The first gathering exceeded my already very high expectations. It was deeply revelatory at times, and it's overflowed my inspiration coffers at a time when it's really needed. Most of all, it delivered on my hope that everyone bring their whole selves to this endeavor. Here are some reflections related to our first gathering:
The opportunity before this group is to elevate and enrich the story of landscape-scale conservation and stewardship. There are principles and values driving this field that can be distilled into inspirational and evocative messages, and we should think about how to tell our story to the world at large. How can we make stewardship a household world? Can it fit into a graphic novel, or a children's book, or into K-12 curriculum?
As we continue generating ideas and proposing a future for this field, I'm compelled to share something from my grandfather, who passed on this summer and whose absence I've been processing these last few months. He was an architect by trade, and one of the memorials offered at his funeral was by his mentee who now runs the firm. She recounted two of his maxims that she'd always hear in team meetings: "Design beyond what is expected" and "Good ideas are everywhere; it is better to recognize a good idea than to offer one." These struck me as I headed into our gathering, thinking about how to go beyond perceived limits and access the wisdom in the room. I aim to have these mottos guide me as they guided him.