Champion of California’s triple bottom line talks about win-win nature of California Economic Summit

800 300 John Guenther

One of the strengths of the ever-growing California Economic Summit network is the inspiring cross section of problem-solvers from every region who come together to not just talk about making California a better place for next generations, but put in the work.

That’s why California stewards, like Glenda Humiston, vice president of the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Division (UC ANR), has been an early supporter of the Summit. We asked Glenda in the video above about why the UC ANR provides support for the year-round work of the Summit network and annual event.

While high-profile challenges like housing are taken up by the Summit, issues that span the triple bottom line (AKA the three E’s of Economy, Environment, and Equity) are well represented.

Challenges like the health of our forests, wildfire resiliency, and responding to the varied impacts of climate change, are all interrelated and inextricably linked to the well-being of people in our state and are a big part of the work of UC ANR and the Summit.

The Summit has become a high-profile launch pad for solutions like the Fresno DRIVE program and the Governor’s Broadband for All initiative. Also at the 2019 Summit — the largest one yet — Humiston and UC ANR made a splash with their new report, “California’s Working Landscape: A Key Contributor to the State’s Economic Vitality, which explored one of the largest economic sectors in California.

“That’s going to surprise an awful lot of people because too many folks here in California just really take our working landscapes for granted,” said Humiston. “What was really amazing is, when we actually got the numbers all totaled up, that working landscape sector comes in as the sixth largest sector of the state’s economy, virtually tied with finance for fifth and sixth place. It came in ahead of healthcare, construction, and real estate.”

Improving California’s forest health and reducing wildfires through forest treatment and building up the state’s advanced wood products industry is another win-win priority you can find in the Summit’s 2020 Roadmap to Shared Prosperity.

Summit network members will work to promote more forest treatment and the development of advanced wood products industries with the goal of reducing wildfires, strengthening forest health and resilience, while helping to boost rural economies.

“One of the things I do frequently when I talk about the forest resiliency and advanced wood products is point out that there’s probably almost a dozen wins…healthier forests, less fire, more water actually will come from those forests, better outdoor recreation, and better wildlife habitat.”

With the energy building for the 2020 Summit on December 3 and 4, it’s important to recognize the stewards and supporters who helped build up the Summit network to where it is today — stewards like Glenda Humiston, who earned the California Steward Leader Award at the 2018 Summit.

“Glenda is a powerful and relentless advocate for triple bottom line prosperity. She has championed and delivered in every position I have seen her in,” said Sonoma County Supervisor James Gore. “As one of the co-chairs of the Steering Committee for the Economic Summit, she has ensured that working landscapes remains a driver for rural prosperity.”

You can learn more about the California Economic Summit and the benefits of supporting the annual event and its year-round work by checking out our Sponsorship Opportunities page.

We invite you to join us virtually in December for the 2020 California Economic Summit!


John Guenther

All stories by: John Guenther