“Like a living window into a continent, the Great Lakes are vibrantly visible from space. A fresh water source for millions, they are the basis of a huge ecosystem and a vital transportation route for the world. Everyone gazing thankfully on their shores needs to be a part of keeping them healthy for centuries to come. The future of the Great Lakes is the future of us all.” CHRIS A. HADFIELD Colonel, Astronaut ret’d.
GREATNESS The Great Lakes Project began at a 2015 Roundtable convened by Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell. The two dozen participants — drawn from business, the arts, science, media, sport, architecture and design — resolved that a ‘bold and noble initiative’ was required to unleash the power of the Great Lakes to strengthen identity and inspire greatness in what we value and do as citizens. It would also elevate economic prosperity and secure a healthy environment for all.
GREATNESS provides the unifying brand for inspiring and mobilizing communities, businesses, organizations and governments to do what’s necessary to protect, conserve and celebrate the Great Lakes.
A SPIRITUAL HOME FOR GREATNESS
The vastness of the Great Lakes and the Great Lakes Basin deserve a focal point, a destination: a home for the cultural life and history of the Lakes; an easy-to-get to destination for tourists; a home for connecting, collecting and shining a light on the intelligence, strategies and breakthroughs concerning the Lakes. This centre will also be a beacon for international engagement on issues concerning the preservation of fresh water around the world. In short, we need a home with its history bound to the Great Lakes.
Simply speaking, the Great Lakes are enormous, extraordinary and epic. To all who stand on their shores, sail their breezes, fly over these mirrors to the sky, the Lakes inspire awe and a sense of possibility. Their importance demands a greatness of responsibility.
DOUGLAS S. WRIGHT – Founder
Doug Wright’s career spans forty years in sustainable development and environmental policy and management. He’s worked internationally and domestically in the public and private sectors, interacting with diverse stakeholders in government, academia, business and NGOs. All these experiences, mixed with his lifelong passion for Georgian Bay, led him to founding GREATNESS The Great Lakes Project as a way to share and expand appreciation for the wondrous Great Lakes.
KAREN KUN – Co-Founder
Karen Kun co-founded Waterlution thirteen years ago with the purpose of facilitating cross-sector dialogue around complex water issues. From 2005-2012, Karen was publisher of Corporate Knights magazine. Born and raised in Toronto, yet having lived many years overseas, which formed the building blocks of Waterlution. This international experience included work in Bolivia, Colombia and Costa Rica, developing finance and marketing strategies with indigenous communities.