Monday, April 19, 2010

April 19, 2010

Message From the Chair Emeritus—Richard Johanson
Recently I heard a marvelous presentation on conflict resolution and mediation. The focus was on the way we espouse our position on public policies and personas. How do we overcome the temptation of distortion and alienation in promoting our desires on sensitive ballot issues and candidates for public office? What was most interesting is that research has now established that some people have a generic deviation in their frontal lobe which contributes to their vocal combativeness. My conclusion, therefore, is that as we go through our bi-annual election year process with all of its oftentimes abrasive rhetoric, we each place a greater emphasis on what we believe is deeply rooted in the proponent’s conscience rather than what we read, see or hear as part of the overt campaign process. That compassionate distinction, it seems to me, defines Democracy.

RJI Annual Meeting—May 26: Staying Ahead of the Curve—Save the Date
Kudos to RJI cluster leaders and participants who are making steady progress in learning how to leverage public and private resources to strengthen companies and industries. There are currently 11 clusters—Construction, Clean Energy, Manufacturing, Logistics & Distribution, Tourism, Food Processing, Public Sector, Arts & Culture, Software and Water. On May 26 from 7:30 to 9:30 AM, you will have an opportunity to learn about specific accomplishments and future initiatives. In addition, there will be a financial panel to explain how to access capital through various programs. Our keynote will be Dr. Serve Pierre Besanger. He is an economist and strategist with 26 years of experience in 20 countries. He has chaired numbers boards and served as an advisor to over 50 leading companies and institutions on three continents.

Smart Valley Places
Issue by issue we are learning how interdependent solutions to critical problems are. The foundation for a strong economy and healthy neighborhoods is infrastructure—how it is designed and developed. As many issues have regional impacts, the notion of Smart Valley Places has emerged. Smart Valley Places is being developed as a regional sustainable communities network in the Central Valley. By using smart tools, plans, polices, and practices the intention is to integrate economic growth, social equity, environmental quality and resource stewardship in planning and acting. Through a deeper understanding of long term ramifications, we can be more intentional about the community’s business and achieve greater success in all spheres of work.

Fact-Based Decision Making
At the beginning of each board meeting, we discuss one of the ten community values to keep them top of mind. As science continues to reduce facts to myths and assumptions, the importance of humility has grown. While often unconscious, how we think and our motivational biases can prevent us from seeing the obvious or being open to equally valid, yet different perceptions. Like the blind men describing an elephant, what you believe may have more to do with where you are standing than what is true.

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