What Inspires Us
Below is a library of resources and ideas found by us or shared with us by our friends and client network. It’s a collection of articles, radio stories, infographics and videos that relate to our work and broaden our thinking: our favorite content from the internet and beyond. Original commentary gives insight into our process and poses questions about the world inside and outside of the studio.
Planning for + Investing in Our Working Lands for Regional Resilience
A SALC guide to inspire collaboration, spark ideas + build actionable strategies
Cultivate, in partnership with Serena Unger and Joseph McIntyre, prepared this "Flipbook" as a resource to envision projects and build actionable strategies utilizing the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation (SALC) program. This guide is intended to assist interested local agencies and key community partners in putting together successful SALC grant applications as well as assisting in developing robust agricultural land preservation plans and policies. Download the Guide here.
Christianstead: St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Understanding what makes plants happy
The value of nature
or "Natural Capital"
The island of St. Croix took two direct hits in the Fall of 2017 from hurricanes Irma and Maria. Amie took part in a 5-day intensive Advisory Panel with the Urban Land Institute in Christiansted, St. Croix to address questions about the islands economic development, mobility, affordable housing and placemaking. The Panel's recommendations identify many small to large scale steps that could be implemented across St. Croix and throughout the United States Virgin Islands (USVI). Read the report here.
Thomas Rainer’s work is a revelation: It turns out that plants are social, and have a body language that explains what they need.
We are inspired by Nature’s Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature. Tercek writes that saving special place by special place as the sole conservation strategy will not be enough anymore. We need to look holistically at land stewardship and maintaining resource health across jurisdictions, on both public and private lands. “The breakthrough insight is when companies recognize that the services they rely on from nature but heretofore took for granted and got for free, such as clean water and flood protection, will be neither guaranteed nor free in the coming years.”
We are inspired by Sadik-Khan’s approach to recapture our urban streets. Instead of relying on traffic “models” that are rarely tested against reality, she went ahead and made changes with temporary materials that could be reversed if the benefits failed to materialize. “You can have fun with paint” she says to test innovative approaches to take advantage of “an asset that is largely hidden in plain sight”.
Every once in awhile we make sure to watch or read the commencement speech by the late David Foster Wallace at Kenyon College in 2005. Writing with his one-of-a-kind blend of causal humor, exacting intellect, and practical philosophy, David Foster Wallace probes the challenges of daily living and offers advice that renews us with every reading. The entire speech is published in a short book called This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life.
We continue to be stirred by Seth Godin’s blog which is based on the notion of “Make Something Happen.” His book, What to do when it’s your turn, is a book about helping people “do work that matters.” We particularly like his piece titled “Toward Civilization.” We should never forget to speak up, care a little more and "say, 'wait,' when they cross the line, when they pursue profit at the cost of community, when they throw out the rules in search of a brawl instead” because “…the race to the bottom and the urge to win at all costs aren't new, but they're not part of who we are and ought to be.”
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Cultivate was founded to help change the way people think about improving and managing land. We are a California State Certified Small Business (SB) as well as a Certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE).