Create a Society of Young Leaders

The Capital Area United Way in Lansing, MI has launch a program to train the next generation of young, community-minded leaders.  Participants learn how to identify a problem or issue in their community and then build a network to solve it.

Beyond training young pros to be leaders, the Young Leaders Society is getting people to believe that they have the power to make positive change and that they don’t have to go to where the grass is greener - they can water the grass themselves. In places that were traditionally thought of as the Rust Belt, that’s a powerful thing. 

Lansing, MI

Smart Cities Support Local Food

Lansing City MarketCities are smart when they support local businesses, farmers, growers and artisans. Lansing, MI’s year-round urban market has been around for more than 100 years and with its recent reinvention, we’re helping more people than ever have access to fresh, nutritious food at affordable prices.

Travel By Train

The most rewarding life experience has been the move to New Hampshire where one may enjoy all of nature’s beauty, healthy lifestyle if you want to participate in a variety of sports, and, most importantly, experience the genuine character of the citizens.  The majority of people here are open and sharing, will give of themselves to help their community as well as provide monetary support of services that are viewed favorably to maintain a quality of life.

The DownEaster train is extremely important to our people here and offers pleasant and reasonable cost transportation from Massachusetts to Maine.  Towns along the track appreciate this wonderful asset and many are leaving cars in the garages to commute by rail.  There are dedicated volunteers who service the stations and make every effort to deliver a positive experience to riders.  My train station photo is an award that was given to a volunteer of thirty years of service in our town.  Along with the photo came the personal respect of the community; something better than what is captured in a photo.

Dover, New Hampshire

Engaging Urbanites: SpeakUpAustin

As the Community Engagement Consultant at the City of Austin (TX), I’ve helped design and launch, one of the few public participation portals in the U.S.  The portal is designed to make it clearer and easier for Austinites to engage in robust public policy dialogues across multiple subjects and departments.  Many city residents want to have a say in the future of their city, but it’s too difficult or intimidating (or both) to attend and/or participate in a community meeting. is designed to give everyone an opportunity to participate quickly, meaningfully, and effectively, and to interact with our residents with other points of view.

Michigan State University launches entrepreneurial education and support network #lovelansing

Bryan Ritchie, MSU professor and director of the Michigan Center for Innovation and Economic Prosperity, discusses MSU’s new entrepreneurial education and support network.  “This program itself is entrepreneurial…we are linking existing centers, courses, faculty and students into a flat organizational structure and network, connecting MSU and community service providers and firms into a just-in-time access point.”