Why Rowan Institute?
Rowan trees are mythical and ancient symbols for many human cultures. The tree is cosmopolitan and identified with both male and female iconography. A theme of protection is woven into many of the stories and imagery of the rowan tree. Rowan trees next to homes, or a bit of wood carried on your person, provided protection from malevolent, medieval forces. A flying rowan, or a rowan tree growing epiphytically, was thought to contain even greater forces of magical protection.
Rowan trees are magical, beautiful trees connected to human homes and stories. Rowan is also the name of my son.
We choose the name Rowan Institute to reflect a deeper meaning and desire: we want to help and protect public leaders and STEM professionals who must chart a course through difficult and dangerous terrain. We envision Rowan Institute stewarding the speech and leadership choices of these public professionals, so that they may safely and effectively navigate partisan and toxic public rhetoric. There has never been a better time to engage in the most difficult public conversations.
When you look at our logo, you might see an abstraction of the serial leaves and berries of the Rowan Tree. Or, you may see the three dots, the ellipsis. We know this symbol intimately from our digital texting lives with one another. When you see the ellipsis texting, you know: the communication is coming.
Same with the Rowan Institute... You know the communication is coming. We are here to build an intellectual home for communication and leadership skills in a hot, dangerous world. We want to be that *pause* button in public leadership - to help professionals reframe their communication and strategic leadership using equity and information.