Local Innovators: Leaders in Local & Regional Collaboration Report

The Hannah Grimes Center released the report, Local Innovators: Leaders in Local & Regional Collaboration, a product of nine interviews with a diverse sampling of local and regional leaders in the Monadnock Region of Southwest New Hampshire.  Included within the report are nine case studies that highlight challenges and innovative solutions for collaborating locally and regionally.  Also included are tips and resources for groups and individuals seeking to improve their own collaborative efforts. This report was produced by Libby Weiland, a recent Antioch University New England graduate who worked on this project as a Hannah Grimes Center intern this past spring. Out of her interviews emerged themes and commonalities that provided insight into the questions:

  • What makes for successful collaboration?
  • What challenges do groups face to successful collaboration?
  • What common needs do groups have?
  • What innovative solutions are being proposed?

Local Innovators interviewed include:

April 2010 Local Living Economy Event

In the spring of 2010, Antioch University New England partnered with the Hannah Grimes Center to offer a follow-up event to Keene State College Symposium.  It is clear that our region has a wealth of initiatives working to strengthen our local living economy.  The focus of this event was to explore how we are addressing our challenges and identifying our assets collectively. Are there challenges that some initiatives are facing that could be addressed by another initiative’s strengths?

Community members, businesses leaders and organizations were all invited to explore a framework for problem-solving highlighted in the video “Restoring Los Angeles: Healing the Nature of Our Cities.” Andy Lipkis from the non-profit organization Treepeople spoke of an integrated approach that helped the city of Los Angeles adopt a solution that resulted in better environmental and social benefits at a cost-savings for the city – reframing challenges into solutions.

Welcome Libby Weiland, Spring LLE Collaboration Coordinator

Hello, my name is Libby Weiland and I am excited to be joining the Hannah Grimes Center this spring as an intern with the Monadnock Local Living Economy project!  As Collaboration Coordinator, I am working closely with Jen Risley of Hannah Grimes to gather the best practices related to collaboration building.  My research will not only involve gleaning from the good work of groups collaborating in the area, but will also provide interested groups with the tools needed to create even stronger, lasting, and effective collaborative efforts.

My interest in this work comes out of ten years of community work with Community Action Agencies, Cooperative Extension, and other community-based organizations relating to food access and education.  Through this work I have discovered my passion for community and an understanding of the power of groups working effectively together.

This passion brought me to pursue a Master’s degree at Antioch University New England, where I am currently in my final semester of the Environmental Education Program.  Over the past year and half at Antioch I have had the privilege to work on projects including Antioch’s Keene Community Garden Connections (CGC), Cheshire County Conservation District’s Cheshire County Farm and Infrastructure Project, and Great Falls Food Hub’s Access Committee.   I’ve been working with these groups to establish communal garden sites, gather input from residents on the future of community agricultural resources, and develop collaborative efforts to increase access to healthy, affordable food in the region.

Throughout these projects, I have been fortunate to work closely with numerous groups in the area who are working to make our community more resilient and a healthier place to live.  I hope that this spring will be yet another opportunity for me to learn from these groups and to give back something in return.

Complete Streets: Maximizing Local Living Economies

Instead of designing roads with the sole intention of getting a vehicle from place A to place B, why not consider each road as part of a larger system – a system that impacts our safety, economic development, quality of life, the environment and public health? (AKA: Our Local Living Economy.)  A Complete Streets Policy can help communities consider all the impacts roads have on our lives and promote the design and maintenance of roads to maximize benefits.

Who wants a Complete Streets Policy in Keene?  We do!  A Complete Streets Policy was identified as a priority in the 2010 Keene Comprehensive Master Plan: “Members of the community expressed a desire, as part of creating Keene’s walkable community, to strive for ‘complete streets.’ Keene should make it a consistent policy to design streets with all users in mind, including drivers, public transport riders, pedestrians, and bicyclists as well as older people, children, and those with disabilities.”

Who will make a Complete Streets Policy happen in Keene? We will! The Keene Young Professionals Network is organizing a community service project to support the adoption of a Complete Streets Policy in Keene.  Get involved by contacting jen@hannahgrimes.com.

Have questions and concerns about a Complete Streets Policy? Review some frequently asked questions at http://www.completestreets.org.  Find out more about Complete Streets at the Monadnock Earth Festival on April 23, 11 a.m. – 4p.m. and at the Council for a Healthier Community Vision 2020 How and Why to Have Complete Streets Event with built environment expert and consultant, Mark Fenton May 4, 2011 from 7:30 am – 10 am.

Who is Working Collaboratively?

At the Spring 2010 Local Living Economy Event, we asked participants to brainstorm:

Who is working collaboratively in the Monadnock Region?

Here’s the initial list that was generated, now it’s your turn to add the missing organizations & businesses to this list:

Antioch University New England (Green MBA Program)
Cheshire County Conservation District
Monadnock Farm Community Connection
Cheshire Medical Center
Vision 2020
Clean Air Cool Planet
Cool Monadnock
Franklin Pierce College
Great Falls Food Hub
Green Jobs Forum
Hannah Grimes
Keene, City Council
Keene Downtown Group
Monadnock Buy Local
Keene State College
Monadnock Localvores
Monadnock Development Services
First Course/True Nut
Monadnock Sustainability Network
Monadnock Resource Partners
Monadnock Travel Council
Moosewood Ecological
Neighborhood Groups
Stonewall Farms
Southwest Community Services
Southwest Regional Planning Commission
Keene Transition Town Task Force
Working Families Win

2010 Event