Our purpose is to foster dialogue and collaboration. We make decisions by consensus of the members present at our meetings about how and when to meet, what initiatives to take on, and how to complement them. We have agreed not to become another organization with staff competing for funding, but remain a community of professionals (paid and volunteer) working in sustainability who pay dues to support our collaboration, as a project of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission. PVSN now has over 100 member organizations and individuals. We have one paid part-time staff position, in addition to the two paid part-time researchers who secured the original funding. A volunteer Chair facilitates meetings, a volunteer steering committee helps set agendas, and ad hoc committees emerge as needed to work on time-limited projects.
The work of PVSN is informed by a number of leading thinkers and practitioners in the field of sustainability. Among these are William McDonough and the Natural Step.