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The past, present and future of environmental leaders

May 16th, 2017

So you may have heard… but Environmental Initiative turns 25 this year. What you may not have heard is that we’re using our anniversary to bring together leaders in our community not only at the Awards, but also in a series of gatherings.

We’re calling these get-togethers “Champions Gatherings,” and we’re having several of them this year to hear from folks like you about our work, your work and the environmental community.

The topics for these Champions Gatherings include:

  • The history of Environmental Initiative
  • A cross-generational conversation with Critical Collaborators and Emerging Leaders
  • Keeping Minnesota’s air clean: where we’ve been and where we’re going
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Environmental Initiative’s future work


We had our second of five champions gatherings last week that focused on celebrating the nominees from the Emerging Leader and Critical Collaborator categories for the 25th Anniversary Environmental Initiative Awards.

If you have been involved with Environmental Initiative for a while or have ever been to the Awards, you know we have never honored individual leaders at this event. We always focus on the collaboration of the projects. But what all those nominated projects have in common is people! So, we thought our 25th anniversary should celebrate some of the great people in our community that are making this work happen.

We had more than 30 nominees for the two categories, but we knew that not all the nominees knew each other. We certainly didn’t know all of them! We thought: what better way to get them all to come together ad learn from each other than by having a happy hour in our office?

At the celebration, nominees and staff got to know each other and congratulate one another on their amazing work. It was amazing to see the inter-generational connections that were made in the room between environmental veterans and those maybe just starting out.

We hope everyone who attended had a great time, made new connections, and felt celebrated. We want to thank all the nominees for the work they have done and will continue to do. Minnesota’s environmental would not be where it is today if it were not for all the work you have done.

A note from Environmental Initiative:
We still have three more gatherings this year. If you are interested in attending or learning more about these events, please contact me at sseymour@en-in.org.

Sacha Seymour-Anderson


Development Director

Chemical Regulation and Policy – The Heavy Lifting

May 16th, 2012

Collaborative problem solving is hard work, and progress on some of the most challenging issues facing society does not always take the form of complete consensus. In some cases advancing the dialogue and laying the groundwork for further discussion is a worthwhile effort that ultimately may set the stage for a win-win solution further down the line.

The Minnesota Chemical Regulation and Policy Project has just about concluded, after countless hours of creative and constructive dialogue stretched over fourteen stakeholder Work Group meetings spanning more than two years. Environmental Initiative has appreciated the opportunity to work with such a dedicated and capable group of individuals to wrestle with this difficult issue. Over the course of the project, we’ve learned that chemical management and policy is extremely complex and multi-dimensional – regulators and decision makers need to weigh complicated scientific information against public health and economic considerations and try to provide adequate assurance of safety while making sure we all continue to benefit from robust chemical and consumer product industries. This is not an easy task, and as I described in a past post, Chemicals Policy 101 – What You Need to Know, government officials across the country at all levels (federal, state and local) have been grappling with this challenge for quite some time.


Ellen Gibson


Senior Program Director
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