Designing the Future

Visioning Education for the Environment and Sustainability in the 21st Century at Middlebury

Round Table with Mark Tercek, CEO of the Nature Conservancy


February 21, 2013
Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest

When asked, “What kinds of changes and trends do you anticipate in the environmental field in the next 15 years?” Tercek responded with the following points:

  1. Need for talent. The environmental world is far more complex than environmentalists would like to believe.  Students need to understand that the world is more grey than black and white.
  2. Students must learn how to communicate. Writing is important, but listening and articulating a complicated idea are key.
  3. Add value to science from outside. General students must understand core science and science students must not get lost in the weeds.
  4. Collaboration. Rather than debating, put oneself in someone else’s shoes. Partner with others to better understand complex situations.
  5. Learn foreign languages. Environmentalists are not always foreign thinkers.
  6. Use social media. Social media is a powerful tool for spreading and sharing ideas.
  7. Public policy. Democrats and Republicans have to figure out how to work together.
  8. Humility. We should never be so confident in one strategy but rather a mix of different strategies. Lastly, we need to welcome criticisms and work with them.

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