New Vision and Bold Direction

  • October 20, 2020
  • |
  • Joey Vossen and Ellen Gibson

Environmental Initiative’s board of directors adopted a new strategic plan in SeptemberThis five-year plan includes new vision, mission and values statements, as well as strategic pillars and objectives to guide our work. We feel energized with renewed clarity of purpose and new language to describe our organization’s unique role and approach. We will share more in the coming months, but for now we each offer reflections. 

Reflections from Board Chair Joey Vossen 

The new strategic plan elevates years of Environmental Initiative’s work as a catalyst for collaborative partnership. I am most excited about how the plan holds the organizational commitment to fully embody broader networks, especially with our partners who are most impacted by environmental decisions and outcomes. This plan recognizes that in order to have effective, meaningful environmental solutions our practices and partnerships must provide all voices with equal power at decision-making tables, reflecting a commitment to continue work in historic partnerships while fostering new ones with most-impacted communities. Our greatest opportunity for organizational growth is convening trusted partnerships and working across difference through shared courses of action to serve the environmental health of all living beings. 

This plan will never sit on a shelf: it is a workbook, a journal, a step, a bridge. The plan holds the board accountable to staff and funders and reflects the board’s commitment to four groups of partners: private, public, non-profit and most-impacted communities. The board is embracing the challenge of holding multiple truths as we work together to achieve the vision of Environmental Initiative. 

Reflections from Chief Impact Officer Ellen Gibson 

I’m proud of and excited about the ways the collaborative planning process helped to deepen and accelerate our transformation to center justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) throughout our programming and operations. We have more evolution ahead of us, and through this process we built shared understanding about the various ways we can each embody and champion our commitment to JEDI in our day-to-day decisions and actions. The result is that we see board and staff leaders alike engaging deeply in self-reflection, leading with openness and curiosity, and prioritizing relationships first and foremost. Staff across the organization are now using the lens of our four strategic pillars to organize their thinking as we build goals and plans for our work in 2021.

I would love the opportunity to talk more with any of you who are interested in what we’ve learned through this process, what we’re focused on in the near term, and how we see our new strategic plan shaping our program work and operations in the coming years.