ULI SC March 2020 Message from Irene Dumas Tyson District Council Chair

Irene Dumas Tyson

We just don’t know.

Over the past three weeks, this has been a recurring sentiment in talking with colleagues, my family, our neighbors, people in line at the grocery store. Not knowing is a stressful and disquieting place to be.

Our mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. ULI South Carolina carries forth that mission by serving Upstate, Midlands and Coastal South Carolina’s public and private sectors with pragmatic land use expertise and education.

We will be called to task in ways that we can’t imagine yet to support each other and to figure out how to recalibrate in order to restore prosperity in our individual businesses and to implement the ULI mission.

But, we just don’t know yet how we will need to recalibrate.

Our neighbors across the street is a family with four young children. I enjoy watching them to do life because they remind me of the days when my four daughters were young. We say hello from our yards and occasionally meet in the street for longer conversations; but, mostly we wave at each other as they are going to school, soccer and baseball practices, ballet lessons, work, life stuff.

Yet, during the past two weeks of closures and working from home, we have had amazing conversations (with the appropriate distance) and shared food, plants, drinks. We’ve learned more about each other and have come up with some pretty creative ideas for celebrating Easter, helping neighbors and for making it through, one day at a time. We are becoming a different kind of community, and I think we will be better for it.

Last week, I listened in on the ULI SC Coastal Executive Committee meeting. Members shared how things are going with their work. Everyone laughed as we heard life from home in the backgrounds, and there was a sense of hope in planning for the future, even with the hard realities of keeping offices open, projects going, and staff busy and on the payrolls. There were candid conversations rather than a checklist of what has happened and future programs (all of which are important).

More time for meaningful conversations and creative thinking will be absolutely necessary to figure out how we will recalibrate and continue to lead in creating more sustainable and thriving communities. And we have to do this together, as the collective community of ULI South Carolina.

Please take a moment to complete the survey (link below) and reach out to Amy and me with your ideas. We want to provide the platforms, the expertise and the space for each of us to come together to engage, share, learn, get creative and support each other. We are becoming a different kind of community, and I believe we will be better for it.

We just don’t know, but I am hopeful because of the creativity, intellect, passion, compassion and commitment of the ULI South Carolina members.

Stay healthy!

Irene Dumas Tyson
2020 ULI South Carolina Chair