FALL 2020: Upcoming Virtual Dialogues to Address Water, Food Systems, Circular Economy & Energy

“Seek first to understand,” said Stephen Covey, in his groundbreaking work, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, “Then to be understood.” Some thirty years later, it’s still true, and the purpose of establishing a series of dialogues for the Great Lakes Region.

Starting in September, the Council of the Great Lakes Region will take the sessions originally intended for the Great Lakes Economic Forum, the 2020 in-person event in Chicago which was postponed due to Covid-19, and convert them to virtual round-table discussions.  Even in the midst of a global pandemic, CGLR remains committed to providing a forum in which leaders from business, government, non-profits, and academia can gather to bring diverse perspectives to focus on increased understanding of issues toward developing shared solutions.

The list of issues of highest interest to participants—all of whom will have an opportunity to contribute their expertise—will form the basis of the specific sessions. The following topics are the ones we anticipate will be of highest interest:

  • Water—specifically the impact of climate change on water levels from historic lows to historic highs in the span of a decade and the resulting implications on infrastructure, commerce, and property of one of the world’s most important fresh water basins.
  • Sustainable Food Systems—from farm to fork—and the requirements of every member of that vast system in one of the world’s most prolific producer of food and vegetables, and the required capital and materials, to grow, process, and distribute food for a hungry region and a hungry world.
  • Circular Economy—we’ll continue our conversations about the circular economy, specifically the importance of curtailing the proliferation of plastic waste in the Great Lakes waterways, while at the same time identifying the necessary infrastructure, policy, and end markets to create a truly circular and sustainable system. 
  • Energy—specifically pathways for affordable, accessible, sustainable solutions throughout the Great Lake region, from the western tip of Minnesota to the eastern shore of Quebec.

If you are interested in attending and/or presenting at these sessions, or if you have a recommendation for another dialogues regarding the issue areas, please contact Laura Asiala (Laura@councilgreatlakesregion.org). 

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