Recognizing J. Carl Ganter and Circle of Blue
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Mr. President, I extend a hearty congratulations to J. Carl Ganter, director and founder of Circle of Blue in Traverse City, Michigan, on receiving the 2012 Rockefeller Foundation Innovation Award. Innovation and collaboration are two components critical to solving the challenges we face as a state and as a nation. Organizations like Circle of Blue are leading the charge, helping to inform our discussions and to guide us on a path toward lasting, comprehensive solutions.
Circle of Blue has focused its efforts on the global freshwater crisis for more than a decade and has successfully united an international network of leading journalists, scientists, and data experts to shed light on this issue and to illuminate a better path forward. This work has spurred meaningful, dynamic and workable processes and information that are helping to solve real and pressing problems for communities in need.
Through this effort, Circle of Blue has put forth enlightening reports on the nexus between water, food, and energy. Conducted both in China and the United States, this integrated, cross-cutting work demonstrates that current practices are not only environmentally unsustainable, but can be economically disruptive. In both instances, Circle of Blue has utilized this innovative approach to build broad collaborations and solutions-focused processes that are charting a course toward a brighter future.
There is little doubt we live in a deeply interconnected world, and the fundamental economic, social, and environmental challenges we face are linked. Under Ganter’s able leadership, Circle of Blue has built a break-through model of data collection, design, reporting, and convening that places an emphasis on these linkages holistically. By facilitating collaboration between policymakers, scientists, academics, businesses, and the general public, this organization is on the cutting edge of developing processes to creatively implement these solutions. As Mr. Ganter recently stated, “We are listening better. We are becoming more nimble in how we work and collaborate. We are empowering people at all levels with better information to make better decisions.”
By discerning emerging trends, highlighting solutions, and facilitating meaningful collaboration, Circle of Blue is a powerful partner in a number of areas. The Rockefeller Foundation Innovation Award is a tremendous honor, one this organization richly deserves. What is most clear to me is that the best has yet to come, and I look forward to the fruits their work will surely bear in the future.