This month Borderlands Restoration Leadership Institute launched its inaugural Institute Forum, an open community meeting for sharing ideas, creativity, and vision towards advancing the creation of a restoration economy in the bi-national Borderlands. The forum is open to all community members, visitors, and practitioners alike with the aim of advancing the mission, vision, and principles of the institute, exploring possibilities for creative collaborations, community-based partnerships, and as a way for community members to inspire, shape, and participate in the great work happening across the region.
Held up at the Institute offices at Old Main, the first Forum brought together a diverse group of people including institute members and community members from the Patagonia area, Nogales, other border towns in Mexico, and around the United States and Canada. It was a much needed chance for those who gathered to celebrate the formal launching of the Institute Forum, reflect upon successes to date, and explore ways to advance the field-based work of the institute.
The meeting began by Joshua Cubista, Interim Institute Director, providing an overview of the development of the institute thus far, including the recent launch of the first Ecological Restoration & Applied Restoration Economy Field School. Ron Pulliam, BRLI Board Member and Institute Sr.Fellow, then provided a visionary talk on the aims of a restoration economy, followed by dynamic and engaging small group discussions focused upon a variety of questions to help shape future forum meetings, advance projects and programs across the region, and explore key elements of the vision of a restoration economy in action.
Question two was what are the kinds of projects, educational programs, or activities would you like to see happening through the institute and in the borderlands? Again the concepts shared covered a broad base such as:
The third question was what are the key elements of a restoration economy to you? Answers of which included:
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