interpersonal Competences, Systems ThinkingEducating for Sustainability Competences, The Global Sustainable Development Goals and Orangutan U: What Rainforest Apes Can Teach Us about Transforming Higher Education for Sustainability — please contact me to discuss options and rates. I am also available to give keynotes on these themes, plus general sustainability, primate research, evolution and/or ecology (see CV for list of presentations given previously).


Interpersonal Competences (ICs) are vital for sustainability change agents. Evidence shows that ICs are also highly-prized career skills. People with strong ICs can productively interact and empathize with collaborators and stakeholders from diverse backgrounds and perspectives. ICs allow change agents to effectively learn from and teach others across different values and cultures, negotiate conflicts, and facilitate effective community decision-making.

Introduction to Cultivating Interpersonal Competences
60 or 90 minute workshop
This workshop reviews some widely-used strategies and promising innovations to foster ICs. It demonstrates tools for: improving communication framing and story-telling; promoting constructive dialogue and small-group conversations; and facilitating information-sharing, collaboration and decision-making in large groups. We will consider and practice a small selection of strategies to foster ICs.

Exploring Interpersonal Competences
half-day workshop
A deeper opportunity to discover and experience practices that strengthen ICs (described above). We will spend more time understanding and practicing several tools for cultivating ICs.

Developing Interpersonal Competences
one-day to two-day workshop
A thorough investigation of learning strategies and techniques to develop and facilitate ICs (described above). We will practice using tools for cultivating ICs among students, stakeholders, and peers, and develop ideas for incorporating these into your classes or organizational practices.

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Systems Thinking is an essential competence for addressing the complex challenges associated with sustainability. This includes an understanding of dynamic systems features like feedback, lag times, and cascading effects.

Introducing Systems Thinking
60-120 minute workshop
This workshop provides an initial look at the key concepts of systems thinking, including activities that make these tangible and unveil the power of systemic approaches to understanding our world.

Systems Thinking in the Classroom
half-day workshop
Systems Thinking is a crucial trans-disciplinary skill that is under-emphasized in formal education. Students who develop competence in Systems Thinking are well-prepared as problem-solvers and change agents. In this workshop, we review some approaches for teaching and learning that can foster Systems Thinking.

Systems Thinking and Complexity for Sustainability
one-day to three-day workshop
This workshop provides a deeper investigation of the ways that Systems Thinking and Complexity research can support developing change-agent skills for addressing the ‘wicked problems’ that characterize sustainability challenges.

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Sustainability Competences include: systems thinking;  interpersonal relations and collaboration; empathy and perspective-taking; communication and use of media; interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinary thinking; anticipatory (futures) thinking; justice, responsibility, and ethics; strategic action; personal engagement;  critical thinking and analysis; assessment and evaluation; and tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty. These workshops are based on ‘Connecting Competences and Pedagogical Approaches for Sustainable Development in Higher Education‘ and other work on education for sustainability.

Connecting Sustainability Competences to Pedagogies
60-min to half-day workshop
We explore the research on sustainability competences. Pedagogies that may support students in developing these competences are discussed and considered.

Educating for Sustainability Competences
half-day to five-day workshop
A review of diverse sustainability competences, and strategies that faculty can use to cultivate these competences in their students. We practice some of these pedagogies as workshop activities. Course participants work together to develop lesson plans appropriate for improving courses they already teach, or developing new courses in their own disciplines. Includes Interpersonal Competences and Systems Thinking workshop activities (described above).

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Global Goals SDGsThe Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent the United Nations’ efforts to apply a systems approach to meeting human needs now and for future generations. These workshops will help you understand the SDGs and how they interact, and discover ways that your work can help us achieve them.

Understanding the Sustainable Development Goals
60 or 90 minute talk or workshop
Provides an overview of the seventeen SDGs: What are they? What are some of the 169 targets we will use to measure our global progress? Why do we think we could achieve all of them by 2030? What will it take to get there? Do they go far enough? How can I/my organization help the world reach the SDGs?

Exploring Interactions of the Sustainable Development Goals
half-day workshop
An opportunity for deeper consideration of the interactions of the SDGs and their targets. Participants will explore solutions that simultaneously address multiple SDGs without compromising any others. We will also find ways that you can help achieve the SDGs through your organizations, your work, and/or your personal choices.

Systems Approaches to the Sustainable Development Goals
one-day to two-day workshop
Using the systems approach to SDG interactions. We will practice systems thinking concepts as applied to the SDGs and their targets, and consider the best leverage points for achieving specific SDGs.

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Orangutan U: What Rainforest Apes Can Teach Us about Transforming Higher Education for Sustainability
10-90 minute talk / 40 minute – 3 hour workshop
Learn why the things happening in the rainforests of central Africa and Southeast Asia are relevant for what happens in university classrooms, and vice versa. This starts with a story about how my field research on social behavior and learning in bonobos and orangutans led me to work on sustainability issues and transforming global higher education. (Here’s a video of my practice for delivering an early version of this talk for a university student audience in Singapore.)


Please contact me to discuss options and rates for any of the above workshops, or other speaking engagements or workshop ideas.

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