Dr. Stephen Jones, president of AUNE, attended “Inspiring a New Generation (ING): A North American Summit” on November 6-8, 2015. More than 200 key stakeholders, including AUNE Nature-Based Leadership Institute (NBLI) founding Executive Director Dr. Cheryl Charles, gathered at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, to design strategies to build lifelong relationships with nature for current and future generations. Dr. Chandra Taylor Smith, vice president of the National Audubon Society and another AUNE NBLI founding member, gave the keynote.
Participants represented not only the United States, Canada, and Mexico, but several other countries. The World Parks Congress, held in 2014 in Sydney, Australia, set the stage for the Summit by focusing a major strand on Inspiring a New Generation. The 2015 ING Summit built on the issues identified by the Congress and determined specific strategies to address them in North America.
The unique conference agenda was structured with brief provocations followed by facilitated whole group discussions regarding what’s working well now; identifying gaps, successes and aspirations; brainstorming initiatives that would help the ING movement gain momentum; overcoming significant barriers to success; and identifying and paving the way for new initiatives. The resulting North American Framework for Action includes 15 initiatives that participants prioritized and committed to carry out in the next five years.
The 15 initiatives will be posted on http://ingsummit.org. The results and progress of the North American Framework for Action will be reported at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii in September 2016 and will serve as a model for other countries.