Tag Archives: sustainable communities

Fresh crop of ideas for stronger local food systems

19 Apr

From corporate strategy to public policy to hands in the warm spring soil, it’s all about food.


You can’t buy happiness, but can you measure it?

17 Apr

The U.S. Constitution promises life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as inalienable rights. Now, the nonprofit Sustainable Seattle has launched a new initiative to tackle this third promise head-on.


Five mindsets for nonprofit innovation

30 Dec

Whether or not you consider yourself creative, you’ve undoubtedly contributed to innovation. This is because innovation is largely a social, iterative process of developing, building upon and testing ideas over time. Here are some great examples of mindsets for innovation in the nonprofit arena.


It takes a village to raise a school

30 Nov

For years, the people of Coburg, Oregon (population 1,080) have heard that their elementary school will close because it’s not economically viable. This past June, 4J regional school district officials again warned that Coburg School would likely close within the year. City leaders and parents were once again discouraged about the future of their school. A small group of parents started strategizing. By November, when 4J Superintendent George Russell confirmed the closure as one of his recommendations to address a gaping budget deficit for the 2011 school year, something remarkable had happened in Coburg.


Ten habits of highly effective communities . . . and dieters

19 Jan

Both dieting and community revitalization involve getting used to new habits and behaviors so that they become second nature. To launch the new year, here’s my list of ten things that dieting and community revitalization have in common. Really!


Tale of two towns

18 Jan

Two rural towns near my home recently lost vital community businesses. One lost the only coin-operated laundry. The other lost the only food market. Both business losses particularly affected the poorest, most vulnerable people in the community. Both communities have strong leaders and organizations. But how each community responded to the crisis was very different.


“Buy local” gains currency

3 Aug

In this economy, in my community and probably yours as well, retailers are struggling. Furthermore, the long term future of place-based retail seems permanently altered by internet commerce and by growing sensitivity to sustainability issues– many people no longer want to buy so much “stuff”.