Bert Jacobs Brings Optimism to the CAI National Conference: How “Life is Good” Can Lead to Stronger Communities

May 28, 2024

The Community Associations Institute (CAI) National Conference wrapped up recently, and this year’s keynote speaker left a lasting impression: Bert Jacobs, co-founder of the iconic lifestyle brand, Life is Good.

Jacobs’ message wasn’t just about spreading sunshine and happy vibes. He presented optimism as a “pragmatic strategy” for overcoming challenges and fostering a stronger sense of community.

Here are some key takeaways from Jacobs’ speech:

  • Optimism as a Tool: Jacobs argued that optimism isn’t just about passive cheerfulness. It’s a proactive approach that involves focusing on opportunities instead of dwelling on problems. By asking “what’s the best that can happen?” individuals and communities can find creative solutions and navigate difficulties more effectively.
  • Values Drive Action: Living a “Life is Good” life, according to Jacobs, starts with identifying core values. He highlighted the importance of values like gratitude, learning, and courage in guiding personal and professional decisions. In the context of community associations, these values can translate into fostering a sense of appreciation for residents, prioritizing learning opportunities, and having the courage to make tough decisions for the greater good.

  • The Power of Listening: Jacobs emphasized that true connection comes from listening to others. Community associations can create a more positive and collaborative environment by prioritizing open communication and receptiveness to resident concerns.

The message resonated with many CAI attendees but especially with our team. Jacobs encouraged us all to fully embrace our unique roles in building vibrant communities. 

“Take opportunities to share and teach things,” Jacobs said. “Where we’ve been teaches us where to go.”

Looking for more? You can find a video of Bert Jacobs’ keynote speech at the CAI conference on YouTube.