February 7, 2020, 12:30 PM to 6:00 PM

The Westin Portland Harborview

157 High Street
PortlandME 04101

Directions via Google

When storms hit, communities are disrupted, and our leadership is tested. These changing times require that we not only brace for the weather ahead but strengthen our resolve to tackle complex issues together. In the next decade, Maine’s working waterfront, its workforce, and economy will be pressured as never before. To promote courageous leadership and act swiftly to mobilize our resources, the 2020 Waypoints Forum will offer an opportunity to address the multitude of challenges facing our coast.

The event also marks the launch of the Island Institute's forthcoming publication, Waypoints: Connect – Infrastructure Indicators for Maine’s Coast and Islands, an extended look at the physical, economic, and civic infrastructure that connects and shapes our state’s coastal communities.

Join us as we look, listen, and vision together for a resilient future.


Christine Nieves, Co-founder and President, Emerge Puerto Rico

As the co-founder and president of the nonprofit Emerge Puerto Rico, Christine Nieves focuses on rooting cutting-edge climate change leadership and education in community wisdom. Her attention is focused on human consciousness, cognition, evolution, and adaptation to extreme environmental disruptions.

Christine was greeted with the tragedy of Hurricane Maria in September 2017. To initially support her community, she co-founded Proyecto de Apoyo Mutuo Mariana (Project for Mutual Aid Mariana), a disaster relief effort with a mission to transform the community of Mariana into a transgenerational catalytic sustainable village by developing and practicing community-level hurricane preparedness plans and building social and physical infrastructure to help withstand uncertainty and future natural disasters. With her eyes set on the long-term recovery, Christine and her collaborators are shifting to sustainable development—from transforming an abandoned school building into a community center for cultural and artistic projects, to identifying and marshaling resources for individuals to launch micro-businesses, her team is finding ways to support healing from individual and collective trauma.  

Learn more about Christine and her work in her TEDMED talk:
"Why Community Is our Best Chance for Survival"


With storms—both literal and figurative—as a frame for the 2020 Waypoints Forum, our panel discussion will delve into the role of leadership in navigating the complexities surrounding Portland’s waterfront to explore lessons that are transferable up and down the coast. Panelists to include Portland City Manager Jon P. Jennings and Cliff Island resident and community leader Cheryl Crowley.


Following the panel, three leaders from varied communities will each share their "storm" stories to extend learning on leading through disruptive times.

Presenters will include: Emily Lane, international sales manager for Luke's Lobster and chair of the Island Institute Board of Trustees, and R. Miles Stair, trustee of the Gifft Hill School, St. John, US Virgin Islands.

More details on panelists and the lightning talks coming soon!


General admission to the 2020 Waypoints Forum includes the afternoon symposium, refreshments, and a catered networking reception featuring local music. The symposium will take place from 12:30-4:30 p.m. and the reception from 4:30-6:00 p.m.


SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland
Doors open at 8:30 p.m.; Show starts at 9:00 p.m.

New this year! Following the Forum, we will also host our first after-party, OFF THE ROCK, at SPACE Gallery celebrating the unique culture and community of Maine’s islands. Join us and experience three unique sets of music featuring folk, punk, and rock n’ roll of Maine island life.

For details and tickets for the after-party, click here.


Email us at: events@islandinstitute.org