I grew up in a potato-farming family in the woods of Northern Maine and traded the Pine Tree State for the Evergreen State nearly fifteen years ago. From the many lakes, rivers, and streams that gave my little hometown its French name that means “almost an island,” to the epic peaks of the Pacific Northwest that will never fail to take my breath away, nature has been a prominent feature of my life and travels, wherever they have taken me. And I couldn’t be happier to have landed here in Tacoma, WA as Executive Director of Earth Economics. I can’t imagine a greater opportunity to leverage economics as the force for good that I know it can be, or a more talented, dedicated, and creative team with whom to do this exciting work.
2018 was a year of significant impact and change for us, and 2019 is already shaping up to be truly transformative. While we remain committed to our mission of quantifying and valuing the benefits nature provides, we are actively re-envisioning how we go about doing that. We have added deep expertise and innovative new programming around community engagement in order to firmly ground our research and recommendations in the self-identified needs of the communities we serve. We are expanding our technical expertise into new technologies, models, and methods that continue to push us to the forefront of our field and enable us to deliver more robust and user-friendly tools for our partners. And we have invested significant resources in and made a long-term commitment to ensuring our research, communication tools, and internal policies are all intentionally designed to increase equity and elevate underrepresented voices and perspectives. By taking the time and making the space to do this work for ourselves, we know the work we are able to do for our partners will be exponentially more rigorous, actionable, impactful, and sustainable.
From valuing the largest conserved tract of tropical rainforest on the planet in Suriname, to supporting the recovery efforts of California communities devastated by wildfires, to bolstering resilience in dozens of cities across the US by helping them make the business case for urban green infrastructure, we covered a lot of ground in 2018. In 2019 and beyond, we will continue to expand our reach across geographies and sectors as we seek to maximize our ability to transform our economy into one that properly takes people and nature into account. From the New York Stock Exchange to neighborhood planning meetings, Earth Economics will be there, leading the way to a future where communities, nature, and industry all thrive together.
See you there.