The View from the Summit

This week we're sharing some "Voices from the Summit." Throughout the week participants in the 2008 Summit will be blogging about their experience, their work and their thoughts. Summit has always been one of my favorite words. When I reached the summit of Mount Rainier some years ago, we broke through a thick layer of clouds and the sky above was absolutely clear. From the summit, we could see the horizon but not the land or cities below. The "real world" was obscured. It was a reflective moment of beauty and clarity, a time for looking upward and outward.

The Harwood Public Innovators Summit affected me in somewhat the same way. Being there made me look in many different directions and reflect on new possibilities, while leaving the day-to-day world behind for a while.

Everyone there seemed to be in that space and share that spirit.  All seemed willing to be transparent, open and accountable for their work and themselves.

Whatever our sector, whatever our challenges, we asked ourselves: How can my organization best help? On what scale? With what participants? With what resources? What metrics? To what end? And what is my personal role? My motivation? Values? Energy? Legacy?

Those are the kinds of things the Summit made me think about. And finding that many others are asking themselves the same questions was good to know. Sharing our successes and failures, hopes and fears, laughs and tears, dreams and realities, at the Summit was -- at least for me -- truly a peak experience. That's what summits are all about.

John Hamer,  Executive Director,  Washington News Council