John Hagan


Time and again humans have shown a remarkable ability to solve problems.  Our ingenuity is truly impressive.  But the challenges we face at this point in human history are large, complex, and global in scope.  Solving a problem as big as say, climate change, will require widespread participation.  It will take progressives and conservatives.  It will take people with different worldviews and perspectives. It will take people of all ages.  We’re living in an all-hands-on-deck time.

What is impeding us is not so much technical as social.  We have the science to begin to solve the many complex issues of our time, but we are a more divided society than ever, and trust in science, leaders, and each other, is at a historic low.  Facts don’t seem to matter, and yet we know they do.  Our hyper-polarized society has caused us to split apart at the precise time in our history when we need to be rowing in the same direction.  Big, complex problems need diverse perspectives and ideas, not like-mindedness.

That’s why, by design, Manomet builds relationships of trust with people with diverse viewpoints, skills, and knowledge.  By design, we cross cultural and political barriers and find partners who have knowledge that’s different from ours—because we need them.  We lead with the relationship and follow with science, because trust is the foundation of forging a relationship.  We must be trusted before people will use our science.

Manomet was founded in 1969 as a bird research organization dedicated to the conservation of nature.  We learned over the decades that nature was connected to nearly every thread in our environmental, economic, and social fabric. We started to see what we could accomplish by working with people who had different experiences and worldviews.  It was different. It felt right. Most importantly, it worked. Nature, and everything else, was better off.

Today, we build relationships with people across many sectors. Together with our broad network of partners—land managers, teachers, foresters, fishermen, farmers, community leaders, business owners, institutional investors, and the leaders of tomorrow—we’re growing widespread participation in transforming how humans manage the critical systems that support life on earth.

To me, Manomet is an idea—a fresh and refreshing idea. Manomet treats the world as a hopeful place, as an interconnected web in which we find the good in people. Through our science, humility, integrity, and respect for others, we gain strength as more people begin to participate in creating a sustainable world.  By greeting the world openly, we make it possible for everyone to participate in their own way.

Browse our website and discover our success and impact. Better yet, join us. That’s one way you can participate too.

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