Over the last ten years of his life, Ray Anderson gave over one hundred speeches a year sharing his passion and commitment for a more sustainable world. Ray changed not only his own industry; his genuine message and Southern charm inspired hope in generations around the world.
It was Ray Anderson’s tireless efforts to make this a better world for Tomorrow’s Child that inspired the creation of RayDay. Harriet Langford, Ray’s daughter and Trustee of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation, said, “We wanted to honor and celebrate Ray Anderson’s legacy by continuing what he did so well — inspiring, educating and connecting. Our goals for RayDay are to bring people together, encourage conversations and connections, and continue to spread the word about sustainability. If we can do this while also connecting with nature in the beautiful Georgia countryside, I think Daddy would be pleased.”
Whenever he returned from his worldwide travels and was asked, “How did it go?” Ray would answer (never mentioning the standing ovations he often received), “You’ll have to ask the people who were there.” So in that tradition, the Ray C. Anderson Foundation asked participants of the 2nd Annual RayDay learning booths and RayDay attendees for their feedback on what RayDay 2014 meant to them.
A Day of Inspiration . . . following in Ray’s footsteps
Yancey Fouche, Sustainability Coordinator at Furman University wrote, “I know I speak for all of us when I say that we were truly inspired by our RayDay experience. As Dr. [Marianne] Pierce commented, even seeing Furman included among such accomplished peers made us proud of our own work in this area. We gained a number of great contacts who will enhance our impact here at Furman, and personally, the event spurred me to dig even more deeply into Ray's life and work - he set a model we should all strive for!”
Mary Anne Lanier, daughter of Ray Anderson and Trustee of the Foundation, saw the collective knowledge and passion for sustainability exhibited at RayDay as hope that a sustainable world is achievable.
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A Day of Connecting . . . continuing to weave the web
RayDay gives Ray’s family a wonderful opportunity to connect and reconnect with friends who join them in championing a sustainable world. RayDay participants expressed how much they appreciated the chance to meet and have meaningful conversations with other booth exhibitors. They also valued the overall quality of participants and guests.
“The crowd was fantastic. People were genuinely interested in what we do.
“RayDay was awesome! The company and atmosphere were amazing.”
As one who worked hand in hand with Ray on his sustainability journey, John Bradford, Chief Innovations Officer at Interface Americas, pointed out that what Ray did in “weaving the web” for the world, “RayDay is doing the same in our corner of the world.”
“As someone very passionate about conservation and sustainability, I was very excited to learn more about the different organizations working towards one common goal!”
Ray C. Anderson Advisory Board member Alan Anderson concurred that gathering and connecting people is a critical step to figuring out what we need to do next. “It’s up to us to do it now; we don’t have Ray to lead us any more.”
Sustainability-oriented learning mixed with family friendly fun
What do you get when you put 50 sustainability-focused learning booths together in a very big tent in a country field with hot air balloons, hay rides, children’s activities and pony rides? John Lanier, Ray’s grandson and Director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation, adds his perspective on RayDay and the value of a family spending the day outside, having fun and learning together.
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When asked what he liked the most about RayDay, WorldWatch’s Erik Assadourian commented on the excitement his nieces “got as they met sustainability interns from Agnes Scott college, collected milkweed seeds from the Captain Planet Foundation, got poo shirts from Earth University, and learned about sustainability issues, including my work as they joined me at the Worldwatch booth.”
John Knox, Executive Director at Earth Island Institute, liked interacting with the young people at RayDay. With a smile, he told about meeting the young siblings behind One More Generation “who have started a dynamic program, and don’t know what they can’t do! They are at RayDay celebrating – and being celebrated!”
An afternoon in the country . . . connecting with nature
RayDay does something unique. It invites people to come join the Ray C. Anderson Foundation and spend an afternoon outside, in a field in south Georgia. Harriet Langford notes, “There couldn’t be a better setting for RayDay than Serenbe, an exemplary model for simpler living and community.”
RayDay connects people with nature. Yancey Fouche agreed. “Being surrounded by nature was the perfect setting to remind us of what’s really important and why we all do this work.”
Shannon Kettering, Executive Director of Chattahoochee NOW, noted that RayDay provided a very positive experience. “Our Board members enjoyed a really wonderful, laidback afternoon.”
RayDay . . . a gift of a family’s love
Erik Assadourian commented on the “great energy and love put into RayDay. “ He reported that he “heard repeatedly how awesome it was that this event was gifted to everyone! It definitely created a lot of joy and good will.”
Yancey Fouche stated, “I’ve been trying to describe RayDay to friends, family and colleagues, and have a hard time capturing how impactful it was!”
Janine Benyus, biologist, author and co-founder of Biomimicry Institute, gives her thoughts on RayDay as a nexus for good conversation and a celebration for sustainable living.
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RayDay 2014 – Modeled for Sustainability
Ray Anderson‘s mission was to redesign a more sustainable world. The Trustees’ goal was to design our RayDay event as sustainably as possible. This included
RayDay 2014 – a CarbonNeutral® event
The Foundation was proud to work with The CarbonNeutral Company, a world-leading provider of carbon reduction solutions, to make RayDay 2014 a CarbonNeutral® event. This means that the CO2 emissions produced from the day’s energy, waste, supplier and organizer travel were balanced out by purchasing carbon offsets from two climate friendly projects which reduce the equivalent amount of CO2. Our offset projects included a reforestation project in the Mississippi Valley and water and filtration and cookstove projects in Guatemala.
With the successes of the 2nd Annual RayDay, the Ray C. Anderson Foundation is well poised to continue building upon the legacy of Ray Anderson at next year’s RayDay … and beyond!