Vineyard FutureWorks began as a series of "grassroots" meetings of diverse island leaders, across the six towns, concerned that important island issues were not being addressed urgently enough. These meetings began in October, 2018 and were initiated and led by Dennis daRosa and Bob Johnston.
To create a preferred future for Martha’s Vineyard through Collaborative Innovation.
Vineyard FutureWorks has defined a mission to unite and create a collective among all those working for the good of the island, in both the public and private sectors, so that future planning takes place at a regional level, information is shared cross-island, redundancies are reduced, and the full strength of island creativity is unleashed. Our goal is nothing short of one island, united against the challenges that face us, and inspired by a common vision of a better future.
Vineyard FutureWorks will do work in five strategic areas:
Covid and post-Covid – Alert and Agile
Never has the slogan, “One Vineyard – Stronger Together”, been more critical for every islander to embrace and be inspired by. The pandemic is not a threat to one Vineyard town more than another, in the same way that climate change and sea rising is not more of a threat Down Island vs. Up Island. And, when we enter the post-Covid era, the “new” normal will not be the same as the “old” normal on the Vineyard. So, what do we do? We need island-wide collaboration and to be tuned into all learning channels that will enable us to make better choices real-time. We need Vineyard stewards to lead.
Economic Sustainability – Innovative and Independent
We will work to strengthen our traditional industries, while evolving to a more balanced, diverse, and sustainable year-round economy that allows people who grew up on the island to stay on the island. We will collaborate with other Island organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce and the Vineyard Business Association, to find ways to create more living wage employment. We will support and enhance efforts to strive for island energy independence, and we will explore ways to increase usage of the island’s innovative transportation system to relieve automobile traffic on island roads.
Environmental Stewardship - Accessible and Green
Preserving the spectacular natural beauty of Martha’s Vineyard is a central concern of all those who live here. Again, Vineyard FutureWorks will explore ways to further support the cause of environmental stewardship with organizations like Climate Action Task Force and the Island Climate Action Network (ICAN). We will collaborate with current vineyard groups seeking strategies to protect island water quality, we will support efforts toward increasing native habitat, and amplify efforts at enhancing the island-wide trail network, including improvement of shoreline access for all.
Engaging Community - Connected and Empowered
Martha’s Vineyard looks and feels a lot like small-town America, with strong community connections and a high level of public concern. We will explore ways to reinforce neighborhood solidarity with events where islanders can meet, talk, exchange ideas and make plans together. We will work to assist ongoing efforts to beautify streetscapes, protect historic resources, and promote green building practices. We will strive to support the diversity of Martha’s Vineyard community by identifying creative new options for more affordable housing, which islanders agree we need, but which we have collectively struggled to achieve.
Cultural Vibrancy - Supported and Promoted
The Island has a thriving arts and culture community, with a striking breadth of cultural resources: music, arts, dance and drama thrive here, and some of the Vineyard’s cultural institutions and artists are significant on the national level. Our cultural resources are as important to our economy as they are to Vineyard community quality of life. We will identify ways to collaborate and support those organizations, so important for a vibrant and vital Vineyard.