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Sun, Oct. 20

Arcosanti man accepted into leadership program

Rob Jackson

Rob Jackson

In early December, Arizona Forward launched the pilot class of its Emerging Sustainability Leaders program with 14 participants. Rob Jackson, Education director at Cosanti Foundation, is one of them.

“Although Rob has only been a resident of Arcosanti for a few months, he has already made great strides towards reinvigorating our workshop program,” the Arcosanti website states.

Arizona Forward began in 1969 centering on Maricopa County, but expanded statewide in 2013. The Dec. 18 press release states this new program is the state’s first sustainability-focused business leadership program of its type. It will guide participants in developing tools to usher in a more sustainable, resilient future.

Emerging Sustainability Leaders hopes to build a new generation of business leaders to integrate practical sustainability knowledge into the organizations and communities they serve. It is geared toward early to mid-career professionals who have been identified for their leadership potential, the press release states.

Participants in the pilot class were selected for their commitment to sustainability, capacity to integrate sustainability into their organization, interest in being a long-term influencer in Arizona’s sustainability initiatives, and the capacity to take on a new challenge.

The selection process resulted in a balance of participants from government, nonprofit and business organizations.

“Cultivating and equipping these next-generation leaders today will fill a niche in practice-based sustainability learning,” said Lori Singleton, president and CEO of Arizona Forward.

Other projects pursued by Arizona Forward are urban waterways, including the Rio Reimagined and Santa Cruz River Heritage projects; forest health; clean transportation; and canal redevelopment.

Dave Skinner, Arizona Forward board chair and area operations manager for HDR Inc., said, “Our members believe this organization makes an impact, and we want to ensure a healthy pipeline of talent to participate in supporting decades-long efforts.”

Arizona Forward’s diverse membership of large corporations and small businesses, along with municipal, county and state agencies, educational institutions, related nonprofits and concerned citizens help ensure smart growth and development, efficient transportation, improved air quality, responsible water management, energy alternatives and meaningful education.

Follow Sue Tone on Twitter @ToneNotes. Reach her at or 928-445-3333, ext. 2043.

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