What We Do
We believe that people hold the potential to facilitate the transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework.
Taking our cue from the Earth Charter Initiative, our broad vision for a positive future (framework) includes but is not limited to: respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace.
We believe our world needs leaders and change makers who have the commitment, courage and skills to drive positive, transformative change. We enable leaders (individuals and organisations) and equip them with the skills and insights they need to create the future they want – the future we all need.
We amplify the creativity, capability and community of emerging leaders by deepening their understanding of how they can influence change, challenging their thinking, building their confidence and effectiveness, and connecting them to a community of practice of other leaders to learn from and be supported by.
We are a not for profit organisation. We believe in the power of cross-sector collaboration so we work with individuals, communities, corporations and government. We know that leaders for the future will come from all industries and disciplines, so we actively look for partners and participants from across the spectrum, creating sustainability leaders working for a better future in all areas of business and civic life.
We run a series of award-winning training programs, designed to give passionate individuals the agency and ability to create the change they envisage.
Our programs are innovative, immersive, and transformative. They use cutting edge pedagogy and curriculum, all based on a robust best practice and academic framework.
All of our programs cover a mix of the following areas which we believe are key capabilities for leaders of the future:
- Philosophy of leadership
- Leadership for sustainability
- Self enquiry and personal effectiveness
- Values and ethics
- Systems thinking
- Creative and innovative thinking
- Dynamics of change
- Making things happen
- Influencing and enabling others
- Communications and advocacy
We’ve been doing this since 2004, and we are consistently amazed by the results.
We know it works, because our program participants go on to do great work in their personal and professional lives. So far, we’ve helped more than 350 individuals working to create positive change.
We believe passionately in our human potential to live with compassion and connection.
We believe in challenging people to think and feel differently, and to live a life of meaning and purpose.
We believe that truly understanding ourselves, others and the environment around us is a key step towards sustainability – both of ourselves as individuals, and of the world we live in.
We believe in fostering the kind of leadership needed to tackle the complex challenges we face in sustaining the life of all species.
We believe in leadership that is creative, compassionate and courageous. Leadership that comes from the heart and the head, that is insightful, purposeful and playful. Leadership that enables and empowers other leaders to take up the challenge.
We believe that the power of enabling a community of people working for positive environmental and social outcomes cannot be underestimated.
Brian GardnerChair, Board of DirectorsBrian Gardner works as a Change Consultant across a variety of industries, ranging from small Not-for-profits, to large Corporates, and with a wide variety of people, enabling positive, sustainable change. He is interested in cross-cultural and virtual work team performance and engagement, after extensive work experience in the US, Africa, Europe, Australia and Asia Pacific, and is passionate about enabling people to live sustainable lives and develop sustainable careers. Brian has extensive multi-disciplinary management and leadership skills and experience.
Alex GrahamVice Chair, Board of DirectorsAlex has 10 years experience working with business, government and non-government organisations including the Australian Conservation Foundation. She is currently a Principal Program Development Officer with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. Alex is interested in the role that social and individual behaviour change can play in creating a sustainable future and, in her capacity as Honorary Member of Monash University, researches the effectiveness of behaviour change policy interve
Michael McKiterickSecretary, Board of DirectorsMichael McKiterick is a Legal Supervisor at the Sunshine Youth Legal Service. Formerly a Senior Lawyer at PILCH Victoria, Michael has been a solicitor since 2005. He was awarded the Victoria Law Foundation Fellowship in 2011. He is the author of the VLF report on volunteering in community legal centres, and completed the CSL Fellowship Program in 2010.
Melissa FieldTreasurer, Board of DirectorsMelissa is a Chartered Accountant and has an MBA from Melbourne Business School. Much of her professional career has been spent working with entrepreneurial and growing businesses and currently she is a part of the Melbourne team that champions the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards program. Melissa believes that the future of sustainability leadership lies with innovative, successful, entrepreneurial businesses who stay true to their vision – to show that there is a better more sustainable way of doing things.
Jeremy BaskinBoard of DirectorsJeremy has worked on the design, development and delivery of learning programs for sustainable development, having worked with Cambridge University’s Program for Sustainability Leadership. He is an Adjunct Professor at La Trobe University and a Principal Research Fellow on Education for Sustainable Development. Originally from South Africa, Jeremy worked in the trade union and anti-apartheid movement before advising the Mandela government on a range of cross-sectoral development policy issues.
Roland DillonBoard of DirectorsRoland Dillon is an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company, where he works on strategic, operational and organisational issues facing large private and public organisations. Prior to this, Roland worked in environmental policy and regulation as a policy maker and lawyer for several Government agencies. He is passionate about communicating the business case for sustainability and has been involved in LIV's Green Practice Project and the Legal Sector Alliance. He completed the CSL Fellowship Program in 2008.
Linh DoBoard of DirectorsLinh Do has worked within the social change space in and out of Australia for the last five years. She is currently leading the Australian Conservation Foundation's engagement with the general public as their community coordinator. Linh was a founder of OurSay, a project born from her completion of the CSL Fellowship Program in 2009 alongside two fellow classmates. She is also actively engaged within the UN process and is the editor-in-chief of The Verb, a newswire service that focuses on the issues that matter.
Janette O’NeillBoard of DirectorsJanette O'Neill is the Head of Sustainability for NAB. Janette has consulted with companies including Enviros, PwC UK and Shaper Group. Clients have included Accenture, British Telecom, and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Services. She also worked on an internal secondment with PwC to assist the UK Board to CR develop internal CR strategy to support their business service priorities and their first CR Report. She has completed an honours degree in Economics at Monash University.
Katie PahlowBoard of DirectorsKatie Pahlow is Director of Visitor & Community Development for Zoos Victoria. Katie has used her unique combination of talents – spanning zoology, conservation education and business entrepreneurship – to transform Zoos Victoria into a world leader in community education while also driving major improvements across the organisation's commercial operations. Before Zoos Victoria, Katie was a biology teacher and managed the successful business advisory firm that she co-founded.
Matt PerryBoard of DirectorsMatt Perry is Strategic Director of The Centre for Social Impact, and former Partner and co-founder of sustainability communications agency, Republic of Everyone. A seasoned marketing and communications professional, having worked in London, New York and Sydney for agencies including M&C Saatchi, Matt completed CSL's Fellowship Program in 2007. Matt credits the Program as an important step in focusing his work on helping organisations deliver projects with outcomes centred on real social and environmental good.
Kate HarrisChief Executive Officer, Program FacilitatorKate took the reins as CEO of CSL in June 2013, having previously been CSL's Sydney Program Director and Director of Learning and Development. A former business coach, facilitator, and performing artist, she has completed a Master of Arts (Social Ecology) and is passionate about the continued learning and development of both herself and others. Kate works to empower individuals to achieve positive and sustainable change by engaging with their own vision and creativity for sustainability and leadership. Like CSL, Kate is all about passion and potential for the future.
Jason ClarkeFirst Follower, Co-founderJason has been with CSL since the very beginning, acting as a mentor and co-founder to Larissa Brown. A former ad man, teacher, lecturer and stage manager from the tribe of the theatre people, he now runs Minds at Work, a consultancy that "helps people think". He is a provocateur with insight and perspectives on everything from leadership to culture change, problem solving to decision making, creativity to innovation - and he is invaluable in helping our Fellows create a future that works.
David SeigniorLearning and Innovation Director, Intensive Fellowship Program FacilitatorDave is an educator, communicator and facilitator with over 20 years experience in the sustainability sector. His current work is at the forefront of transformative leadership education combining best practice face-to-face facilitation with cutting-edge collaborative online learning. He has previously held roles as a community engagement practitioner, teacher, scriptwriter, performer and media producer. He is currently Vice President of the Sustainability Street Institute and Creative Director of PlayThinkInc; fostering playful thought and thoughtful play. Dave brings a particular interest and expertise in the interplay between creativity, innovation, collaboration and technology and in harnessing the power of story and of play to his work at CSL.
Diana RennerIntensive Fellowship Program FacilitatorDiana has designed and facilitated leadership programs in Australia and overseas, across the social, corporate and government sectors. A former lawyer and refugee centre manager, Diana brings to CSL a passion for building leadership capacity for social impact. She believes that leadership is an activity that anyone can engage in, regardless of position or status. Diana is co-author of a book on ‘Not Knowing’ to be published by LID Publishing, London in May 2014. She is the Director of Not Knowing Lab, helping people develop the skills to lead through uncertainty and complexity. Diana is a graduate of the 'Art and Practice of Leadership Development' at Harvard University. She was Harvard faculty member for the 2013 program.
Jeremy MahLearning for Sustainability, Sydney Fellowship Program FacilitatorWith over 10 years’ experience as a consultant, researcher, communicator, educator and facilitator in the field of sustainability, Jeremy’s experience extends across the corporate, government and education sectors. He has a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing and Japanese) and a Masters of Environmental Management. After completing the Program in 2011, he is now exploring how creative practice and the arts can be used to more effectively engage people in sustainability as a basis for a PhD. He hopes to enable others to build their capacities for change in line with their own values and hopes for the future.
Jen HalldorssonSocial Impact and Alumni, Sydney Fellowship Program AdministratorJen is inspired by people, nature and the connections in between. She has a diverse background in research, sustainable transport, languages, yoga and permaculture; and holds a PhD in materials science and nanotechnology. Having completed the Fellowship Program in 2011, Jen loves empowering others as change-makers, capable of bringing about their own visions of a sustainable, socially-just future. She delights in seeing people grow and flourish through operating from their heart, in line with their passions and values.
Matt WickingMelbourne Fellowship Program FacilitatorFor the past decade, Matt has worked as a sustainability consultant and facilitator specialising in change, strategy and communication. He’s worked with organisations and individuals from all sectors – business, government, the arts, education, science and more – helping them to green their practice, embrace sustainability and communicate clearly. He has a Masters of Environment, plus degrees in Psychology and Commerce. Matt has a particular interest in working with passionate people, and in applying his intellect and intuition equally in what he does.
Alesha YounghusbandOperations, Melbourne Fellowship Program Administrator, FacilitatorAlesha transitioned to the sustainability field from film and video production after being inspired by the the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?, and has since been committed to building a career focused on securing a safe climate for all species and all generations. She has extensive experience in personal and professional development, with a focus on leadership, team management and teamwork skills and has worked with community groups, universities, NGOs, government and business. Alesha holds Bachelor Degrees in Media Arts (Film and Video) and Social Science (Environment).
Sandi MiddletonProgram Manager and Facilitator, Regional Environmental Leaders ProgramSandi is a professional and creative facilitator, coach and program manager with a Bachelor in Science and over 10 years experience working in government, community and private sectors. She has extensive experience in leadership training, collaborative facilitation, adult education, individual and group coaching of all levels of government and community sectors, program management, and strategic planning. She is skilled in building capacity in emerging leaders, stakeholders consultation and relationship management, innovative program design and implementation, organising events and workshops and writing reports.
Lara McPhersonCommunications and PartnershipsLara’s background is centred on content marketing, community engagement, digital communications and business strategy. Having spent 5 years working on sustainability in the fashion sector, her more recent work is focused on economics, ethics and systems. She is a 2011 CSL Alumna, holds a Bachelor of Arts (French), is completing a Master of Commerce and lectures in Ethical Business. A part-time farmer and committed yogi, Lara brings a passion for health and wellness, personal sustainability and authentic creative process to her work at CSL.
Greer AllanMarketing and Events SupportGreer's passion and commitment to sustainability began as a teenager while walking her dog. Inspired by the complexity of nature, Greer is also motivated by the ingenuity and cooperation of human beings. She graduated from University of Newcastle with a Bachelor of Development Studies (Environmental Sustainability) and a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) in 2009. Greer has stitched her passion for the environment and social justice into work for the government, not-for-profit and private sectors. She has worked as a consultant, campaigner, educator, event producer, artist, and pedal power engineer in recent years.
Vivien PollnowMarketing and Events Support, Operations Support