2042 Today

Upcoming Event

Event: 2042 Today: Young Leaders Re-Imagining Conservation

Date: July 6-12, 2013

Type: A 7-Day Retreat at Knoll Farm in Fayston, VT 


Young Leaders Re-Imagining Conservation

A growing movement of environmental change leaders are thinking about the exciting significance of 2042  –  the date when demographers predict that every metropolitan statistical area will be predominantly populated by persons of color. But few resources are in place today to equip conservationists with the leadership skills that enable us to engage difference of all kinds. From July 6-12, 2013, the Center for Diversity & the Environment and Center for Whole Communities will bring together a cohort of young leaders to re-imagine and re-tool a more resilient conservation movement.

About the 2042 Today retreat

Center for Diversity and the Environment (CDE) and Center for Whole Communities (CWC) have partnered to develop an innovative leadership development program for young conservation leaders (ages 20-35) from all backgrounds and sectors to strengthen our collective work.

Together we will explore the following questions and more:

  • How will conservation be integrated – or not – into the needs and values of a changing American public?
  • How do conservationists learn to ally themselves with and learn from other movements for change?
  • How can the conservation field diversify itself?
  • And, how are we defining the “conservation movement”? Is it a definition inclusive of movements and change initiatives in the United States?

Our work springs from the belief that the environmental and the social are inextricable – that no action intended to benefit the land, whether wilderness designation, land conservation, or biodiversity preservation, will succeed in the face of a suffering humanity. Nor will any project to alleviate human suffering ultimately succeed on a damaged or poisoned land.  This collaborative retreat will offer the opportunity for those of us working toward wholeness in our communities to come together, create a safe space for dialogue, nurture our deepest wisdom, and begin to build meaningful bridges as we re-weave our world – for ourselves, our communities, and our land, air, and water.

The 2042 Today Retreat is a 7-day residency at Knoll Farm in Fayston, VT, and brings together about 20 individuals from organizations and communities connected to conservation to strengthen our collective work by:


  • Providing individual support to leaders endeavoring to change their organizations and spheres of influence
  • Deepening equity, diversity, and inclusion knowledge and skills, as they apply to the conservation movement


  • Establishing a vibrant and diverse network of peer leaders who can support and learn from one another
  • Building collective understanding and awareness of historical context and diverse approaches to conservation
  • Introducing new definitions and measures of success that foster greater collaboration and link social and environmental objectives


  • Creating a deeper understanding of the nation’s changing demographics which have already begun to impact the effectiveness and relevancy of all forms of conservation
  • Establishing a process for shared visioning and the development of a more compelling public narrative for the future of conservation

Bringing together diverse perspectives

The 2042 Today retreat allows people from diverse backgrounds to come together and hear each other’s stories while working through the contradictions and holding the tensions that are created by divides. While attention is paid to the challenges created by divides, we focus equally on the bonds that hold us together. We aspire to help build a shared vision for an emerging future that depends on us.

We strive to ensure that each retreat’s faculty and participants reflect the diversity of those working in careers connected to land and community in America, whether that diversity is cultural, racial, professional or otherwise. We recognize that our capacity to learn and innovate together depends entirely on the trust that we build and the diversity of perspectives in each retreat. Individual participants are never expected to “represent” a group, whether that group is their organization, the ethnic group with which they identify, a community in which they reside, or even a religion they practice.

Learn more about Center for Whole Communities, 2042 Today Retreats, and Knoll Farm at www.wholecommunities.org.
Learn more about Center for Diversity and the Environment atwww.environmentaldiversity.org
Contact CWC program coordinator, Tatek Assefa, with any questions at (802) 496-5690 or tatek@wholecommunities.org
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