Heather

Heather was born and raised in Michigan, United States. Her father is a Mestizo immigrant from Colombia and her mother’s people colonised what is now the United States in the 1600s from Norfolk, England. Between 2003 and 2020, Heather lived and worked in England. She now lives in a small market town near Bogotá, called Tenjo, in Colombia with her 15-year old daughter-ex-activist.

Heather’s background includes being an economics lecturer, an interfaith minister of spiritual counselling, founder of a refugee and asylum seeker organisation in England, project coordinator for Education for Sustainable Development in UK universities, a hospice volunteer, founder of a Transition Town in England, trainer for Extinction Rebellion International and UK, a volunteer coordinator for an AIDS organisation, and communications coordinator for Deep Adaptation Forum. She considers herself a communitarian-anarchist, having seen that states are not responding appropriately to the unfolding crises over the centuries, and that oppression is at the root.

Specialty Areas

Colonial Patterns: Recognising common colonial (white supremacy culture) patterns that show up in organisations, movements, relationships – and exploring their antidotes.

Influencing Others: Exploring how to use language and motivation that influences people from where they are now to an attitude of humility and curiosity that leads us to a world where we learn to take care of one another and keep each other as safe as possible. (Possible starting points include people in: multinationals, charities, activist movements… as well as parents, educators, and academics.)

Convergent Facilitation: Learning a tool that allows for better collaborative decisionmaking upfront in a way that finds a solution that works for everyone.

Defining Our Role: How do we best leverage our circles of influence and our own expertise and passion from a place of our own political education and connections in community?

Exploring inquiries like...

How do I interrupt racism and colonialist attitudes in my circles?

How might I introduce more curiosity and humility around me and in me?

What should I do with my life?

How do I inspire others to do the necessary political work?

Why is this work important, when the current crises are so urgent?

How do I respond to this new work strategy in my organisation, when I know it is so off-track?

What are ways I can cope with, and strategise around, oppression directed at me??

Book a session

Book at least one day in advance with the following information:

any particular topic or question you wish to explore (optional), and

the amount in whichever currency that you wish to donate based on your ability and willingness.

Make payment via Paypal.

Upon receipt of payment, Heather will send across a calendar invite with a Zoom link.

Please attend at the booked time.

Support for people marginalised by Western societies: The emotional labour of people marginalised by Western society required in order to interact in Western societies and/or with Western organisations is immense. I support people in self-empathy and strategising for how to interrupt the patterns that cause the harm.

To be confirmed

Specialty Areas

Exploring inquiries like...

Book a session

Lavinia

After working 13 years in corporate sustainability in the global consumer product sphere with a focus on fashion, transitioning from roles rooted in compliance and auditing, Lavinia started to “break-up” with the industry in late 2021. She has grappled and is still grappling with her own challenges, recognizing the limitations of the traditional sustainability narrative. She witnessed the pitfalls of engaging in what she refers to as “stewardship superiority”; during her years of advising farming communities, textile factories and fashion brands and retailers around the world.

Through her personal journey, she has come to understand the importance of social justice and environmental justice, embarking on a journey of questioning power structures and participating in Possible Future’s intro course on Decolonial Sustainability. She now works as a freelancer, dedicated to diverse projects focused on social justice issues in the textile sector while still contributing to strategies to work within planetary boundaries, circularity, and materiality efforts for carefully selected clients.

Her intention is to distance herself from the corporate sustainability world and she looks for community, radical disruptions and existing knowledge, because the solutions are already there.

Specialty Areas

Lavinia offers Consultancy/Co-Creation & Mentoring in the realm of Elevating Beyond-Sustaina-Bullshit Together

Decoding Greenwashing Stategies: With a critical and provocative approach, I offer guidance in unveiling oversimplification and lies behind sustainability claims.

Project follow-up: In my commitment to dedicated project follow-up, my aim is to connect and provide connection-thinking with networks of grassroots organizations, NGOs, and businesses that share a collective sense of questioning power structures.

Feedback Mechanisms: I prioritize transparent and responsive feedback loops, facilitating continuous adjustment and fostering a culture of questioning within the initiatives I engage with.

Clarifications on the Limits of Certifications & Standards: I support with navigating through the intricacies of certifications and standards, providing guidance and clarity on their limitations to stop the romanticization of this field.

Exploring inquiries like...

“As I confront the pervasive issue of greenwashing in my sector, I’m increasingly skeptical about the authenticity of sustainability claims. How can I critically decode and expose greenwashing tactics employed by businesses?”

“I work extensively with certifications and standards in my role, but I often find it challenging to discern their limitations and transform them into meaningful opportunities for ethical enhancement. How can I gain a clearer understanding of these constraints and/or is it even possible to apply them for system change?”

Book a session

Book a 60 or 90-minute session for you or your crew with Lavinia by contacting her via email at lavinia.muth@posteo.de. Lavinia specializes in greenwashing, religions of consumption, and corporate sustainability, with a specific focus on producing industries (consumer products). She offers support to explore and tackle problems, providing insights for systems thinking and interdependence, social justice, fair distribution, environmental stewardship, and respect for limits.

Supply Web Mapping: My approach to supply webs goes beyond traditional supply chains, offering a more holistic understanding to identify opportunities for ethical enhancement.

Hot Spot Analyses: I engage in hot spot analyses to pinpoint critical intervention areas within supply webs, utilizing a network of grassroots organizations, NGOs, and businesses.

In the mentoring realm, I guide individuals and groups toward what might come next.

“I’m passionate about promoting radicality within my company, but motivating colleagues for action and changing ingrained mindsets seems like an uphill battle. How can I become an effective activist within the corporate structure? Who might be my allies to change the organizational culture?”

These sessions are tailored for anyone interested. Provide context about your situation, what prompted you to reach out, and your goals for the sessions, including any language constraints or other requests. Lavinia offers coaching in English, Spanish and German.

Different fees are offered according to what is possible, from community contributions (pay-what-you-can) to student-, standard-, and professional tiers. Lavinia will organize calendar invites with a Zoom link for the sessions.

Vidhya

My name is Vidhya Shanker, and I’m an interdependent, intersectional, and interdisciplinary evaluation practitioner, scholar, organiser, and activist. I’m (not uniquely) the product of many overlapping, intersecting, and sometimes conflicting personal, pedagogical, professional, and political forces.

I’ve spent the last 20 years sustaining my family and a larger community by selling my intellectual labour — research/ evaluation services and knowledge products — to organisations and governments within the nonprofit/ nongovernmental industrial complex. I started my own practice by necessity, upon being fired at the height of COVID and in the midst of the 2020 uprisings because my last employer objected to my public discussion of persistent racial stratification — demographic, ideological, and epistemological whiteness and White supremacy — in, through, and around evaluation.

Specialty Areas

I won’t provide you with any magic methods, dripping with “culture”, because methods cannot be truly “decolonized” if they are being applied within colonial structures—which they would be for the immediate future. They simply provide a distraction, anaesthetic, or intoxicant. To co-create our POSSIBLE long-term future, though, I can offer reflexive praxis (theory, action, dialogue) around the following:

Deconstructing Taken-for-Granted Assumptions and Norms Regarding Research/ Evaluation and Project Management

Concepts, language, and practices from research and evaluation that will help you to use terms that may have currency within your field (buzz words) intentionally—knowing where they come from, who came up with them, and why—and carefully. These may include “mission,” “goals,” “SWOT analysis,” “impact,” “cost-benefit analysis,” “ROI,” “mixed methods,” “qualitative data,” “cultural competence,” “equity,” etc.

History, context, and citations that you can use to argue for or against particular approaches with your colleagues and to push back against managers and funders who require particular approaches, methodologies, standards of evidence, timelines, budgets, and ways to organise labour.

Deconstructing Imperialism/ Coloniality/ Racial and Gendered Capitalism (including Philanthropy & International Aid) in Relation to Research & Evaluation

  • The calculus underlying endowment investments

  • Racial formation theory, dimensions of white supremacy, and faces of oppression

  • Intersectionality and data disaggregation

  • Nested levels of expected change and units of analysis

Life-Affirming Bodies of Knowledge/ Ways of Knowing to Support Resistance/ Emancipatory Work and Accountability

  • Structures and processes for organising work/ time/ money in ways that support shared decision making, shared profit/ benefit, and shared labour.

  • Nonviolent communication, including bodily and sensory awareness and contemplative and reflective practice.

  • Relational spiritual and ethical traditions (e.g., Buddhism, Ubuntu).

  • Abolitionism, transformative justice, community organising, mutual aid, cooperative economics, and generative networks.

  • Permaculture and systems thinking.

Exploring inquiries like...

How to conduct research to show a problem in ways that don’t reinforce unhelpful tropes?

How to measure results and wield data/ metrics/ KPIs/ etc. to show “impact” (and lack thereof) to hold ourselves and others accountable?

Book a session

To engage in coaching with me, please reflect on whatever resources you do have available and whatever you may owe. Where/ who do those resources and debts come from? Consider the many types of capital that you may have gained or may be making up for/ paying back.

How to democratise knowledge production and honour different ways of knowing?

I have payment options ranging from $85 USD to $485 USD for 45 minutes of coaching + a post-session reflection and summary of resources. The sliding scale also reflects my preference for relationality rather than transactional and extractive interaction.

My first partnership as an interdependent consultant led to a report on harm and the M&E cycle. In response to my experience in the field, I founded The May 13 Group, which is an emerging ecosystem — a cooperative, solidarity economy — oriented toward and energised by epistemic healing and wholeness. The May 13 Group draws from my doctoral research and builds on the years of unpaid field-changing organising and activist work that I have engaged in within the discipline, occupation, and practice of evaluation.

Like probably all of us, I’m what postcolonial theory calls a hybrid. I have a Master’s degree in Public Affairs, concentrating in Nonprofit Management, which I supplemented with a self-designed secondary concentration in Race, Class & Gender in Global Perspective because the program included no coursework that addressed systems of oppression. My undergraduate degrees are in fine arts and art history. I bring my arts background with me wherever I go. It is a central thread of my identity, as is my lifelong fascination with the interconnections among maths, science, spirituality, art, and social/ cultural/ economic/ political systems.

Anti-colonial, Anti-capitalist, Abolitionist Approaches to Support Research/ Evaluation as part of Resistance/ Emancipation Efforts

  • Concepts, language, and practices derived from critical theories and traditions of resistance/ emancipation that will support you in thinking, talking about/ justifying, and doing research as well as measurement/ evaluation/ “accountability” in ways that embody mutuality and that build collective power among those suffering at the intersection of many systems of oppression.

  • Alternative/ expansive approaches to situation analysis, program design, implementation, project management, and ongoing critical reflection, dialogue, and accountability.

  • Writing requests for proposals/ requests for qualifications/ terms of reference/ scopes of work, contracts, consent forms, etc. differently, as a commissioner of research/ evaluation.

  • Responding to the above documents differently, as a practitioner of research/ evaluation or as an organisation whose work is being researched/ evaluated.

If you are considering coaching with me, please email me (vidhya@whyisevaluationsowhite.info, with the subject “Possible Futures Decolonizing Sustainability Course Coaching Inquiry”). I will share more information for you to decide which payment option is appropriate for you, schedule, and pay. Once you’ve scheduled and paid, I will send you a calendar invitation with call information.
After our coaching call, I will send you a summary of our discussion, with notes/ resources, and a tool for reflection that can serve as the basis for any future calls with me and/or others.