I wake each day torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savour the world. It makes it hard to
plan my day.

:: E. B. White

Michael Kinsley
Senior Consultant
Friends of Rivers and Renewables

Michael Kinsley is an independent community diplomat and a Senior Consultant at Rocky Mountain Institute. He specializes in whole-system problem solving, workshop design and facilitation, and sustainable communities and college campuses. He has extensive experience with, and is a frequent speaker on collaborative decision-making and sustainable development. His work has taken him to 49 U.S. states. He conducted collaborative-decision-making seminars in dozens of small communities nationwide, Australia, Canada, and Sweden.

For forty years, Kinsley has wrestled with the problems of building viable local economies while preserving quality of life. First as the director of a citizen advocacy group, then as a local elected official (1975-85) he pioneered programs in growth management and affordable housing. In 1986, he cofounded a free, local mediation service. Also, he is a mediator and painter.

Relevant Papers:

“Introduction to Whole-System Problem-Solving” (2011 for community leaders)

“Critical Thinking for Sustainable Community Decision-Making, a Community Leadership Tool” (1998)

“Collaborating for Sustainable Communities” (1993-2011)


Accelerating Campus Climate Initiatives: Breaking Through Barriers, 2009 (www.rmi.org/rmi/Campuses)

Economic Renewal Guide, a Collaborative Process for Sustainable Community Development, 1997

Representative Projects:

· Retreat for a local school district board.
· Workshop to increase energy efficiency in a facility of a major oil company.
· Green-plan workshops in Omaha NB, Savannah GA, and Charleston SC.
· Workshops to position the University of Vermont in the green economy, explore green business development in Sarasota FL, and redevelop the river valley through Cleveland.