About Mode Shift
Welcome to Mode Shift, a blog that chronicles accelerating transition in American life and around the world. Mode Shift looks at the economy, energy, water, natural resources, competitiveness of state and metropolitan regions, politics and policy, and the swift development of online communications and media.
The focus is new forms, new techniques, the new rules of the game in economic development and environmental security. I’m interested in change and how people respond to it. Never has change occurred as fast as today.
I’m intent on applying to Mode Shift’s reporting and commentary 30 years of accumulated knowledge and experience in writing for The New York Times and other prominent news organizations about technology, government, business, transportation, agriculture and the environment. This blog, in short, is about evolution and is grounded in the wealth of reporting I’ve done on four continents. I’m also a producer, a public policy specialist, a former non-profit executive, an informed and committed journalist who was raised on the East Coast, educated in the Mid-Atlantic, and lived in the Deep South, the West Coast, and Washington, D.C., before alighting here on the northern coast of Lake Michigan.
I came to this part of Michigan as a young man in 1990 and as a national correspondent for The New York Times. Not long afterward I joined a group of neighbors in forming the Michigan Communities Land Use Coalition (MCLUC) to make the case for energy development practices that were sensitive to the land and the communities that inhabited the land. MCLUC recruited local governments and other state environmental organizations as allies.
The work to bring reason to natural gas development quickly grew into the largest and most influential grassroots environmental advocacy campaign in Michigan. It also prompted me to found the Michigan Land Use Institute, which was based in Benzonia and formally incorporated on April 22, 1995, the 25th anniversary of Earth Day.
At the heart of the Institute’s distinctive approach to reasoned advocacy was an independent news desk, staffed by editors, writers, and designers that produced some of the best reporting in the country on land use, Smart Growth, energy development, transportation, urban development, local foods, and other subjects. During the 12 years that I spent at the Institute from 1995 to 2007, I served in almost every senior leadership position. I helped the organization grow to a peak of 21 staff members working out of Traverse City and four regional offices, and my work as a writer and editor helped to make Smart Growth the design standard for cities and suburbs across the country.
Since leaving the Institute my work expanded to include new specialties as a multimedia producer, communications specialist, and strategist. I’ve been recognized nationally as one of the leaders of a new dimension in environmental journalism made possible by technology, markets, urgency, and civic participation. I’m currently a writer for the Times, the senior editor of Circle of Blue, an online news and science organization covering the global freshwater crisis, and a regular contributor to Yale Environment 360.
To contact me for speaking opportunities: email@example.com, or 231-920-0745.