Communicating Sustainability

Abel Tasman Awaroa Bay

Working on sustainability has been my greatest joy and greatest frustration. The best moments  have always been about about fabulous ideas meeting up with serious investment, speed, scale and commitment – to change the world.

I suppose if I have one main skill … it’s what we call colloquially ‘the gift of the gab’ – that is, the ability when I’m operating at my best, to be persuasive, in the interests of social justice and lasting environmental outcomes. What I love most is to work with groups, gatherings, events and  especially large conferences … as long as they have an on-going ‘action agenda’ that leads to meaningful change.

Who is International Sustainability Solutions – ISS – ?

Well, it is me, Lynette Thorstensen. I mostly work as a sole operator consultant, but I have at times put together teams of talented associates, especially for planning and delivering all the communications requirements for a major event such as the  – 3GF – Summit 2016 held in Copenhagen Denmark.

My experience in sustainability communications derives from many years experience as a practitioner delivering measurable results. I have worked in senior roles across the four sectors of: government, non-government organisations, international business corporations and academe. Specifically, I have held the following fascinating roles:

  • Chair of the Board, Fairtrade International
  • CEO of Greenpeace Australia
  • Executive Director, Social Development & Environment, Premiers’ Department, NSW, Australia
  • Head of Sustainable Business Practices, Insurance Australia Group, IAG, Australia
  • Managing Director, Communications, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, WBCSD, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Consultant Director of Communications for the Global Green Growth Forum -3GF -, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Copenhagen, Denmark

What am I doing now?

These days I am in the very lucky position of picking and choosing the work I really want to do. Mostly, this means facilitating group processes to drive forward productive outcomes. This can mean anything from intensive small group discussion and  leading strategic planning sessions to acting as Master of Ceremonies for major international conferences.

I believe that these kind of roles must involve the deepest engagement with participants. This means really knowing your stuff, undertaking detailed research before any assignment, it also means using humour and commitment. It means never being boring, but always being appropriate to the task at hand. It means being impeccable in every sense of the word: demeanour, process, behaviour, manners and even dress!

Facilitating  human interactions means knowing when to intervene to keep processes and agendas moving forward, and absolutely knowing when to keep quiet to allow participants to engage as fully as possible. It also means knowing how to encourage without being patronising, how to enlighten and explain and how to diplomatically keep issues moving along in the right direction; ensuring that discussions don’t veer unhelpfully off topic! Most of all, talented facilitators help others to:

  • clearly identify purpose
  • deliver plans and projects 
  • develop processes for measuring progress

Over the course of the many years of my career, I have found nothing more satisfying than being part of group initiatives that succeed in delivering strong environmental and social change.

Contact me if interested!

I am very open to new opportunities, even though I have a pretty full dance card at times. Please use the contact form to get in touch – see below –