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

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 the 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 The meeting will be held at the Morristown EcoCenter, 55 Bank Street, Morristown, NJ 07960.

Haitian Events, Haitian Parties, Haitian Party Listings –

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