Meet the Keynote
Daniel Anderson, Founding Director of The Common Ground Project
Daniel was raised in Tom Miner Basin, Montana – a wild landscape located on the northern border of Yellowstone National Park. His family’s connection to Montana began in the mid-1950s when his grandparents sought a new life following traumas they experienced during World War II. Since then, his family’s story has been shaped by an agrarian lifestyle and kindred ties to the landscape. Daniel’s journey – which includes facing an aggressive cancer at the age of 24 – has provided him with a strong sense of belonging to the land and the many creatures who draw from it, including humans.
In 2017, Daniel founded The Common Ground Project, a nonprofit organization with a mission to foster learning, build community, and encourage healing for both people and the environment. The organization hosts land-guided workshops, retreats, and gatherings for groups of people exploring social and environmental challenges throughout the region. The Common Ground Project also provides facilitation for collaborative partnerships and organizations.
Daniel has a professional certificate in Natural Resources Conflict Resolution from the Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy at the University of Montana. He has an M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana, holds a B.S. in Construction Engineering Technology from Montana State University, is a LEED accredited professional, and speaks widely about his connection to the people and landscapes of Montana.
At MSU’s Sustainability Summit, we will hear Daniel speak to both the beauty and raw edge of living in one of the nation’s most revered landscapes: Paradise Valley. We will learn of his family’s journey toward holistic land stewardship, his personal experience facing cancer, and how this confluence of life events has shaped Daniel’s approach to his work. Daniel believes that, above all else, relationships matter, and communities in collaboration hold the key for people of any color, creed, geography, and identity to more effectively navigate the most pressing social and environmental issues of our time. It begins with a conversation.