Partners and collaborators

UK partners



Fiona Shaw is an award-winning copywriter and publisher, and director of Wordscapes. She creates our web content, writes our blogs and Wordscapes publishes our resource material. Fiona specialises in SEO-based copy for web and tourism marketing, has published a string of books and is the chair of Open Culture.

Claire Stringer and colleagues

We collaborate frequently with a group of visual minuters, integrating their work into training, teambuilding and strategy days where required.
They have also provided illustrations for some of our journals, including How to be More Awesome, and the upcoming Number One. The team will also be illustrating the Young Person’s Journal for the Canal and River Trust, to be published in July 2017.

Mike Hogan


Mike is a trainer, a coach, and a consultant. He specialises in ‘systems psychodynamic’ thinking and how it operates in organisations, offering a unique way of understanding personal, interpersonal, and wider systemic patterns of behaviour. It’s an approach particularly unusual in consultancy because it develops co-produced solutions; the consultant acts more in the role of a mirror rather than an expert.

Mike works with Appreciating People in Liverpool, hosting AI training and collaborating on joint work. His approach draws on and complements the AI approach, focusing on strengths, potential, and current issues that are seen as problems.

He coaches individuals and teams, consulting through reflective practice. He runs training courses on developmental supervision – enabling team leaders to help members to improve their understanding of what is going on and why.

Sue McGavin

Sue McGavin is a founder and CEO at Citizen Engagement CIC, specialising in supporting organisations to make positive differences in their lives, communities and businesses.

Sue brings 30 years’ experience to share with Appreciating People: in housing, regeneration and the voluntary sector. She has held a senior position at Supporting People for 12 years, commissioning and managing neighbourhoods for a large West Midlands metropolitan local authority, as well as spending five years working with inner city housing. Some of Sue’s specialties include practical strengths-based development, community engagement, action research, asset transfer, social enterprise and creative collaboration.

Sue is a trustee of Summit House Support, and is project lead for Shropshire and Telford Young Advisors. She is a mentor for the Apni Zaroorat Community Network – a charity working with Asian women and families in the West Midlands – that has recently been honoured with the Queen’s Award for their work in the community.

  • If you can walk, you can dance; and if you can talk, you can sing
    a saying from Zimbabwe
  • A good neighbourhood is a wonderful place to grow up in.
    Colin Ward
  • Taith

    Taith shares our vision of support and development based on shared action plans and involvement from the whole organisation. Welsh for ‘journey’, Taith helps both individuals and organisations develop their capacity for continuous improvement.


    We’ve established a multi-lingual partnership, SparksWork, with our colleagues in Spain, Italy and Belgium, which shares practice and identifies and delivers inlternational projects. Our training materials have also been translated into Spanish, with a French translation pending.

    International partners

    Anita Sheehan


    Benelux region

    Anita Sheehan is passionate about helping people and organisations detect what makes them unique and fantastic and build on those insights. She is a trained coach and Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator.

    She is of German origin and has lived in the United States, Poland, Tunisia, and most recently in Brussels, Belgium. She speaks German, English, French, Dutch and combines her multi-cultural experience with coaching and organisational practice.

    Besides coaching and organisational facilitation, she gives workshops on Appreciative Living, based on Jackie Kelm’s book The Joy of Appreciative Living and on conflict management. Her clients include individuals as well as non-profit and for-profit organisations.

    In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, jogging, reading, cooking, working with colours.

    Her role with Appreciating People consists of exchanging experiences and distributing AP material throughout the Benelux region. She is also determined to help create greater awareness of strength-based approaches in society by connecting to and co-creating with other Appreciative Inquiry and strength-based practitioners throughout Europe.



  • It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit…
    Harry S. Truman
  • Inspiring Partners

    Spain (and Spanish-speaking markets)

    Inspiring Partners are experts in organisational development. Their work focuses on contexts that broaden perspectives, encouraging the talent within an organisation to innovate and act successfully, creating new opportunities for the organisation. Their work is based on strategies with a sustainable impact, focusing on people, a purpose and a plan.

    Inspiring Partners’ work recognises the importance of a collective vision in a successful action plan. Their work helps shape a vision so motivating that challenges become both aspirational and achievable.

    Their work facilitates the discovery of common areas for people, strengthening ties by creating working groups and learning communities. They help broaden perspectives by creating a clear vision that mobilises resources individually and collectively; they also support planning by promoting skills and attitudes that enable continuous learning, encouraging  innovation and successful action.



  • With us, everything you say can be used to your advantage…
  • Francesca Oliva



    Francesca Oliva is a social and work psychologist, working as a consultant and management trainer and facilitator. She has worked for a number of consulting companies within leadership and organisational development and has founded two companies. Her focus is on the development of people and organisations, helping them find new ways to work, communicate, engage and participate. As a counsellor and coach, she helps people deal with challenges and develop their strengths, working across a range of sectors, private, not-for-profit and public companies.

    Francesca works with AP as their Italian partner in the Grundtvig Project ‘Sharing strengths, developing communities –promoting strength-based learning across societies for the future’. She is also the Italian distributor of AP training products, and will be the Italian editor of Appreciating People’s AI materials. She also shares AP’s belief in the potential of positive change using appreciative and strength-based approaches, and enhancing resources, capacity and resilience in both individuals and organisations.



  • We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring. Will be to arrive where we started. And know the place for the first time…
    T.S. Eliot
  • Pieter R. van der Merwe

    Pieter is a founding director of GoodNews24Org, and a presenter at the World AI conference in South Africa. He has been employed at Liberty for the past 15 years and lectures at the University of South Africa in the application of Behavioural Economics. He also speaks about Organisational Behaviour and Company Analysis and Strategy on the South African Business School circuit, and holds Masters Degrees in Industrial Psychology, Theology, and Philosophy, with an MBA from Bond University, Australia.

    Currently, he is busy working on his doctorate in supra-temporal economic decision-making and is a registered psychologist with the HPCSA. Pieter specialises in creating executive and other processing spaces for individuals and groups; he loves languages, African metaphors and idioms.

    Pieter is our agent South African agent for Appreciating People resources, and sells our training materials from his website.

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