February 2023 Chair’s Update

Amazingly, after meeting with our IACD colleagues earlier this month, it sounded like spring on the balcony with birdsong heralding new beginnings even if it was early February in Nebraska. And it is an early spring of new beginnings for CDS, as we are into a new year and solidly working toward a vibrant and resilient future for our beloved Society. As mentioned elsewhere, we have a new Executive Director; our new website is up and running; we have a terrific and very active board, and we have you who are already contributing to what will be one of our best conferences with your response to the call for participation.

The Board had a special meeting this month to focus on engaging members like you in moving the Society forward. We will be summarizing your input from the 2022 conference on the future of the field and the future of our Society and connecting that to suggestions that came out of the 2019 50th anniversary meeting. We want to move forward on the great ideas that have emerged from our conversations together. We will be planning ways for you to engage with us during the conference to identify how to put those ideas into practice.

So much has changed since 2019 with the pandemic, the increasing dominance of climate in our lives, the rapid pace of technological development that is constantly poking us into new ways of doing things and scaring us away from others, and especially the rising threat to global democracy and peace. At the same time, more places are hiring people with community development credentials and knowhow. What is our role in addressing these changes? How can CDS contribute to strengthening the capacity of the existing workforce in CD as well as those coming into our field to engage with community members in ways that strengthen democratic practices and support capacity building at the local, regional, state, national, and in collaboration with our partners at IACD, globally? And, in what ways do we organize our work for the greatest impact? Those are questions facing us as we take on the new day before us. We look forward to your help in identifying and implementing strategies to move CDS and the field forward.

Mary Emery
Chair, CDS Board of Directors
Email: chair@CDSociety.org

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