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An Austria with less snow: what are the impacts?

Warmer, drier summers. More precipitation and less snowfall in winter. That’s what climate experts are expecting in Austria if we don’t sort out the problem. So what are the impacts for Austria and in particular, the ski resorts? Here’s a short thought experiment.

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Sustainability meets heritage: powering heritage buildings with solar electricity is a no-brainer

On an extended trip to Italy, hotel and business owners told me time and again of the dramatically increasing electricity costs and their struggle to survive and thrive in challenging times. Italy is a country of glorious sunshine, so why isn’t the country embracing solar electricity and installing solar panels on every available roof? The “protected status” of heritage buildings means that getting permission to install PV panels is a challenge, but does this make sense—in Italy and elsewhere—when generating clean energy and getting rid of “dirty” energy is so important for people and the planet?

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Aligning values with your recruitment process

If your corporate or brand values involve anything to do with “caring about your people”, then you should care enough to tell potential employees when a job has been awarded to someone other than them. If you can’t be bothered to do this, then I question how much you really DO care about people and whether your brand values are nothing more than “blah, blah, blah” for your website and corporate image.

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What if public transportation was free & effective?

A short reflective post today. My husband and I have a conversation about transportation periodically. It goes like this: Me: "Why can't we make all public transportation free in Tirol, and simply tax vehicle drivers so much (with exceptions for special cases - yes,...

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What if we cut down on food waste?

Let's talk about food waste. Our World in Data has a great visual to help us understand how much food we and our food systems waste each year. So what are we seeing here? First off, we can see that food production accounts for a whopping 26% of all global greenhouse...

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What if?

I am privileged to be able to spend my days working with scientists who want to learn how to turn their academic findings into information that the “general public” can understand and hopefully act upon. Many of the people I coach and train are natural scientists who have an up-close-and-personal view of human-caused climate change and global heating. Not only are they witness to what is happening now, but thanks to modelling, they have insights into what is likely to happen in the future. And frankly, for many of them, the future is at best worrying and at worst terrifying. They are continually perplexed at the disinterest in the problems they are uncovering by politicians, policy makers, the media, and us, the “general public*”.

I mention this because when I watched “Don’t look up” last night, I was overjoyed that someone in Hollywood had finally created a film that captured what scientists tell me that they experience. Sure, it’s a satire, but the basic storyline is one that I’ve heard time and again in my workshops and talks.

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Look UP! That’s what I am taking from “Don’t look up”.

I am privileged to be able to spend my days working with scientists who want to learn how to turn their academic findings into information that the “general public” can understand and hopefully act upon. Many of the people I coach and train are natural scientists who have an up-close-and-personal view of human-caused climate change and global heating. Not only are they witness to what is happening now, but thanks to modelling, they have insights into what is likely to happen in the future. And frankly, for many of them, the future is at best worrying and at worst terrifying. They are continually perplexed at the disinterest in the problems they are uncovering by politicians, policy makers, the media, and us, the “general public*”.

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Make accordion closed by default

To do this, copy the script below and paste it in the <head> section in the Integration tab in Divi Theme Options (Theme options > Integration > <head> section). Save, and that's it. <script>jQuery(document).ready(function() {...

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How can you diffuse drama in your team?

The Karpman Drama Triangle defines the roles that people take on (and can switch between) in stressful, emotional or high-conflict situations. Dr Stephen Karpman identified three main roles that emerge: the persecutor, the victim and the rescuer. We can often find...

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Re-naming and re-framing

Re-naming and re-framingAs a fish hugger (compare with tree hugger), I am always baffled at how people describe sea creatures as ugly. Who do we think we are that we can make value judgements about these extraordinary living neighbours of ours? Perhaps they'd rather...

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A thought about small talk

A thought about small talkI came across a thoughtful article this morning on the art (and power) of small talk. As someone who facilitates group discussions, champions meaningful conversations and connections, and spends a great deal of time thinking about creating...

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A recipe for cremation

A recipe for cremationBarlow Bonsall, Cook @ 1700 to 1800 degrees for 2 to 3 hours This is the text of a tattoo surrounded by a yellow and orange flame. It belongs to Army veteran and cancer survivor Russell Parsons, who was quoted in NBC News as saying, “It’s a...

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Do you inadvertently turn your statements into questions?

Raising your pitch at the end of a statement makes that statement sound like a question. Whether you’re communicating in person, online, or over the phone, this speech pattern can make you sound less confident, less credible, and uncertain about your content. This article talks about why we do it, and how to stop.

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What’s in a name? Why getting people’s names right is part of effective communication.

Remembering someone’s name and pronouncing it correctly is a key part of making a positive impression. It’s also part of being a good communicator. Not bothering to remember someone’s name or continually pronouncing it incorrectly, or worse, using a name that they dislike (nicknames they didn’t choose, for example) tells people that you don’t value or respect them. Here are 9 things that you can do to remember people’s names, along with some information about why names matter, why we mess them up, and why, in a socially-distanced world, remembering names is more important than ever,

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A beautiful watch

Whilst everyone is diving into the world of smart watches, I’m opting for a dumb watch that does two things: it tells the time and looks gorgeous. And that’s good enough for me!

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Being a company owner in the UK: the end of the affair

I grew up with a British-born father, who, even though he moved over to South Africa at the tender age of 3 years old, was quite the lover of the mother country. In some respects, he was more British than that Brits, having been brought up as an immigrant in a new...

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The Man in New Orleans

In 2001, I travelled around the US in 30 days and I had an interesting encounter in New Orleans with a homeless gentleman that made me rethink kindness. Enjoy!

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Are we just going in circles? Maybe not.

I came across an incredibly inspiring quote today from Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun”. If you’ve ever felt despair, convinced that the human race is trapped in an unbreakable circle, then this is for you.

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Making presentations “sticky” with stories

Making presentations "sticky" with storiesI love this story: Christopher Wren was a famous English architect and builder who lived from 1632-1723. Legend has it that he was walking past three stone cutters working on the rebuilding of St. Paul’s cathedral. He asked...

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Ponte: Tower of Dreams

Ponte City was built in 1975 to be the tallest residential building in Africa, with 55 floors of living space and a cylindrical form that still dominates the skyline. After a rocky series of decades, this building – which fascinated me as a child and still does – is on track to be Jo’burg’s Tower of Dreams for a new generation.

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In Defence of Open-Mindedness

In Defence of Open-MindednessLast week, we stayed in a lovely B&B in a medieval town called Dürnstein in Lower Austria. The people were wonderful, the food delicious, the wine even better but the weather… Meh. It could have been better, especially considering that...

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Literacy first, please

Literacy first, pleaseI’m a big supporter of literacy projects, whatever the language, and whilst oral storytelling imparts a number of literacy skills, the ability to actually read is fundamental, and often something that readers take for granted. With literacy in...

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Is Zero Waste Living Really Zero Waste?

Is Zero Waste Living Really Zero Waste?I read a lot of books and articles that talk about Zero Waste living, and at some point I realised that I “thought” that I knew what “zero waste living” meant but that I’d never spent time looking into the “movement” and...

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Flora and the Flamingo

Flora and the FlamingoA quick book review today for lovers of beautiful illustration, wordless humour, and dance. And, of course, for parents. Flora and the Flamingo by the wonderful Molly Idle, who started her career as an artist working for DreamWorks Feature...

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How to host a clothing swap party

A couple of months after moving back to Innsbruck, I decided to organise a clothing swap party. I was a bit nervous because I didn’t know many people and wasn’t sure if someone would show up. However, it turned out great! So many people came, and it was super fun,...

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Suzanne Whitby

writer. communication specialist. climate communicator. storyteller.