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Message from Ross Widenor, SoSA Chair

Good afternoon! I wanted to take a moment to look back at how far we’ve come in 2022 as well as some updated plans for 2023. First and foremost, I want to thank everyone for your time and engagement with the group. We know how busy everyone is with our day jobs, but we hope that SoSA can be a way to make those jobs easier and more impactful by finding areas where we can collaborate to achieve more.


In 2022…


We entered the year very much still forming ourselves. Building on the foundational strategic planning documents developed in 2019 (when our process was disrupted by the pandemic), we worked to add key members to the Core Team and chart a path to operationalizing. Meetings were called ad hoc, consisting of subsets of the 8 Core Team members and various experts and advisors. This led to our focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the basis and framing device for our activities and the idea of a Voluntary Local Review (VLR) to better understand our community needs. At the same time, the team saw the importance of starting some tangible activities to gain traction and refine our process.


In August, we at last re-engaged the general membership and began scoping our pilot activities for promoting Biodiversity (Life on Land SDG) and Zero Waste (Responsible Consumption SDG). We established a regular, recurring cadence of discussions and have been touring the region to continue to learn about the great work going on and expand our network. We now have 22 official SoSA member organizations on the books, a highly engaged Core Team, and 2 independently functioning Teams progressing toward some very real sustainability outcomes for our region. I’m extremely pleased with how far we’ve come this year! You all have my deepest gratitude!


In 2023…


We seek to continue this momentum in 2023. We will continue our cadence of a monthly “roving meeting,” adding organizations to our roster as we go. Just a few reminders and tweaks to our way of working:


  • We’ll be meeting the 4th Wednesday of each month. This year, the cadence was every 4 weeks. Mapping to a specific day each month will make it easier to remember and communicate.

  • The meeting will be scheduled from 1:30 to 2:30. No built-in travel time potentially causing confusion (sorry if that impacted you this year!)

  • We will continue to collect official membership applications. We want a form on file for each member organization. A copy is attached if you need one – please let me know if you have questions or aren’t sure if you have one on file.

  • We will continue to collect information on programs active in the region. 


I really can’t say thank you enough times for all that you’ve invested in this collective. There is a lot of energy and resources at this table, and I know we can do some great things together. 

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