It is not enough for us to merely say thank you to the individuals and organizations whose invaluable contributions enabled the Task Force to successfully meet the objectives set for it by President Clinton and the Council. Representing a wide variety of interests, thousands of people devoted countless hours and shared with us their creative ideas, heart-felt opinions, sage advice, and a wealth of valuable information. From our dialogue, we have seen visions about sustainability through others' eyes. We have heard bold ideas about how such visions can be realized, within a host of richly diverse community settings. We hope that this report effectively synthesizes the visions and key ideas, some of the remarkable examples, and the recommendations which flowed from our discussions. To each one of you who participated, champions all, we extend our deepest appreciation and gratitude. It is your extraordinary accomplishments, and the achievements of others like you across the land, which have already resulted in some real progress toward a sustainable future in many communities.

Citizens in the communities we visited advised us that government at all levels must foster and provide leadership to make sustainable development a reality, across the breadth of our own country and around the world. It is the expressed will of citizens that has evoked such a positive response and a commitment from our government to take action, and to help us realize our dreams, desires, and goals for a sustainable future. The findings of the Task Force have clearly reinforced the critical importance of building effective linkages between individuals and grassroots groups, and the institutions which comprise local, state, national, and international communities. Through such linkages we must maintain an open dialogue, form innovative public-private partnerships, and establish productive new strategic alliances. Continuing, open dialogue will feed our understanding of complex issues and enable each of us to benefit from the experiences of others. Linkages between diverse organizations will germinate research and create the knowledge needed to meet coming challenges. Educating for sustainability will enable the dynamic building of the intellectual capacity which will carry us toward the fulfillment of our highest aspirations.

For those leaders currently involved in Council or community activities, we ask that you continue the already impressive work that is being undertaken to integrate the tenets of sustainability into our education institutions, and our personal and community lives. For those of you who have been newly introduced to sustainable development, we urge you to learn as much as you can, and to take up the banner for yourselves, your families, and for the people and places where you live. The promise is a prosperous, socially equitable, and healthy life for us -- and a life-sustaining earth for our children and those yet to come.

Judith M. Espinosa Michele A. Perrault

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