Some community and industry leaders believe finding solutions to long-standing problems, from redeveloping abandoned industrial sites to preserving the environment for future generations, requires a group effort.
Organizers of a new initiative bring together representatives from Indiana and Illinois, including major corporations, government officials, preservation groups and various nonprofits. They believe pooling collective knowledge and leveraging resources is the best way to get something done.
The representatives believe they have a unique opportunity—including ArcelorMittal, which along with the Field Museum in Chicago, serve as co-chair arms of the Calumet Collaborative, a group dedicated to sustainable development in Northwest Indiana, southeast Chicago and south Cook County.
ArcelorMittal, for instance, has worked with and seen various groups address a variety of issues from how to best handle brownfield sites to preserving the environment, according to a Northwest Indiana report. The sponsors continue to see areas overlap where similar organizations tackle similar challenges on their own and duplicate efforts.
The idea is to bring together experts from Indiana and Illinois in a single group where best practices are shared, which may lead to solutions to benefit both states. The sponsoring organizations believe there are a lot of opportunities for sustainable development that no one organization can achieve alone, but through a public-private partnership, it can advance regional-scale sustainable development.
The collaborative advisory panel consists of 39 members who meet quarterly.