Yesterday I attended the West Michigan Climate Resiliency Conference in Grand Rapids, MI, put on by the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum. It was a terrific event that brought together government officials (including the mayor, George Heartwell), local business (including Amway and Spectrum Health), farmers, and academics. Prof. Adm. (ret.) David Titley gave a fantastic keynote address on climate change.
I was in attendance with Michael O’Rourke and a contingent from the Toolbox Project. The Project, in conjunction with Penn State’s Rock Ethics Institute, have developed a new Toolbox instrument on climate resiliency. We led facilitated dialogues using the new instrument. In the session I led, there were leaders from the West Michigan Business Forum, including VPs from Amway and Spectrum Health, an academic, small business owners, and a representative from Grand Rapids’s city government. I facilitated their conversation on the prompts in the instrument. The dialogue that followed was a rich exchange of ideas and perspectives on the role of businesses and government in responding to climate change as it affects West Michigan.
The new climate resiliency Toolbox instrument is still being evaluated, in part based on the workshops conducted yesterday (so I can’t share it with you). Work will be progressing, so look for more on this front from the Toolbox Project. This is exciting work of engaging local stakeholders in a philosophical discussion about climate resiliency.