The Fourth Economy team strongly believes in the power of partnerships in improving community and economic development outcomes. Through our work, we have managed numerous collaborations and identified four keys that lead to effective partnerships.
Patience, Participation, and Partnership
Effective collaboration can be difficult and often takes time. Therefore, it requires that all stakeholders have patience throughout the process of building partnerships and developing solutions. As partnership groups face challenging times, it is critical that they overcome these difficulties together and remain engaged in the effort. One difficulty that may arise is that as individuals and organizations collaborate to further a common purpose, they are typically guided by their own self-interest. These motivations are not always negative and can often support the success of collaborative groups when they are aligned with the goals of the larger partnership. In addition to acknowledging these self-interests, during initial conversations, these groups should identify outcomes and boundaries to focus their work. The group should allow for some flexibility in these areas as issues can change, but too much flexibility will impede the group’s ability to effect change and could cause stakeholders to leave the group. Continue reading “The Four Keys to Effective Collaborations”
Many state governments have devoted a great deal of resources over the past decade to mitigating and responding to climate change through energy and urban planning related efforts. Planners and energy experts are fluent in the language of sustainability, adaptation, resiliency, and mitigation. But ask an economic development official what climate change means to them and it’s possible that they can barely utter the word. Many in the business community have feared that climate change will simply mean more costly equipment upgrades to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In too many communities, time is still spent debating the veracity of climate science instead of recognizing the impacts already occurring. Economic development officials have a responsibility to help businesses understand the greater implications of climate change – how they can protect themselves from the effects of climate change; how they could develop new products or services in response to climate change; and how they should prepare themselves to recover from climate-related events. Continue reading “Preparing your Local Economy for Climate Change”
After hundreds of hours speaking with the leaders of America’s transformed cities, analyzing data until our eyes crossed and summarizing all of our findings in an action oriented report, I am ready to provide you with the cliff notes. To summarize, we found that there are nine key themes to consider if you are looking to transform your community.
Having personally conducted and written more than 75 comprehensive economic impact studies using linear cash flow models for higher education and health care clients over my 16+ year career, I thought it would be interesting to look more closely at how the focus of economic impact reports has changed over the years. Continue reading “What’s New in Economic Impact”
Last month, the Fourth Economy team organized a panel discussion at the annual summit of the University Economic Development Association (UEDA) in Indianapolis, IN. The panel topic “Partnerships for Place-making” brought together a cross-sector of university, private real estate and community development specialists.
How colleges and universities can engage for community and economic development is an important fourth economy element. Aaron Laramore, Program Officer for the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) of Indianapolis summarized the key resources and roles his regional universities play within the community development nexus.
- Research and Analysis – They can help to effectively define the problem, determine how long has it been going on, how bad it is, and what can be done.
- Implementation – They can help development solutions, deployment strategies and evaluate results.
- Education – They can help inform the community on project opportunities and guide the community planning process
Resources in Indy?
Within the Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IU-PUI) partnership, several centers and community resources exist.
The Center for Urban Health researches the enhancement of health and sustainability for urban populations, focused on environmental legacies to include reduced contamination, removing social and economic disparities and emerging threats such climate change and water quality.
The Center for Service and Learning partners students, faculty and staff with near campus neighborhoods to address community and social justice issues.
The Polis Center is an academic research center with practical and applied orientation on issues related to metro Indianapolis and other mid-sized American cities using geospatial information systems
The Outcomes in Indy?
Several key community improvement initiatives and development projects have resulted through these partnerships.
Improving Kids Environment (IKE) – IKE is a local non-profit in Indianapolis focused on the reduction of environmental threats to children’s health. IKE uses research and tactical expertise from IUPUI to educate residents on soil lead levels, environmental hot spots, safe gardening techniques and air quality monitoring.
Indy Indicators – Indy Indicators is a website resource measuring and engaging people in the quality of life in Central Indiana by providing interactive maps based on census tracts and neighborhoods on key indicators, metrics and community assessments.
IUPUI Fit for Life – Fit for Life assists neighborhoods in creating long-rage health plans to reduce obesity, heart desease, diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke. Fit For Life established a 6,000 square foot wellness center open for use by parents and community members
Growing Nearwest – The IUPUI Herron School of Arts enlisted two classes to create a garden identity and image for the initiative and marketing materials. A design team engaged community residents in determining relevant crops, garden sites and strategies to address water and labor engagement to support the gardens.
Click here to view Aaron’s full presentation:
LISC mobilizes corporate, government and philanthropic support to provide local community development organizations with 1) loans, grants and equity investments, 2) local, statewide and national policy support and 3) technical and management assistance.
If you have a fourth economy partnership story you would like to share with us, drop us a note below…