“Creativity and innovation are skills that allow individuals and societies to adapt to ongoing change. Some change can be anticipated, but there will always be change that comes as a surprise. Either way, we need to create resilient and robust systems that allow us to respond in the most beneficial way.”
David’s diverse work experience since 1985 includes projects in economic development, entrepreneurship, environmental policy, learning space design and regenerative design. Recently, David has been focusing his efforts in three areas, 1) creativity and entrepreneurship (how people create ideas and how they create new realities) 2) how people think and learn, and 3) how we can use strategic narrative and story to inform learning, planning and organizational development. Along these lines, David is currently working with the Humboldt County Office of Education, developing a new professional development initiative focusing on creativity and organizational learning in support of the County’s Decade of Difference program.
David has many other roles that complement his work at Greenway. Since 2010, he has been on the Steering Committee for the Washington, D.C.-based Learning Spaces Collaboratory, assessing the physical aspects of learning spaces and how spatial dynamics can impact learning. Along with others he has developed a handbook to guide the planning of learning environments that foster creativity and maximize learning. He also serves as Director of K-12 Educational Initiatives for the Appropedia Foundation (appropedia.org), a global nonprofit developing collaborative solutions in sustainability, appropriate technology and poverty reduction.
In his dual roles at Greenway and Appropedia he is working with partners to develop an invention education program called One Billion Inventors, Worldwide Action Network. Along these lines, in Spring 2013 he presented at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History as part of the “Open Minds” Exhibit–a part of the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance Open 2013 conference. His talk, “A Richness of Excellences,” was about spaces of invention for K-12 learners.
In 2011 he led the team that developed the report “Developing the Seedbed for Arcata’s Emerging Entrepreneurs.” The report won the 2012 American Planning Association’s (APA) Grassroots Initiative Award of Merit.
He earned his Ph.D. (1994) in Environment and Resources and his M.S. (1990) in Energy Analysis and Policy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a B.A. (1985) from St. Olaf College in Philosophy and Religion. He has taught at Emory, James Madison and Humboldt State universities (environmental policy, economics, geography, and regenerative design courses). He also worked for the Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation (1990-95), and the University-National Energy Park Partnership Program (1998-2007). He is currently an adjunct professor in the Environmental Resources Engineering Department at Humboldt State University.
David has served on several local boards, committees and councils, was a school board member for six years, and has coached over 25 youth sports teams (mostly soccer). He lives in Arcata with his wife Eileen Cashman and two sons, Pearse and Kai.