Gillian Martin Mehers

Gillian is a learning and capacity development practitioner working within the global sustainability community for 20 years. She is currently Founding Director at Bright Green Learning (Atadore SARL). Gillian’s expertise is in creating dynamic experiential learning environments, facilitating productive multi-stakeholder dialogue processes, interactive learning design, social media applications for communication and learning, and innovative curriculum and training materials development.

She was formerly the Head of Learning and Leadership at IUCN – the International Union for Conservation of Nature – which is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental network. Working from IUCN’s international headquarters outside Geneva, Gillian lead the team that designed and delivered a wide variety of formal and informal learning opportunities for IUCN teams and partners, focused on process and leadership skills development for greatest impact of IUCN’s sustainability work. Gillian was also the lead Process Facilitator in IUCN’s organizational development and change process, which focused on strengthening organizational effectiveness.

Prior to IUCN, Gillian was the Director of Capacity Development at LEAD International (Leadership for Environment and Development) in LEAD’s London Headquarters. There she developed LEAD’s signature capacity development methodology and portfolio of leadership skills. She also designed and implemented LEAD’s International Training curriculum for seven years with a global team of trainers. During her time with LEAD, she collaborated with the British Council InterAction Leadership Programme in Africa on curriculum design, developing the training-of-facilitator programme, and working with a team to train the first cohort of national facilitators from 18 countries in Africa.

Before LEAD she was a capacity development Programme Manager at the International Academy of the Environment (IAE) in Geneva where she ran a five-year capacity development programme for multi-stakeholder teams in environmental hot spots in the Middle East and North Africa with GTZ, and the World Bank and UNDP’s Mediterranean Environmental Technical Assistance Programme.

Gillian is a Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF), a leadership skills trainer, and has developed and implemented training-of-trainers activities internationally. With a particular passion for working interculturally, she is the co-author of Training Across Cultures: A Handbook for Trainers and Facilitators Working Around the World, and has worked in this capacity in over 45 countries, from Armenia to Zambia. She has recently completed a book that she co-authored with Dennis Meadows and Linda Booth Sweeney titled, The Systems Thinking Playbook for Climate Change, produced with support from GTZ (published in 2012, with the second edition in 2015). She is a blogger for Bright Green Learning: You Learn Something New Every Day ( This blog focuses on tips and tools for institutional learning and personal effectiveness, particularly focused on the sustainable development community.