Happy 25th Anniversary, Switzer Foundation!
This spring marks the 25th Anniversary of the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation and the selection of the 25th class of Switzer Fellows. Our vision of Switzer Fellows becoming recognized leaders driving positive environmental change for the benefit of natural and human communities is coming to fruition. With nearly 500 Fellows across dozens of states and international settings, Fellows are applying their dedication, innovation and scientific expertise to the world’s most pressing and challenging environmental issues.
In 25 years we have learned a great deal – that our core Fellowship program illustrates the benefits of long-term investment in leadership development; that individuals can make a difference and that innovation, systems approaches to problems and diverse perspectives contribute to better solutions; that our position and privilege as a foundation requires that we are mindful of that power yet use it to promote best practices in environmental philanthropy; and that leadership and learning must be adaptive to be effective.
As we think about the next 25 years, we are asking ourselves, “How can we move from being a collection of individuals to become a Network that is a resource for positive collective action for the issues we care about? How can we take the hallmark of the Switzer Fellowship Network – this diverse and talented group – and tap its innovation potential? Finally, how can we foster innovative solutions to real problems, in all their complexity, so that solutions can also lead to systemic change that invariably is required to solve these vexing problems.” We are on the path to answer these questions and I hope you will join me on the journey.
In the meantime, join the celebration and help us welcome the new 2011 Fellows.