Carol Sanford’s “Story of Place” takes root

Chamber of Commerce board member Bob Rinehart with speaker Carol Sanford.
Chamber of Commerce board member Bob Rinehart with speaker Carol Sanford.

By Janette Turner

“I’ve seen worse conflicts by far than in Edmonds and I’ve seen them shift” — that was the message of Carol Sanford, speaker on “Story of Place” tonight at Edmonds City Hall Brackett’s Landing.

Sanford said the root of getting factions to work together is finding the story for why folks all live in a place, and when that story is applied to every layer of business and government in the community, then the entire area is lifted. One example she gave was actor Robert Redford’s plan to build a large hotel in Sundance, Utah, but when the geological “story” of the area was unearthed, including a watershed and newly-recognized earthquake fault line, Redford realized the area needed the watershed and not a hotel.

Settling conflicts by seeking out a place’s story, according to Sanford, requires  interviews with legacy business leaders, keepers of the artistic spirit, regenerative governors, and citizen activators. And if we don’t seek out the “story of place” for Edmonds? Then the focus will be on what people want, which leads to conflict and a race toward the least common denominator. Clearly, that’s not a satisfying result for Sanford, a business educator, micro-economist, and new Edmonds resident. Now it’s up to the rest of the Edmonds residents and stake-holders to decide whether to seek out our town’s story of place.

More information on Sanford and her expertise can be found on her website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.

By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.