Travels from Kansas, USA
Mayor Bob Dixson's speaking fee falls within range: $5,000 to $10,000 (Speakers' virtual presentation fees are generally around 60-80% of the in-person fee range noted here.)
After a massive tornado leveled Greensburg, Kansas to the ground, Mayor Bob Dixson led residents not only to rebuild, but create what some now call “the greenest town in America.” Fueled 100% by renewable energy, Greensburg serves as a model community in a world where climate change, pollution, and dwindling natural resources are among the most pressing issues of our time.
Throughout the town’s journey to sustainability, Mayor Dixson has risen to national stardom as an outspoken champion and practitioner of putting people first in order to achieve real solutions to dire dilemmas.
Mayor Dixson strives to make Greensburg the “greenest city in America.” This city′s rebuilding efforts include utilizing 100 percent wind power and implementing a resolution that all government buildings are built to LEED platinum specifications, including Greensburg′s city hall, a school, and a county hospital. This decision was made as a result of severe tornado damage, which included winds measuring 205 mph, leaving an approximately 1.7-mile wide footprint in the city, which covered approximately 1.5 square miles. 800 residents and 60 businesses have since committed to incorporating sustainable design practices into Greensburg′s rebuilding efforts.
Bob Dixson shares the remarkable story of how a tornado turned his community members’ lives upside down in a matter of minutes and how they rose up from the debris to come together and build something even better than what they had before. “Your expectations can change in a blink of an eye,” Mayor Dixson reflects on how everyone was preparing for a relaxing weekend that Friday evening when a 2-mile-wide tornado destroyed 95% of Greensburg, Kansas.
“The only thing we really had left and the only true sustainable thing in life is our relationships with our community members,” Mayor Dixson comments on the aftermath of the disaster.
Afterwards Greensburg’s residents collaborated to create a town that receives 100% of its energy from sustainable resources, but he advises groups not to wait for a disaster to take action, saying that it’s our duty to take care of the resources we have. “Sustainability,” he defines, “is the ability of us to meet our own needs but not jeopardizing or compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”
Mayor Bob Dixson calls upon leaders and community members to put aside partisan differences and take action for the common good, reminding us what truly matters in this world. “Don’t get caught up on those political things that polarize communities, when it’s about people,” he urges. “Because when you remember that, those are the core values of who we are.”
He walks us through the process his town Greensburg undertook to democratically rebuild, highlighting the gatherings that took place in their FEMA tent. In addition to meetings, proposals of public spaces such as the school and city hall were on display so that people could add their comments or ideas to the plan in the form of a sticky note. “That’s what really being ‘green’ is about,” Mayor Dixson observes. “Is being able to have that thought process that we’re going to collaboratively do this together.”
Mayor Bob Dixson is a living example of how a leader can transform his distraught town into a pioneering model for the rest of the country. An inspirational and emotionally charged speaker, he draws from his own experience of rebuilding his community to give advice on how to overcome challenges, put political differences aside, and work together for the greater good. An expert on creating a sustainable town, Mayor Dixson can speak on the changes your community can make so that future generations will also be able to enjoy a high quality life and the beauty of nature.
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