Bright Green Learning Academy: Facilitating Collaboration and Creating Change

March 6, 2017

For many years we have been privileged to count Gillian Martin Mehers among the senior associates in our network. But Gillian actually spends most of her time running her own business, Bright Green Learning, which provides excellent facilitation and training services focused on the art of facilitation and group process design. They have a new Academy, a new website … but let’s let Gillian tell you herself! 

– Alan AtKisson

Bright Green Learning Academy: Facilitating Collaboration and Creating Change

A couple of years ago, on the shores of Lake Balaton, the annual meeting of the Balaton Group—a community of systems thinkers, scientists, and practitioners working on sustainability issues—met for a focused discussion on the Sustainable Development Goals; in particular, to discuss how the goals can help advance sustainability.

We marveled at the breadth of the 17 goals, encompassing the interconnected threads of the system in which we all live and work, and bringing together what might be perceived as, or become, the siloed communities working on clean water, sustainable cities, clean energy, gender equality…  What brings everything together is espoused by Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals. This goal talks about the multi-stakeholder partnerships that need to be in place in order to achieve the goals—and partnerships don’t happen by magic.

During that meeting we had a powerful afternoon workshop centered around the leadership needed for advancing sustainability. Together, we identified the skills we feel leaders need to have or develop in order to be successful in their sustainability work. Among those identified was a whole basket of process skills which included partnership building, dialogue facilitation, collaboration facilitation, and more.

The workshop also marked the inception of the idea that became Bright Green Learning Academy, which began offering training services in 2016. Through a modular training programme consisting of 25 customizable learning modules, Bright Green Learning Academy helps future and practicing sustainability leaders build mastery over collaborative process design and delivery skills.

Based on the work in this field by the Geneva-based social enterprise Bright Green Learning, Elisabeth “Lizzie” Crudgington and I have worked with a wide range of sustainability and development organizations and individuals for over a decade, helping to design and lead collaborative learning processes, multi-stakeholder dialogues, co-create action planning, collective visioning, and other partnership building initiatives.

We incorporate a wide range of interactive methodologies, as well as the tools of systems thinking, gaming, innovative group discussion techniques, and more in our work and in the Academy learning modules.

We also offer a Certificate Programme and Premium Programme (including Certificate) that provide learners with access to all of our learning modules within a particular time frame.

Training is currently offered in the Geneva-Switzerland area for individuals and teams, and can be customized for in-house delivery. Upcoming learning modules include:

  • Design: Interactive Workshops at Large Conferences / Congresses; Working with Groups of All Sizes
  • Specialty: Working with Multicultural Groups
  • Design: Multi-stakeholder Consultation Processes
  • Specialty: Integrating Interactive, Experiential Learning Games in Meetings to Help Communicate Messages (and have fun)
  • Specialty: Communicating Complex Challenges using Tools from Systems Thinking

To learn more about us, visit, and be sure to sign up for our newsletter and blog at the bottom of the home page.

Would you like to join us for a learning module? Visit to view upcoming modules and sign up. We are happy to offer a 10% discount—just enter the code bglafriends during online registration.


– Gillian Martin Mehers, Managing Director and Head of Learning at Bright Green Learning Academy

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