Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wilder Research Continues

The work of Wilder Research is more important than ever.

Last week, much news appeared regarding changes in the Wilder Foundation’s structure and services. In order to have the maximum community impact, within a challenging economic environment, the Foundation decided to focus on three strategic priorities: Children and Families; the Elderly; and Community Research and Leadership. The Foundation will transition out of some programming.

What about Wilder Research? All of our major initiatives will continue.

In fact, in these demanding times, we expect to expand our projects, especially those we do in collaboration with other organizations, and especially those in which we can influence action which will address and resolve the tough community issues we face.

Ironically, the news stories about Wilder’s changes, in the Pioneer Press and Star Tribune, appeared directly beside other stories describing challenges which confront us – in one paper, a story about the diminishing “safety net” for the unemployed, and in the other paper, a story about the critical need for developing the science and math skills of our student population, not just to increase their ability to take jobs, but to create a workforce necessary for the economic vitality of our entire community.

Yes, research has probably never been more important. Whether we like it or not, our government, our community, our organizations must do more with less. Whether we like it or not, the world has changed. Globalization, the current recession, the Internet, global warming – take your pick – all have had significant impacts on local communities. The complexity of today’s issues means that we need to combine good information, committed individuals, and a common sense of purpose – with the result that we improve the quality of life of all our residents.

We look forward to working with you to lead the community through the stormy waters of the present.