Going Up and Out: Orbital Thinking at Symposium

By Trish Rothgeb

From the moment that SCAA Executive Director Ric Rhinehart asked the 400 plus attendees at SCAA Symposium 2011 to “get orbital,” I knew this annual event of presentations, forums and conversations was not going to be an easy ride. Rhinehart knew we would be hearing about climate change, diminishing coffee quality, market volatility, and extreme poverty within the coffee supply chain, and it was clear that he was already expecting us to be overwhelmed, perhaps to the point where many of us would just shut down, disavowing any ownership of the problems before us.

And so he asked us to keep our own businesses in mind, but to put them on the back burner as we moved up and out with our perspective, maybe further up and farther out than we had ever gone before.

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