Otis & Friends 4I’m Otis, Prairiewoods’ favorite squirrel, and I’ve taken over this blog for 2016 in honor of Prairiewoods’ 20th anniversary. You’ll hear from me or one of my friends each Friday.

Prairiewoods board Vice Chair Chuck Peters is working hard to create an inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable community right here in eastern Iowa. He and other business leaders are finding inspiration from world leaders from the United Nations …

Late last year I was fortunate to hear a presentation in London on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and how they relate to everyday businesses. I could not help but think of Iowa’s Creative Corridor and the role that Prairiewoods plays in our development.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) are becoming the framework of a clearly emerging global narrative. Just recently, I have heard of many global companies, philanthropic organizations and governmental agencies using these goals as their framework for action.

Chuck PetersThere are 17 goals, and the work of Prairiewoods touches on most of them, with a strong focus on several.

In particular, I am sensitive to goal 11, the development of sustainable cities and communities. The summary of that goal is making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

For Iowa’s Creative Corridor to thrive, and live into our brand, we also need to be inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable to enhance our ability to imagine the future we desire to live into.

Our focus at Prairiewoods on the Universe Story, ecology and joyfully living in accord with the world as it is enhances the ability of individuals in our region to develop our capabilities to do this work.

I am so grateful that Prairiewoods was founded 20 years ago and continues to develop into its strong role in our community.

Our local, inclusive and sustainable community also needs to be connected to the world. Prairie woods brings in diverse global voices that enrich our community and connect us to the world. We have another wonderful opportunity next May 5–6, when Ilia Delio, my favorite theologian, joins us.

—Chuck Peters, Board Vice Chair