Brad Edmondson is a writer and consultant who helps people and organizations benefit from social change. He is fascinated by how change happens, and why. A few years ago, while writing about New York’s six-million-acre Adirondack Park, Brad learned that the wilderness preserve at the core of it was once privately owned. The land reverted to state ownership after loggers cut down all the trees and walked away. Now the park is the crown jewel of The Empire State, thanks to one far-sighted law, a vigilant public, and 100 growing seasons.
Brad was raised in rural south Florida, on a farm that was established in 1923 and is still operated by his family. He attended Deep Springs, a college with an unusual curriculum that trains students for lives of service.
By the time Brad got a history degree from Cornell in 1981, he knew he wanted to be a writer and storyteller – so instead of going to graduate school, he edited The Ithaca Times (1981-85) and American Demographics (1985-1998), a monthly Dow Jones magazine that explained the impact of population change and consumer trends on businesses, organizations, and society. During Brad’s tenure as editor-in-chief, American Demographics was nominated three times for the National Magazine Award for General Excellence.
Brad’s articles have appeared in AARP The Magazine, The American Scholar, Utne Reader, and The Atlantic Monthly. His recent corporate clients have included Head Start, Honda, the National Bicycle Dealers Association, and the Private Label Manufacturing Association. He is now working on a book about how one college and its community changed in the years after World War II.
While serving on the board of The Finger Lakes Land Trust, Brad helped create a 50-year plan for a regional network of protected land in a scenic region of Upstate New York. He also helped manage an endowment while chairing the investment committee of Deep Springs College.
These visionary organizations taught him the power of stewardship and managing for perpetual return. He also learned that people who are devoted to the common good usually have more fun, leave better legacies, and throw much better parties.
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