University of Redlands

University and Esri celebrate a decade of Redlands Forum learning and discourse

Esri founder and CEO Jack Dangermond speaks at a Redlands Forum

The lecture series has hosted a wide array of thought leaders throughout its first decade

What do anthropologist Dr. Jane Goodall, Atlantic reporter, and author James Fallows, and activist Ralph Nadar all have in common? Each has made a mark on the world, and each has presented at the Redlands Forum, the education and cultural series sponsored by Esri and the University of Redlands Town & Gown.

Usually held in the conference center on the Esri campus in downtown Redlands, the events – which often fill to capacity – are free and attended by business leaders, students, and community members.

“The Redlands Forum is a unique space where conversations flow freely and community builds,” says Dr. Ralph W. Kuncl, president of the University of Redlands. “In addition to this energized discourse, our students often have opportunities to engage more deeply with presenters who visit the campus, and our faculty are frequently invited to present.”

Starting with former U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey in 2009, the Forum has welcomed historians, environmentalists, representatives of law enforcement, musicians and University of Redlands faculty to talk about current issues and events.

“As a city, Redlands is blessed with the positive collaboration between Esri, the University of Redlands and the community at large, resulting in the Redlands Forum speaker series,” says Paul Foster, City of Redlands mayor. “For the past decade, the Forum has provided a wide range of unique and timely topics for the consideration and intellectual growth of our hometown, as well as the greater Inland Empire. This has been a true gift to us all.”

Over the past year, speakers have included home restoration celebrity Brett Waterman, author and Atlantic reporter James Fallows, and local historian Dr. Larry Burgess. The Forum usually presents more than 20 programs each year, the most recent featuring legendary oceanographer, and explorer in residence at the National Geographic Society, Dr. Sylvia Earle, discussing the importance of environmental stewardship of the ocean – one of the Earth’s greatest resources.

“At its start, the Redlands Forum was similar to a small sapling, just planted in the ground,” says Jack Dangermond, co-founder and president of Esri.  “The lecture series has been cultivated by the community for over 10 years — providing a space for learning and connecting the important topics of our time and times to come. As we imagine the next 10 years of the Redlands Forum, our dream is to continue the discourse about ideas, solutions, and innovations that could be realized by coming together to create a better future." 

On Thursday, Nov. 7, U of R alumna and author Kim Coventry will offer her unique perspective of the Chicago Colony in Redlands through a Chicago lens. Coventry co-chaired the committee that produced Chicago by the Book: 101 Publications That Shaped the City and Its Image.