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Testing Questions For ‘Genuine’ Progress and Improvement
by Stuart B. Hill



  • Does it support: empowerment, awareness, creative visioning, values clarification, acquisition of essential literacies and competencies, responsibility, wellbeing and health maintenance, vitality and spontaneity (building & maintaining personal capital – personal sustainability)?

  • Does it support: caring, loving, responsible, mutualistic, negentropic relationships with diverse others (valuing equity & social justice), other species, place and planet (home & ecosystem maintenance)?

  • Does it support: positive total life-cycle personal development and change?


  • Does it support: accessible, collaborative, responsible, creative, celebrational, life- promoting community and political structures and functions (building & maintaining social capital – cultural [including economic] sustainability)?

  • Does it support: the valuing of ‘functional’ high cultural diversity and mutualistic relationships?

  • Does it support: positive cultural development and co-evolutionary change?


  • Does it support: effective ecosystems functioning (building & maintaining natural capital -- ecological sustainability)?
  • Does it support: ‘functional’high biodiversity, and prioritised use and conservation of resources?

  • Does it support: positive ecosystem development and co-evolutionary change?


  • Does it support: proactive (vs. reactive), design/redesign (vs. efficiency & substitution) and small meaningful collaborative initiatives that together you can guarantee to carry through to completion (vs. heroic, Olympic-scale, exclusive, high risk ones) and their public celebration at each stage -- to facilitate their spread -- thereby making wellbeing and environmental caring ‘contagious’?
  • Does it focus on: key opportunities and windows for change (pre-existing change ‘moments’)?
  • Does it explain: how it will effectively monitor and evaluate its progress (broad, long-term, as well as specific & short-term) by identifying and using integrator indicatorsand by being attentive to all feedback and outcomes (& redesigning future actions & initiatives accordingly)?


The Author

Stuart B. Hill

Professor Stuart B. Hill is committed to working for change that improves ecological sustainability, community and personal wellbeing, and our psychosocial co-evolution. He is critical of the still dominant tinkering (shallow) responses to problems, as well as their endless measurement, and is a tireless campaigner for the proactive, fundamental (deep) redesign of our lifestyles, our institutional structures and processes, our managed ecosystems and our technologies. His background in ecology, soil biology, entomology, agriculture, psychotherapy, education, policy development and international development, and his experience of working with change, have enabled him to be an effective facilitator in complex situations that demand both collaboration across difference and a long-term transformative and co-evolutionary approach to situation improvement. As this is a focus of social ecology, he is currently in a euphoric state as a member of a dynamic learning and action community (of over 300 students and staff: [in 2000 when the first version of this article was written]) with overlapping values and mutually supportive projects.  Direct enquiries about the Social Ecology degree programs at the University of Western Sydney to School of Education, UWS-Kingswood Campus, Locked Bag 17971, Penrith South DC, NSW 1797, Australia. Phone: 61(0)2 4736-0334. Fax: - 0400.  Email:

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Copyright 2009 by Stuart B. Hill. All rights reserved.

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