8 April 2011

April 16: Haiti & Us—The Leading Edge of Sustainable Development

Posted by Admin under: Events; Forum; Global; Haiti; Inspiration; Leadership; People; Resiliency .

Haiti Today: A Sustainable Leadership Challenge

The next Sustainable Leadership Forum event will focus on Haiti and its special implications. I just spent ten days in Haiti with Matt Polsky, my colleague at the Institute for Sustainable Enterprise at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and his wife Sandy. Our goal was to do fact-finding and relationship-building on the ground, from the perspective of “the 100-year resilient reconstruction” of Haiti; and we had a remarkable series of meetings, events, and experiences in Haiti that have many lessons for us here as well. Matt and I then returned to Miami for the Sustainable Haiti Conference and I co-led our session on April 6 with Doug Cohen, co-founder of the Sustainable Haiti Coalition.

Haiti is perhaps the most powerful example of a society suffering from a deficit of triple-bottom line outcomes-ecologically, economically, and socially, though it continues to have a strong culture and an indomitable spirit. Our trip was inspiring and transformative, profoundly moving, both magical and disturbing.
At our Saturday, April 16th meeting1-4 p.m. at the Morristown EcoCenter – we’ll be sharing some of our experiences and reflecting on what they might mean for us, in both philosophical and practical terms. What does Haiti have to teach us about sustainable development, and what is our role in making a difference both there and here? There will be a brief presentation, photos and films clips from the Haiti trip, and discussion followed by potential action steps.

One thing what we heard over and over again is that what Haiti needs is leadership, and could benefit from the kind of work several of us have done in leadership development, capacity building, and program administration. In terms of immediate practical action we are looking at collaborating with several Haitian entrepreneurs to expand their businesses in mountain biking and adventure “voluntourism,” renewable energy, and green construction. There are immediate opportunities to get involved, e.g., in the importation to the US of authentic, naturally and organically grown foods; and there are equally important issues to wrestle with, conceptually, as they have implications for policy, advocacy, and practical action.

I invite you to join me for a discussion of these issues and opportunities, and to explore what these might mean for our work here in New Jersey. Please RSVP to [email protected]. The meeting will be held at the Morristown EcoCenter, 55 Bank Street, Morristown, NJ 07960.

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Past Events

Correction: We'll be hosting this year's holiday potluck — "Bringing Solar Power Home for the Holidays" — on Saturday, December 15, 2012 from 4 to 9 p.m. Click here for more details. RSVP to [email protected].
Saturday, November 17, 2012, 10 a.m. Eastern: Sustainable Neighborhood & Community Conversations (III).
Saturday, October 13, 2012, 10 a.m. Eastern: Transforming Neighborhoods and Communities II.
Saturday, September 8, 2012, 10 a.m. Eastern: Transforming Neighborhoods & Communities.
Saturday, June 16, 2012: SLF Potluck June 16: Sustainable Living Communities.
The Sustainable Haiti Conference took place April 23-25, 2012 in Miami.
"Inside Job" Movie Party. Saturday, February 11th, 6:00 PM, Liberty Ridge, The Hills, Bernards Twp, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920.
2nd 'Buy Haitian, Restore Haiti Conference', January 26, 2012, Karibe Convention Center, Petion Ville, Haiti
Dec 11 SLF Potluck: "Bringing Sustainability Home for the Holidays" Basking Ridge, NJ. RSVP to [email protected].
Saturday, July 9, 2011, 4 p.m. Open House Party & Potluck, Saturday, July 9, 4 p.m., Basking Ridge, NJ.
RSVP to [email protected]
Saturday, May 21, 1-4 p.m. EcoCenter Update. At the Morristown EcoCenter, 55 Bank Street, Morristown, NJ 07960.
Saturday, April 16, 1-4 p.m. "Haiti & Us: The Leading Edge of Sustainable Development." At the Morristown EcoCenter, 55 Bank Street, Morristown, NJ 07960. A copy of the update presentation has been posted here.
Saturday, March 19, 1-4 p.m. "Creating the Morristown EcoCenter." Held at 55 Bank Street, Morristown, the site of the proposed EcoCenter.
Saturday, February 19, 1-4 p.m. Monthly meeting, ""A Profound Transformation in Consciousness," Morris County Library, Whippany, NJ. Click here for details.
Saturday, January 15, 1-4 p.m. Putting Idealism into Practice: Tour of Half Moon House. Click here for details.
Saturday, December 18, 1-4 p.m. Challenge & Strategy Session: "Reinventing Wealth," followed by our annual "Potluck for the Planet" from 4 to 8. Click here for details.
Saturday, November 20, 1-4 p.m. Challenge & Strategy Session: "How Do We Measure Sustainable Value?". Click here for details.
Saturday, October 16, 1-4 p.m. Challenge and Strategy Session: "Toward a Sustainable Growth Strategy for New Jersey".
Download the slide presentation here, and the discussion paper here.

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Leadership Quotes

"Nearly every man who develops an idea works it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then he gets discouraged. That's not the place to become discouraged."
(Thomas A. Edison—thanks to Regan Caton)

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” (G.B. Shaw)

"There is the true joy of life: to be used by a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; to be thoroughly worn out before being thrown on the scrap heap; to be a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that life will not devote itself to making you happy." (G.B. Shaw)

"Leadership is a privilege to better the lives of others. It is not an opportunity to satisfy personal greed." (Mwai Kibaki, President of Kenya - thanks to Christine Comaford, Rules for Renegades)