24 September 2010

October 16 Challenge and Strategy Session: “Toward a Sustainable Growth Strategy for New Jersey”

Posted by Admin under: Events; Forum; Leadership; Policy; Sustainability .

Pretty much by accident we discovered what we should have known all along, which is that the old “expert talk” model of recent SLF membership meetings is not what most of us are looking for. This is not to say that there’s no role for “talks,” or PowerPoints, or other kinds of presentations. But what we found is that a group of leaders works best when it’s sharing an adventure and is challenged to come up with ideas in response to an issue or problem.

We’re therefore kicking off our series of fall sessions in a new format, as “challenge and strategy sessions.” By which we mean that each meeting will pose a significant challenge in the field of sustainability, and seek a strategy to address that challenge that the group can align on. (For more on these kinds of sessions, see Reframing the Conversation: Challenge & Strategy Sessions for Sustainability Leaders.)

I’ll be leading the first one, on Saturday, October 16, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Morris County Library, and will use as an example the “NJ Sustainable Economic Strategy” paper that I co-authored with others at the Institute for Sustainable Enterprise at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Please download and read the paper if you’re planning to attend (and even if you’re not — we’d like your reactions).

Several of us are presenting the paper at a faculty seminar at Ramapo College on Wednesday, October 6; and if you’re in North Jersey you’re more than welcome to join us. Here’s how we’re describing the event:

We’re very pleased to have been asked to present our just-released policy paper on Developing and Implementing a Sustainable Growth Strategy for New Jersey at Ramapo College on Wednesday, October 6 at 3:30 p.m., and we invite you to attend. Please download a copy of the paper here, and come prepared to discuss some challenging and controversial issues.

Traditional economics offers no viable models for growing out of the current economic crisis. Cutting deficits and balancing the state budget are important in the long run, but do not stimulate economic growth in any direct way. But while we can’t go back to the old models of consumer debt, consumer demand, cheap fossil fuels, and accumulating wastes, we can find a new path to sustainable growth, the growth of the new Green Economy and of sustainable lifestyles, manufacturing, and economic prosperity.

This is a chance to think about sustainable economics, state policy and where the current administration might take us — if they choose to look at the facts, listen to the new voice of business, and think about getting out in front of the Megatrend of the 21st century.

The paper will be presented by several of the authors, who will discuss their shared but also distinct perspectives on the challenges and the opportunities we face as a state.

This is the first in a series of events discussing this paper, and the Institute’s initiative to “reframe the conversation” and “move the policy needle in New Jersey.” If you are in North Jersey, please reach out to your local state and municipal representatives, business colleagues, and community leaders to attend this event.

Please RSVP to [email protected] and/or to [email protected]. Thanks.

That’s for October 6. On the 16th, we’ll take this apart and look at the dynamics of influencing the policy discussion. Here’s I propose to present the issues:

The challenge, as I see it, is how to move the policy needle in New Jersey (and by extension elsewhere in the tri-state region); or put another way, how to reframe the conversation so that it’s not a debate between false alternatives, based on a misreading of the facts and an irrational mindset, but is a creative solution-seeking dialog that addresses the needs of our times.

The strategy is how to engage this process in New Jersey. We have some ideas about this, but we wonder if the group might have better suggestions, that can achieve our goals more quickly and with less effort and fewer resources. Think of it as a kind of “crowd sourcing” of solutions to real-world problems, using the knowledge, experience, and insights of our members.

We suspect that to get away from the evolutionary dead-end path we find ourselves in as a species, we will need to invent new forms of organization. The SLF is one of these — a hybrid of membership, transformational engagement, and conversations, looking to “change the game.” I invite you to join me in this, and promise you it will be fun, exciting, and rewarding for everyone.

Please join us for this meeting at  the Morris County Library, at 30 Hanover Avenue, Whippany, NJ 07981. Here’s a Google Map. It’s about 10 minutes from the Morristown train station, and we’ll arrange to pick you up on the way if you’re coming by public transit (please email Victoria Zelin at [email protected] or call her at (908) 306-0272 or (908) 507-3150 cell, for assistance). The program runs from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Conference Room.

Members and first-time guests are free, attendance is $20 per session or annual membership starts at $25 with volunteer time, up to $195 for twelve monthly meetings. (Fees waived or reduced for those with extenuating circumstances.) Please RSVP to [email protected] to let us know that you’re coming — thanks.

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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, 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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