Visionaries wanted! Where do we want to be in 50 years?

windturbineWhat do you imagine for our food system and our communities five years from now? Twenty years from now? Fifty years from now?

I?m an optimist at heart so, when I chew on big questions like these, what I imagine gets pretty Utopian pretty fast. What if all people have access to fresh, locally and sustainably produced food? What if every worker has access to affordable healthcare and day care? What if alternative forms of transportation today are mainstream tomorrow? What if every job is a green collar job? What if?

What I?m learning at Burgerville  is that when we have the courage to dream big out loud, the more connected our big dreams turn out to be. We start seeing the connections and synergies between us, practical ideas emerge, and pretty soon we?re getting into action together toward a sustainable future.

Showcasing fresh, local ingredients, keeping as many dollars in our local food economy by building relationships and doing business with our neighbors, and serving the community have been at the core of Burgerville?s values since George Propstra opened the first restaurant in 1961.

Now, almost 50 years since serving the first fresh, never frozen hamburger to the first Burgerville guest, we?re exploring what being a good corporate citizen looks like today and, in the spirit of dreaming big out loud together, we need your help.

What is our shared vision for our regional food system as a model of sustainability in the world? How will the vision we imagine together today inform the actions we take in the next twenty-four hours as individuals, in our families, at work, in our communities and as a region?

There is a stanza in Elizabeth Alexander?s inauguration day poem, ?Praise Song for the Day,? that I love:

Praise song for struggle, praise song for the day.
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign,
The figuring-it-out at kitchen tables.

We intend for this new, sustainable space on our website to serve us all as a kitchen table, where people with diverse backgrounds, perspectives and ideas come to dream big out loud, gain visibility to and inspiration from the connections between us — and before we know it we?re all taking action together! We?ll use to share our sustainable business vision and plans, update you on our progress, incorporate your ideas, and coordinate collective action.

Everyone is welcome at this kitchen table, and all of us together can do a lot more good than any one of us, so please share this invitation with your network of visionaries today!