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Also see:  The Visioning Process | Why a Vision is Important | Why Children Are Important | My History in Visioning and Leadership | Letters of Recommendation


Dear Chris:
Thank you for being our keynote speaker at the closing luncheon meeting of the Cascadia Conference. I heard many enthusiastic comments regarding your presentation. You energized the attendees and sent them on their way inspired and motivated. The spontaneous standing ovation attested to that.

Ruth Bascom,
Mayor, Eugene, Oregon

Dear Chris:
Just to say thanks for writing the book [Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Development]. I've posted the first review of it on Amazon and this is the first time I've ever been compelled to do this after buying over 200 books from them! I love the book your style is very easy and natural (not surprising as you spend so much time immersed in nature).

I developed and run a practical programme on leadership for third sector community groups. Your book contains many examples of other areas around psychology, NLP, business techniques, philosophy and more that I've never seen blended together so well. In my review I talk of the fact you don't have to try to understand your book it evokes a deep sense of knowing.

I congratulate you on the book, which incidentally I ordered after searching for something on leadership for a talk and an excerpt from your book was displayed on one of the links. What I read made so much sense I immediately ordered the book. Until then I've never come across it, which is a real shame as this one book could replace fifty on my shelf.

I've a meeting with two schools today about some new work we are starting and I'm going to use the oak ceiling example from within the book to challenge them to think about the legacy we can 'plant' today in planning with the schools.

Thanks again and keep up the good work. The people of Oregon are blessed to have such a champion working for them!

Best wishes

Andrew Ramwell, Head
Manchester Institute of Sport & Physical Activity
Manchester Metropolitan University
Manchester, UK

Chris, I've been thinking of you a lot this year. Do you remember that you advised us to learn from beaver dams and then design similar structures to restore streamflows? I took you very seriously, and went on a quest, connecting with Michael Pollock of NOAA fisheries. Now, after 7 years since you were last here, we built our first log structures in Baker Creek with immediate results . . . pools started to form upstream, where only gravel was before. And, once the rains came and filled the pools, a historic side channel was partly inundated . . . and for the first time, 2 coho carcasses—with redds nearby—were found upstream and downstream of the project . . .

Thank you so much for all of your work and your vision! Many knowledgeable people are joining in the work, learning from nature . . . helping to restore the processes that were lost when most of the wood was removed from the streams.

Tasha McKee
Sanctuary Forest
Whitethorn, CA




THE VISIONING PROCESS AS I CONDUCT IT

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.—Ralph Waldo Emerson


I conduct a visioning process in a number of ways, according to the needs of the client. I will briefly describe two: (1) a vision for a community and (2) a vision for a piece of land, a system of open spaces, or some other ecological consideration.


A VISION FOR A COMMUNITY:

I normally require people to commit three days to the visioning process. In addition, I require them to bring their children (ages 7 to 15 or 16) and, if possible, grandparents. Children older than 16 are also welcome if they choose to attend.

The first day is spent learning to understand what a vision is and the power it holds, as well as the differences among a vision, a goal, and an objective. Following this introductory material, the community engages in a discussion among grandparents, parents, and children. The discussion centers on what the perceptions of the community were like in the grandparents' day, the parents' childhood and adulthood, and what the childrens' perceptions of the community are today.

The discussion begins with the folks from each generation telling what they liked most, what they would have changed, and what they would like to have if they could have choosen what they wanted. The children are specifially asked what they want their future to be like—in other words, what they want their parents (as the trustees of their future) to protect for them as they, the children, are growing up.

The second day is spent out of doors visiting the places of special significance to the grandparents and parents, where they explain how they felt about what has happened to these places, how the change took place, and why and what that change felt like to them. The day ends by looking at places that are important to the children and discussing what they would like in their future.

The third day is spent actually crafting the vision on paper. Again, it is important that the children participate throughout the entire process because the future, after all, is theirs.


A VISION FOR A PIECE OF LAND, A SYSTEM OF OPEN SPACES, OR SOME OTHER ECOLOGICAL CONSIDERATION

I normally require people to commit four days to this visioning process because there is almost always some conflict of views that needs to be resolved. In this case, it is absolutely critical that all parties involved actually be present during the entire process—including children.

The first day is spent learning how ecosystems work based on our best scientific data. Coupled with this data is a discussion of not only how society uses ecosystems but also how society changes them and thereby creates the circumstances of its future.

The second and third days are spent in the field looking at and disussing the areas for which the vision is to be created, especially if there is an area that is contested by one or more parties.

The fourth day is spent learning to understand what a vision is and the power it holds, as well as the differences among a vision, a goal, and an objective. This brief discussion is followed by actually crafting the vision on paper.


FOR MORE INFORMATION, READ:


IF YOU THINK I CAN HELP YOUR GROUP, AGENCY, OR COMMUNITY, PLEASE CONTACT ME


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Chris Maser
www.chrismaser.com
Corvallis, OR 97330

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