About

The story, the values, the awards and mostly the team

Enabling innovative thinking through best practice stakeholder dialogue

Our Awards

We are a small company, but we achieve a lot! We have high standards and take great pride in the fantastic feedback we get from participants and sponsoring organisations.

As well as fantastic feedback, the awards we’ve won prove that our methods really are effective and leave a positive impact. Many of the awards recognise the work we have done as a company, but our director Diana Pound has also received some accolades as an individual.

dialogue matters awards timeline

Meet our team

If you have a stakeholder project you need assistance with or need facilitation training, just get in touch!

The Dialogue Matters Team is small but highly experienced and award winning. In addition to the core team, we draw on the knowledge and expertise of a range of associates as and when a project requires.

Diana Pound (BSc, MSc, FCIEEM, CEnv)

Director: Diana steers the Dialogue Matters ship by drawing upon over 20 years of experience in stakeholder dialogue within the environmental sector.

Joel Pound (BSc)

Deputy Director: Joel has worked full-time at Dialogue Matters for over 6 years and spent 3 of those years as Deputy Director. He’s an accomplished lead facilitator, trainer, and project lead.

Ross Freeman (BA, MSc)

Project & Team Manager: Ross combines his 10 years of management experience with his knowledge of sustainability to lead excellent stakeholder dialogue processes and training events.

Mitchell Rae (BSc, MSc)

Project Officer: With degrees in Psychology and Conservation Biology, Mitchell considers issues holistically. He uses his varied skillset to manage projects and produce outstanding outputs.

Bryony Pound

Associate: With a BSc in Psychology and MSc in Environmental Psychology, Bryony applies her knowledge and skills to help secure better futures for people and the environment they care about.

Zoe Bullivant (BSc, MSc)

Stakeholder Dialogue Coordinator:

New employee

Personal Assistant & Office Manager: Watch this space! We are currently recruiting for this position.

Kathryn Soares

Associate: Kathryn is an internationally experienced environmental scientist and has built an excellent reputation as a facilitator of principled negotiation, stakeholder dialogue and consensus building.

Lucy Armitage

Associate: Lucy began working with Dialogue Matters in 2006. As an associate, she leads the delivery of training and workshops. She is a confident facilitators of complex and contentious stakeholder dialogue.

Lisa Chilton

Associate: Lisa is an accomplished facilitator and engagement specialist with extensive marine environment experience. She has worked across various sectors and at local and national levels for over 20 years.

Christiane Vallury-Nitsch

Associate: Chrissie has worked as a field geologist in the field of sustainable mountain development and has undertaken a PhD in land use visions for rural Scotland.

Sassy 

Well-being Officer: With a pe-digree in herding and psychology, Sassy ensure the well-being of the DM team. She encourages affection, mindfulness and spending time outdoors.

How Dialogue Matters began

In the 1990s Diana was charged with managing one of the first European Marine Sites in the UK. At this time, authorities were challenging the site’s management and threatening legal action. Diana responded to this tension and conflict by commissioning a consensus building process. The process allowed for honest discussion and succeeded in a progressive outcome, without the need for any expensive legal battles.

Following this success, Diana did some further training, specifically in enabling environmental stakeholder dialogue, before setting up Dialogue Matters in 2000.

By 2003 Diana normalised the company and made it what it is today.

What we are today

We have designed and facilitated over 100 Stakeholder Dialogue processes in environmental management cases and trained over 2000 people in how to run their own effective participation processes. Our work is diverse, and has included guiding communities through local development challenges, helping stakeholders find agreement in integrated natural resource management, encouraging researchers to share and co-produce knowledge, and aiding international organisations in policy development.

Our values

Encouraging: We don’t come into projects as top-down experts. Instead we enable people to share knowledge and ideas.

Constructive: We help people to focus on what is working well and use that as a foundation for establishing what else needs to happen.

Collaborative: We encourage full co-production, which means environmental professionals work with communities and other stakeholders; sharing the responsibility to both plan and implement change.

Holistic: We take an ‘integrated systems thinking’ approach which looks at the big picture.

Cutting-edge: We keep on the front foot of best practice through our own innovation and through working with people who are leaders in their field.

Productive: We help people share understanding and build consensus – not weak compromise – about mutually acceptable and sustainable ways forward.

Davis Mason
National Trust of England
LIFE Project Manager

There has definitely been a shift in people’s perceptions and attitudes to what we are trying to achieve. Also from here an appreciation of the value of this process. Listening to people, allowing them to be heard and have a real input into the decisions we are taking and information we are putting out has generated a positive feeling from those involved.

Steve Avery
New forest National Park
Director of Strategy and Planning

I would whole-heartedly recommend them to anyone seeking to resolve conflict and to better understand different viewpoints.

Mark Reed
Aberdeen Centre for Environmental Sustainability
Senior Lecturer

I just wanted to thank you for all your hard work and the amazing job you did under a very challenging brief! I couldn’t have wished for things to go better but more than anything it was just great being able to trust you to do a great job and keep everything under control.

Adrian Clarke
National Trust

I have never seen such expert facilitation before – the level of detail that went into the pre-planning to ensure workshops and meetings went smoothly was staggering – and highly effective.

Rosemary Selling
Stronger Kent Communities

The Away Day has been very helpful in developing the strategic plan for SKC and has given the plan new life! I would be very happy to recommend you to other colleagues.

Steven Husbands

I had a blast and this was definitely one of the best, if not the best, workshops I have attended. Absolutely the best facilitators and facilitation process to date.

Jovo Pokrajac

It was fantastic, mostly because everyone was included. I would like to participate in training like this again if ever I had the chance – phenomenal experience!

UNFCC
Manager of Programme

Heartfelt thanks for your excellent contribution to this project, which was an un-contested success.

Institute of Marine Science Norway
Principal Scientist

It was a pleasure working with you – and the stakeholders were of the same opinion. A job well done!

Sarah Curtin
Devon and Severn Ifca
Environment Officer

Very informative and good mix between interactive and listening….I learned a lot of useful techniques and learned about myself

David Bavin

Huge input of energy from the team – great investment in the experience for participants.

Sean P Kelly
Northern Ireland Environment Link
Development Manager

I think you have done an excellent job in very trying and constantly changing circumstances.

Best course I have been on in a very long time

Great course – I would definitely recommend it to my colleagues

Dynamic delivery and very informative

Open and informal well-paced

Congratulations on a very stimulating course

I realise that I didn’t know as much as I thought I did!

Liked the way you responded to the group’s questions and needs.

Good blend of theory, case examples and practical skills.

The training teams’ enthusiasm and experience came across very well.

Professionally run, though informal and enjoyable.

Most enjoyable training I’ve had in a long time.

I liked the way we learnt techniques and did real work at the same time.

Excellent to be able to learn through doing it ourselves and watching others’ styles.