Statement to the community regarding the Advance 2021
At its January 7, 2021 meeting, the Board of Directors agreed to disband the Advance 2021 Task Force, with gratitude to Martha McCabe, Will Bartlett, Quad Conquest, Ben Fay, Hilary Blaker Johnson and Sara Phillips for their efforts. There will not be an Advance in 2021.
A quick review of events: the Directors approved the concept of an Advance 2021 (March 2020), authorized the Advance 2021 Task Force (May 2020), received a briefing on a very preliminary scope and approved a preliminary budget (July 2020); and received the resignation of the Chair (Sept 2020).
There are two primary reasons the Directors decided to postpone the Advance:
• During several meetings (Nov and Dec 2020) around strategic planning that would incorporate many “Advance” elements, Directors concurred with postponing the Advance to ensure community feedback can be aligned with developing strategic priorities for MRI.
• More practically, there is simply not enough time, especially given the uncertainties of Covid-19 and the considerable workload of the Board, to manage well the complexities of planning for and organizing an off-site 1.5 day retreat for 175 people in July/August 2021.
I’m disappointed, but accept this reality.
So where does that leave us, the community of Mount Riga?
During 2021, your Directors and Officers have expressed openness to using MRI webinars, small group Zoom discussions, and other platforms to explore “Advance-like” topics and strategic 25-year-out envisioning with members of the community and if possible, small group, topic-specific face to face meetings. Technology enables community members who may be separated from the mountain, and from each other, to engage in productive conversations. The love and passion felt for our mountain has no geographic boundary. The Board will also continue to explore a broader strategic planning initiative and how to plan for a future Advance.