The Institute for Sustainable Leadership uses the science and practice of Sustainable Leadership to enable organisations to achieve high performance while caring for the environment and society.

Sustainable leadership

Sustainable Leadership embraces those behaviours, practices and systems that create enduring value for all organisational stakeholders including investors, the environment, other species, future generations and the community.

Highly successful global companies like Munich Reinsurance, Infineon Technologies and BMW have adopted Sustainable Leadership practices, as do many SMEs worldwide as it helps them to achieve the high performance they desire.

Research and practice

ISL supports leaders by using our knowledge that comes from observing successful business practice and engaging in original research.

With a strong practical orientation, we offer models and frameworks that have been developed from observations of best practice organisations based in different parts of the world.

The principles of Sustainable Leadership are well supported by evidence gathered by an international network of affiliated university collaborators.

Honeybee versus Locust leadership analogy

Honeybee leadership adopts a long-term, collaborative and inclusive approach. This is proving to be a more profitable, sustainable and effective way of running organisations than the prevailing “Locust” leadership philosophy.

Locust leadership has one purpose – to generate a continuous stream of short-term returns for its shareholders regardless of the impact on employees, society or the environment.
This is simply not sustainable.


Gayle Avery and Harald Bergsteiner are the founding directors of the Institute for Sustainable Leadership. Both are specialist researchers and educators in sustainable leadership.

Dr Gayle C. Avery
Dr Gayle C. AveryFounder
Specialising in leadership and creating sustainable enterprises, Gayle Avery advises senior managers from a wide range of national and international corporate and non-profit clients.

As a very experienced corporate and executive educator, Gayle brings extensive global experience in business, government and academe. She has been academic leader on numerous study tours to visit European enterprises to examine sustainable leadership practices first hand.

Author of many papers and books on leadership, she is honorary professor at Macquarie University Business School, and visiting professor at leading international business schools.

In Thailand she has advised the Crown Property Bureau on sustainable leadership and NIDA (National Institute for Development Administration) on leadership in sustainable and community development.

Dr. Harald Bergsteiner
Dr. Harald BergsteinerFounder
Born in Germany and educated in Australia, Harry is a sought-after thought leader who specialises in sustainable leadership and country competitiveness.

His research has shown that countries that adopt sustainable practices enjoy superior performance on economic, social and environmental criteria.

Using additional skills from his earlier background in architecture and urban management, Harry provides insights into leadership throughout an organisation using graphical modelling in ways that lead to action. One example of this came from Harry’s process model explaining Thailand’s Sufficiency Economy Philosophy that executives, teachers and researchers were able to use.

With a PhD from Macquarie University in Sydney, Harry has been adjunct and honorary professors at Macquarie Graduate School of Management and the Australian Catholic University. He is author of many books and papers, study tour leader and experienced advisor to government and the private sector.


Licensed Practitioners

Brigid Asquith-Hunt
Brigid Asquith-HuntLicensed Practitioner
Brigid’s greatest value is partnering with organisations, from a range of industries, to bring clarity & focus, and to help them adapt & thrive in an ever-changing environment.

Her work with clients often starts with a collaborative process to sharpen the organisation’s vision and purpose. From there she helps facilitate the alignment of strategy, capability and proposition to that vision and purpose.

Brigid’s strength is helping organisations identify and implement strategies to: drive opportunities and growth; strengthen the delivery of value; forge stronger relationships; enhance the client experience; improve productivity; deliver on sustainability outcomes; motivate, empower and energise a team, elevating their effectiveness and engagement.

Brigid’s consulting services leverage her depth of experience across business strategy & growth, learning & development, practice management and client relationship management, as well as her strengths in communication, collaboration and facilitation.

Brigid is passionate about organisations consciously and sustainably achieving great outcomes for the long-term benefits of shareholders, employees, clients, community and the environment. Brigid supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a blue print for future prosperity and actively seeks opportunities to contribute to philanthropic and social enterprise ventures.

Brigid has a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management from MGSM (now Macquarie Business School). Brigid is an Associate of CPA Australia and a Member of the Australian Institute Company Directors. Brigid is also an accredited ‘Heartstyles’ Associate and an Advanced Practitioner of the Institute for Sustainable Leadership.

Karen Beck
Karen BeckLicensed Practitioner
Karen’s main priority is to form partnerships with organisations interested in developing a more sustainable future for their organisation, and society as a whole.

Bringing extensive experience from the construction industry, Karen has honed her expertise in innovation and stakeholder engagement in the aged care, education, residential, commercial and hospitality sectors.

She holds a Bachelor of Applied Science, a Master of Architecture and is a Certified Practitioner in Sustainable Leadership.

Maria Lorenzo
Maria LorenzoLicensed Practitioner
Maria is a globally experienced professional with double Masters degrees in International Relations and Translations from Macquarie University.

Born in Spain, she has developed her professional career world-wide, specialising in cross-cultural awareness, adult education, and purposeful communication with a particular focus on internationalisation.

Maria brings extensive experience in developing learning programs for international teams, customised training, and leadership workshops designed to foster sustainable leadership across all levels of an enterprise.

With her expertise in stakeholder relations and effective communication, honed through her work in the educational travel industry, the Spanish and LOTE language localisation sector, and the university community in Australia and the US, Maria is committed to delivering high-quality consulting and other services to help executives drive their organisations towards greater success.

Having achieved the level of Certified Practitioner in Sustainable Leadership, she is currently completing her Advanced Practitioner Licence to become a recognised consultant at the Institute for Sustainable Leadership.

Photographic acknowledgement
Kind thanks to Olga Mirkina, Harry Bergsteiner, Alan McDonald, iStock, Unsplash and Pixabay for use of images on this web site.