Economic Alliance Summit Features Local Author, Photographer and Business Leader – The Durango Herald



The objective of the 2021 event is “Rehumanize work”

How will life and happiness converge with work in a changing world?

This question is one that acclaimed National Geographic photographer Cory Richards intends to explore during his keynote presentation Tuesday at the upcoming La Plata County Economic Alliance Summit at the Sky Ute Casino Resort Event Center in Ignacio. .

Richards will be joined by Steve Cadigan, a talent-strategist, speaker and author of the brand new “Workquake”; and local business leader Kerry Siggins, CEO of StoneAge, a Durango-based waterjet tool maker.

The author of “Workquake” Steve Cadigan

Steve Cadigan is expected to speak at the 2021 La Plata County Economic Alliance summit on Tuesday. He released “Workquake: Embracing the Aftershocks of COVID-19 to Create a Better Model of Working” in August. (Courtesy)

Cadigan has spent the past 30 years immersed in talent management strategy and the development of corporate culture. He was LinkedIn’s first HR manager and successfully grew the company’s workforce from 400 to 4,000 in three and a half years.

In August, he published “Workquake: Embracing the Aftershocks of COVID-19 to Create a Better Model of Working”.

The book punctuates the need for a conversation about how to revitalize the relationship between employer and employee in a changing world facing challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and revolutionary but formidable technological advances.

“Most of the narratives about the future of work are imbued with ‘Robots, artificial intelligence, automation and technology are going to replace jobs,'” Cadigan said. “The truth is they’re going to be a big part of the future of work. But isn’t the most relevant and interesting conversation: “How do we harness this technology to have a deeper human experience, not only at work, but simply in our lives?” How can we leverage our humanity to our advantage in a world where we feel increasingly victimized by technology? “

Cadigan described himself as an optimist and said he was tired of the pessimism about the near and far future of work.

“I think we need to take a step back and say, ‘This technology is here to help give us a greater human experience,’ and I think we need to start taking control of the conversation.”

Kerry Siggins, CEO of StoneAge

Kerry Siggins, CEO of Durango-based StoneAge, is due to speak at the La Plata Economic Alliance summit on Tuesday. (Courtesy)

StoneAge, an employee-owned design and manufacturing company based in Durango, tackled the process of rehumanizing work years ago, Siggins said.

“It’s in our DNA as an employee-owned business,” said Siggins. “It means treating people like adults, giving as much flexibility and autonomy as possible, paying living wages, creating opportunities for growth, sharing the success of the business through profit sharing and ownership, being radically transparent and admit when we mess up. Are we perfect? Not even close, but that’s not the point. The goal is to live and breathe our values, to treat people with respect and to learn from our mistakes.

Siggins stepped into the leadership role at StoneAge when she was just 28 years old. She said self-awareness is paramount when it comes to strong leadership.

“Most of us go through our days, paying little attention to our actions and decisions,” she said. “Being on autopilot isn’t necessarily bad because our brains need to conserve energy for the bigger issues we face in any given day. Yet leaders are in trouble when they don’t understand. how their actions, words and decisions impact others.

Practicing self-awareness helps leaders be aware of their actions and the consequences of those actions, Siggins said.

“A deep self-awareness enables leaders to take ownership of their impact and develop alternative responses and methods to resolve the conflict they trigger,” she said.

Photographer Cory Richards

Richards, an avid adventure photographer, survived a near-death experience in 2011 after being buried in an avalanche as he descended Gasherbrum II in the Baltistan region of Pakistan, an event that marked him d ‘post-traumatic stress disorder.

But he had faced other challenges: addiction, divorce, infidelity, bipolar disorder 2, to name a few. Richards uses his adventure photography to examine the internal and personal side of the trauma he believes everyone is exposed to to one degree or another.

“We use this type of adventure vehicle and the visual vehicle to expose the fact that everyone faces a certain level of personal upheaval in life,” said Richards. “To humanize work, we have to make room for it and also give it a voice. Because if we don’t – and many studies show it – our work and our ability to effectively contribute to creativity is diminished when we suffer interpersonally.

The Sky Ute Casino requires all participants to wear a mask, temperature checks at the hotel entrance and either full proof of COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test within two days before the event.

[email protected]



Leave A Reply