Mary’s 11 Takeaways from the 2022 CDS Virtual Conference

As I reviewed my notes from our FY 22 conference, I pulled out a few thoughts as to how the field is changing and how we can do more and better:

  1. The importance of our journals – getting more people to publish, review, and read!
  2. Building social capital in “communities” or regions — specifically catalyzing, convening, and connecting roles — being leaders and fostering leaders.
  3. Naming and teaching people about power dynamics seems important to help people get over the need/desire to control.
  4. Interest in bridging rural-urban divides and supporting our changing workforce throughout the state. Leadership capacity in rural and micro-urban areas is strained – let’s find new ways to address this issue
  5. The importance of our international colleagues and connections in understanding the work and learning from each other.
  6. Can we explore an interest group on our website for retirees?
  7. Member-driven, self-organizing and operating working groups are the best approach!
  8. Importance of finding ways to move past polarized public deliberations on heated issues to supporting positive community change.
  9. Better understanding the role of philanthropic community in community development and work and how we might work with them to strengthen the field. “We should create teams of CDS members who can systematically meet with foundation staff and foundation board members in their areas/regions and invite those foundations to at the very least join CDS as institutional members — and then keep working with them to get them to be active & contributing members….”
  10. We have a rich research background that can reinforce the value, importance and effectiveness of relationship building, respect, and addressing collective needs – to help continue to keep the conversations and actions of communities rooted in actions that address community issues more than individual interests
  11. “To what degree are these economic justice efforts simply ameliorative rather that transformative and are training youth for leadership in “this society” simply assimilative rather than transformational?

As you think back on our discussions, please consider how you might dedicate a small portion of your time and energy to address these issues we all care so much about. We need your help with our committee work, and we welcome your thoughts on planning ahead to do more and better in the future.

Mary Emery
Chair, CDS Board of Directors