The Backstory: AEA 2014

Building on the 2014 American Evaluation Association conference theme

Visionary Evaluation for a Sustainable, Equitable Future

AEA 2014 Conference Graphic

In 2014, let’s use relationships and systems thinking to connect evaluation to the premier challenge of our time—nurturing a diverse and interconnected world with enough for all for generations to come. Let’s envision evaluation as fundamental to a sustainable, equitable future. Let’s unleash the power of evaluation and the desire of both evaluators and evaluation users to impact the world in positive ways.

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Fundamental theory and practice

Integrating systems thinking

Through this lens, we will help each other critique evaluation’s boundaries and understand the complexity of its multiple perspectives, diversity, and relationships.

Connect with other spheres and sectors

Building relationships

Consider how to build on your relationships with people from diverse disciplines, sectors, institutions, geographic regions, political perspectives, and cultural traditions.

Contributing your knowledge

Understanding sustainable and equitable living

How can evaluators and evaluation users sustain a program/initiative, its outcomes, its larger intended impact, its purpose, its direction, and/or its evaluation recommendations or processes?

Opening Session

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, 14-year-old youth director of Earth Guardians, joins Beverly Parsons, 2014 AEA President, to challenge your thinking about a sustainable, equitable future.

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Plenary Sessions

Hear about a vision of corporations fit for the future and the significance of social impact measurement for visionary evaluation.

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Closing Session

Interact with evaluation leaders around the question: What is the role of AEA in supporting a sustainable, equitable future for all?

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The good farmer

has wings. From the heavens, she dips and soars,
appeals to the earthworm and invites its caress
on the soft sides of her outstretched arms.

She finds her way when it rains on mowed hay,
persists though her wings might ache
and barns have burned to the ground.

She explores, with the perspective of ten thousand
springs, stones caught in the thirsty roots of a birch,
the soberness of a river bank.

She traces the perfume of horizons tacking
in and out of farm house windows,
some left barely open, if at all.

Near the solstice of summer afternoons,
she sits with you in the shade of a linden tree,
the tree the farmer plants when your

grandmother bakes her bread, cuts her cloth,
dresses the wounds of a brother’s chest,
a harvest of persimmons at her feet.

She sits with you near weary hearths,
fields thick with sweat and rock
and fishermen’s nets heavy

with bits of bottle necks
resisting the silt
of a winter’s waste.

Narratives among the jade of mountain tops
and sugar pine catch her mind’s eye. -
apple greens split into pomegranate reds,

yellow crackles with the stars tasting of
lemon and honey. The good farmer learns
what the linden knows -

learns how to navigate a visionary dare
toward the heavens and all its fires,
all the brothers and sisters,

grandmothers and sons, enemies and friends,
toward stories of fresh stoves, rich soil and nets
pregnant with tuna and krill.

The good farmer, a significant other
to the world, to you —sings octaves of imaginings
interwoven with honeysuckle dawns,
the only way,
to sow the earth.

by susan h robbins
Past-President EERS 2005-2006

Photo by Guna Guns from Pexels

Download the 2014 AEA Conference program

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