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Presentation by Sea Islands 2050 at the Growing Power Urban & Small Farms Conference in Milwaukee on September 9, 2012.
“building bridges toward comprehensive community”
Sea Islands 2050 is a start-up nonprofit organization, started as a citizen action group and founded by President, retired Marine Colonel Mark Mykleby, and Vice President, real estate developer Bob Turner, good friends and longtime residents of the sea islands. In 2010, Mark was working at the Pentagon as a special strategist for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mullen in developing a strategic narrative on sustainability as a national defense imperative, while Bob was monitoring trends as a nationally-recognized leader in New Urbanist principles and sustainable real estate development. With these backgrounds, they would often discuss the future of the sea islands community with concern for its longterm vision, seeing the same problems here at home as those they were addressing at a national level. They chose to take action, gathering a diverse group of professionals from the area: local non-profit leaders and county school district administrators, Chamber of Commerce members and military representatives, private fishermen and DNR officials. The group began a series of monthly meetings with roundtable discussion of the many aspects of the sustainability of the sea island region.
Over 18 months of meetings, the group came to find that most times, the longterm vision for the community was something they could all reliably agree on. The need for a formal organization, charged to work toward this sustainable vision, became clear and so Sea Islands 2050 was born. The leaders chose 3 sectors to launch their pilot initiatives: energy, food, and education. From these, the SmartGrid System and Innovation Institute, the Sea Islands Sustainable Community Food System, and the Sea Islands Community Empowerment Program are underway, and additional initiatives in transportation, economic growth, natural resources, and more are being developed. Sea Islands 2050 works with the leaders of our community and the experts in their fields to create meaningful changes that will systematically improve the sustainability of our region, so that the sea islands might be a national model of sustainability by the year 2050.
The mission of Sea Islands 2050 is to develop, advocate, and implement the goals and supporting strategies needed to achieve full-spectrum sustainability. Partnering with local organizations, parallel initiatives, key stakeholders, and fellow communities, Sea Islands 2050 cultivates collective investment in a common vision, focusing on the critical environmental, social, and economic issues impacting the long-term potential of our region and its citizens, present and future.