Tools for Social Innovators

Tools for Social Innovators

So much has happened since I last posted. The world has been changing at a tremendous rate. Now, as much as ever before, is the time to speak up and act on behalf of human rights and the environment.

In support of those who continue to make our world a better place for everyone, I have created a new website called Tools for Social Innovators.

Tools for Social Innovators is an online library of tools to help people solve big social and environmental problems AND make money to sustain these important efforts. You’ll see that the tools are categorized into three sections:

  1. Tools for Social Innovation, which help with the process of innovating solutions to social and environmental challenges.
  2. Tools for Social Entrepreneurship, which provide guidance on how to build enterprises (in any sector) that tackle social, environmental, and economic challenges.
  3. Tools for Your Mind, which help you become the leader you need to be in order to help make the world a better place.

I created this website to provide the tools & strategies people can use to embark on social innovation in any sector. After studying business and public administration, planning and policy, I started noticing that many of the tools and strategies I was learning about could be shared more broadly and used across sectors, but often weren’t.  Also, I found that there was no single place on the internet where all the tools available could be found in one place. So I decided to create it.

This website is the culmination of work that I’ve been focused on for years. I’ve worked with non-profits and for-profits, including a consulting firm, a think tank, a startup accelerator, local and national non-profits, and governments. This website takes all the tools and strategies I’ve learned over time and gives them to you… for free.

Because it’s up to us to make this the world we want to live in.

With love,

Marianne

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Made in Cleveland: Sustainability Innovations

Just came across some videos shot and edited by Brad Masi that I’d like to share with you all:

The Urban Lumberjacks are deconstructing houses and using the materials to build greenhouses.

The Central Community Cooperative is especially interesting to me because of its connection to Cuyahoga Community College’s Metropolitan Campus (Tri-C Metro) and Dr. Michael Scope, who also started the Collaborative Campus. The Collaborative Campus Project is an effort to build upon the strengths of the area surrounding Tri-C Metro, making it a safer, more prosperous and sustainable community for all. Tri-C’s efforts to reach out to their surrounding community are truly inspiring and I’m looking forward to seeing how these new projects are implemented, creating results for the neighborhoods within the Campus District.

Click here to watch some more of Brad Masi’s videos!

Northeast Ohio’s Notable Nine

What is better than a “Top Ten” or a “Year in Review” list?  The Notable Nine, of course.  A whiz-bang combination of both, and yet unique in number, the Notable Nine have managed to multiple-handedly change the game in Northeast Ohio.

Without further ado, I present…

The Notable Nine

9.  Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Action and Resources Guide: In the second year of its decade-long endeavor, this mayor-led initiative has published a report on how to move forward.

8.  The Restoring Prosperity Report: A collaborative effort between the Greater Ohio Policy Center and the Brookings Institute, this report offers policy recommendations for improving Ohio’s long-term prosperity.

7.  The Northeast Ohio Green Map: You can add sustainable organizations, initiatives and infrastructure to it too!

6.  Water|Craft Urban-Infill Vol. 3: This book by the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative’s PopUp City is jam-packed with ideas on regional water issues and new urban design approaches to tackle them.

5.  NEORSD Project Clean Lake:  No one likes Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs), including the US EPA.  CSOs allow untreated sewage to go into our otherwise beautiful watershed and Great Lake.  The NEORSD is now going to do something about it.

4.  Trust for Public Land: Taking the reigns for completing the Towpath Trail and connecting it to Lake Erie, the Trust for Public Land is making it possible to build a greenway through downtown Cleveland.

3.  Flats East Bank Loan Guarantee from HUD: The redevelopment of the Flats East Bank is perhaps not so far off after all.

2.  Reimagining Greater Cleveland: The Cleveland Botanical Garden is using the $167,000 grant they received from the Great Lakes Protection Fund to help transform vacant land in Northeast Ohio into ‘green’ infrastructure.

1.  Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant and the Regional Prosperity Initiative: There’s nothing quite like getting federal dollars for sustainable community building in Northeast Ohio!

(Continue reading for Honorable Mentions and Maybe Next Times)
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Federal Funding Opportunities

Here’s a list of federal funding opportunities that could be especially helpful for post-industrial communities that are willing to collaborate on a regional level to reinvent themselves.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Choice Neighborhood Pre-Notice
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development posted the Choice Neighborhood FY 2010 Notice of Funding Availability Pre-Notice to give potential applicants guidance prior to the actual Choice Neighborhoods funding notice that will be published this summer. The guidance offers advance details regarding the application process to compete for funds through this pilot program.  More here.

Tiger II Discretionary Grants Program: Deadline August 23
The Department of Transportation is soliciting applications for the “TIGER II” discretionary grant program, a $600 million competitive transportation grant program for surface transportation projects. More here.

Sustainable Communities Grants: Deadline August 23
The U.S. Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development have joined together to award up to $75 million in funding–$35 million in TIGER II Planning Grants and $40 million in Sustainable Community Challenge Grants–for localized planning activities that ultimately lead to projects that integrate transportation, housing, and economic development. More here.

HUD Sustainable Regional Planning Grant: Deadline August 23
The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development is seeking applicants for their $100 million Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant program. The program is designed to create stronger, more sustainable communities by connecting housing to jobs, fostering local innovation, and building a clean energy economy. The grant is part of the DOT, HUD, EPA partnership. More here.

EDA Innovation in Economic Development Competition: Deadline August 27
The Economic Development Administration announced funding for projects that advance innovation, boost competitiveness, and create jobs. Grants will be given to innovations in commercialization, regional innovation clusters, global export promotion, and green technology. More here.

The Launch of the Northeast Ohio Green Map

When I arrived at my desk after the launch party for the Northeast Ohio Green Map, there was a letter waiting for me. I opened it with some degree of excitement (my name and address were handwritten – always a good sign) and found inside a thank you note from one of the attendees of the event that attracted dozens interested in mapping the region’s sustainability assets online.

The note, the turnout and the feedback at the launch party made me feel as though what we are working on here is, in fact, needed and rejoiced as a tool for community asset mapping in Northeast Ohio. What an extraordinary feeling to have after working on something that you believe in.

During the event, the back room of the Treehouse shrank as people continued to pour in during the presentation, and I was relieved that the bar didn’t have as limited a supply of beer as we had of Edison’s pizza.

Click to view the presentation

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The Northeast Ohio Green Map

This summer, I’m working with GreenCityBlueLake to develop the Northeast Ohio Green Map.

This is an open-sourced asset map (read: inventory of our communities’ strengths) of all the sustainability organizations, initiatives and infrastructure in Northeast Ohio, and we need your knowledge and participation in order to make this map the rich community tool that it has the potential to become.

Join us for the launch of the Northeast Ohio Green Map!

5:30-8pm at The Treehouse, 820 College Ave., Tremont

Join us for this Mapping Party to celebrate the launch of the Northeast Ohio Green Map. The Treehouse will supply the beer, we’ll supply the food, and you supply the knowledge of our communities’ assets and opportunities!  Bring your laptop and we’ll start mapping Northeast Ohio’s sustainability organizations, initiatives, and infrastructure together.

Asset mapping could help organizations and individuals of all kinds—including non-profit, for-profit, governmental, academic and public—to find one another, connect and collaborate around regional sustainability.
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Beyond the Motor City

Give this new documentary by Aaron Woolf a watch:

According to the film’s press release,

Beyond the Motor City…examines how Detroit, a grim symbol of America’s diminishing status in the world, may come to represent the future of transportation and progress in America.

Detroit and its Great Lakes neighbors are looking to high-speed, light rail as a solution not just for transportation in the region, but also as a means to lower greenhouse gas emissions (and improve air quality), reduce the consumption of petroleum, create jobs, and rebuild our cities around transit for higher population density and improved mobility for all (not just for people who own cars).

To watch the full-length feature, visit The Blueprint America Screening Tour website.