LIVE BLOG: Global Sustainable Business Practice

Question: how can I-Open leverage the social network mapping to idetnify resources and capabilities for initiatives and entrepreneurial activity occuring in Midtown? How can others access the social network maps in a dynamic way?

Michael Salkin: talking about the implications of building sustainable business in a challenging global market.

NEO is an attractive location for global businesses desiring to set up business in a US market. Two items bring people together: economics and defense. Cities aggregated and eventually expanded to cities and city states. Countries as an entity are only about a couple of hundred years old. The same things that drove people together as a unit are now driving us together as a global society. It is nearly implossible to defend countries in this global state.

Offshoring is not a disaster and is part of the economic evolution happening across the globe. For every dollar outsourced, the US economy gains $1.19 and the developing country economy gains $0.33. Profits should be re-invested in upskill of employees. The $.33 profit has a significant value in the developing country and is capable of creating new demands and economies.

What is the predominant opportunity?

What is the intelligent response for leaders and politicians reagrding the global market? What is the government's role? The significant role is in the private enterprise. Government can help the private enterprise.

Energy: the US has the cheapest prices in the world. For the past thirty years we have known of the energy crisis.

LED lights use 60% less energy and the bulbs last 100,000 hours. There are many more people realizing - espeically in corporations - that the dollar, mangement and technology resources exisit to redirect activities in a more sustainable manner. Great technology and management opportunities are available for those ready to grasp them.

Environmental stress: global warming. Challenge: is to address how we maintain quality of life.

Widespread poverty: this is the largest market opportunity

Nine Sigma: The Internet has delivered 150%. Business can be created and taken to market without even meeting individuals. Look at the proiblem itself: this is a great time - software is available, Internet high speed broadband. language is not a problem: the communication just needs to be in the software code and architecture. IP issues is a big issue: in the US the company that pays for the work owns it. Everyone needs to think diversely and globally.

Reaching to the Base of the Pyramid: volume makes up for a lower level of individual wealth. This is an opportunity and a new challenge that will drive affordable technologies. 80% of the world's population makes $2.00 per day. This is a great market opportunity - however, the wealthy (companies) are proficient at producing products for the wealthy socieities.

Need technology, organization, managment to be able to create the new opportunities.

We should be investing in places where there is high public value. (reference: Ed Morrison)

Lever Shakti Video: 12% of the world's population live in rural Indian places. Shakti has taken on the challenge to network self help groups. People pool resources to invest in a larger business investment. This is a model for large corporations to reach down to provide self help (especially to women) to the masses. The goal is to encourage self improvement.

This is not something WalMart will be able to do. Cell phones and internet access by the minute is purchased allowing window access to say...the daily farmer's market. Another example of this is single use package of product - more profitable than in larger quantities. This is similar to the Shaklee, Avon type of marketing approaches.

Only a handful of companies are practicing this new approach.

If you are looking for a future role in this: Environmental Impact - Population X Affluence X Technology

The Private Sector will lead societal innovation

1) R & D

2) Education

3) Sustianability

What is the role of the governmennt and the private sector? Years ago innovation was driven by government; this has flipped and is now lead by private interests. Industry spends more than any other entity on education. Life long learning is the most important value. In the future: we need to recognize that education is the responsibiltiy of society.

Sustainability - most companies are talking about the triple bottome line - financials and human resources. A good example is LTV. ISG bought the company and had Bill Brig lead the company. Bill was trained in some of the new thinking, ie., we are in this together and need to collaborate. Part of sustainability - and the most important part - is the human part. As a result of these efforts the company excelled. Brigs talks about spending most of his time changing the culture in business.

In summary: there are many opportunties for new work - technololgy

We need to fix education. The private sector needs to play a larger role in this. Companies need to be more conscious of the role education plays in the changing of employees. The real bottom line: first religion - then state government entities - and now today the greatest opportunity lies in business.

While working in Connecticut, Michael started a correspondence network to think about the technological opportutnities in developing corporations to innovate solutions through intelligent exchange of knowledge. Many times the solutions are less expensive and ideally, environmentally aware.

Question: should there be a standardization of regulations state, federal level?

Government is being driven by private interests: ie., in Deli the high level of smog was addressed by the private sector. The people sued the government for cleaner air and won. The improvements in society will be driven by the base of the pyramid.


On July 12th, Ed Morrison will be a speaker at Workforce Innovations 2006 in Annaheim, California. Co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD), Workforce Innovations is the premier annual conference where local, state and national workforce leaders and their partners from industry, education, and economic development gather to sort through issues and confront the workforce challenges facing our country. This year’s conference theme, “Regional Strategies… Global Results: Talent Driving Prosperity,” will explore the important role of workforce professionals and their partners in meeting the national challenge of global competition. Over 3,000 attendees are expected.

Go to for more information.


We should celebrate the small entrepreneurs who are here in NEO. how do you acknoledge success here without bragging...this is something that needs to come from a larger group.

Every business sector needs to step outside of ourselves and identify what is good. The Crain's directories herlad success and largess.

Cleveland mentality is such that if you are working in Cleveland you must not be doing well...Cleveland is full of lots of great things...

Why don't we have civic organizations standing up and celebrating their successes?

Does the region have a large inferiority complex? Or, is it a lack of ability to accept failure? Local organizations talk alot about what they are going to do, what they dream but fail to do something.

What would be the context of celebrating businesses? I-Open can provide support network for people who may have failed. There are not alot of support networks here in Cleveland.

Should we concentrate on positive behaviors? It is good to stay connected with the people who get it.

I-Open teaches new ways of seeing things and then new ways of doing things. Cleveland has alot more things than what other regions have. There just seems to be less sharing.

When good things happen we should celebrate our work.

Alex Michaels: talking about developing branded entertainment medium...Alex moved his direction toward including branded product placement in the story. By including products in the stories, new attention is given to Midtown businesses. Massimos was featured in one of the detective show Alex produced. For the last couple of years, Alex has been connecting closer with businesses.

One model that came out of the Katrina disaster was the model of big businesses adopting and mentoring small businesses. We need to do more of this and do it on a larger scale with the businesses here. Appreciative behavior and use of products is productive.

What about creating a network of Midtown businesses that supports business placement in local shows? Commercials are being replaced by product placemen in the stories. Traditional businesses are still buying traditional advertising. Content is being put on line - this cuts out the local and national television station.

There is a new program "Saved" to put exclusively on the web with no commercials. Another unexpected move: the growing audience for late late night programming.

Alex currently shows on Google TV. Virgin Mobile is sponsoring new formats and content.

Next steps: getting more businesses involved.

Team NEO will help Alex by providing some suggestions for new resources.

STA Strategic Technology Alliance helps by connecting to nonprofits to vendors. The benefit is to work co-op buying power and to network among industry peers to have learn best practices. The advantage of this is to accelerate connectivity.

Case will host the New Media Consortium (NMC) conference June 7 through 9. The conference will talk about how to leverage technology for learning. NMC is talking about using new gaming for learning.

Phoenix Coffee sponsors coffee for the I-Open forums. Please thank them.

MidTown Development Inc Annual Meeting

We're at the Myers University for the MidTown Development Annual Meeting. Mark Dodash, Editor of Crain's Cleveland, is the keynote speaker...

Title of our meeting: Possiblilities

There are about 100 people enjoying lunch, reviewing business, past accomplishments and future dreams.

Talking about the publication's growing coverage of industrial space...another story about college graduate finding more and more opportunity coming out of college. Although there are other concerns...with shifting of populations with not much inflow...with Cleveland just holding there own...less of an educated workforce and compared to the US, we are at alower level. This is a probelm with moving toward a tech economy. Cleveland's loss is to the gain of other suburbs. There are reasons for hope. The more we can position ourselves as providing opportunity...and the amount of brainpower that is here with the Cleveland Clinic and other institutions. Medicine and manufacturing...Sherwin Williams continues to innovate...

Compared to Boston as a center of excellence for medical innovation, Cleveland continues to do well. There is alot of activity going on that we don't see...pockets of activity.

Crain's was one of the first organizations to be contacted by MidTown about the MidTown Master Plan and the Euclid Corridor. Michael Cottichia and Jim Haviland were the first ones to go tothe Crain's office about ODOT activities.

The presence of fresh water (here in NEO) is the ace in the hole...just how long will the source of water last in other regions like NM and CA? ...There still are things we have going for us here that other regions do not.

Mark is appreciated by his wife and vise versa...we should appreciate what we have in each other. MidTown Cleveland is critically important to the city and we should appreciate what we have.


Q: How do we work to keep the ramps open in MidTown?
A: Not sure how the marginal roads can provide ths seam access that the roads camn

Q: What is the political spending cap and how will it affect ...Comments on the spending capital for ...legislation.

Q: What do you think the outcome of the Mayore aeffrots to collaborate with thoutlyeing comuntise>?
A: Don't by case basis. It is good there is dialogue and the efforts of such groups as Team NEO are valuable...we need to position NEO as a center of brainpooiwer and tansportation...if we work togther , we can do this better than indidivuallly when pushing for development.

Q: It is hard to understand....why county commissioners are not taking a strong approach to helping not to move people quickly through Cleveland.

LIVE BLOG: Non-Profits Building Collaborative Networks


The value of social network mapping: Who do you collaobrate with? Who do you mentor?

Updates on Open Source Economic Development process work in Indiana, Oklahoma City and in Kentucky. Ed Morrison is leading the WIRED initiative in Indiana

CAAO - Looks, Listens, links. CAAO brings connections to others and facilitate opportunities for people to build relationships. Bank Roundable began about three years ago with people reluctant to share ideas. Now the group is standing room only. networking of insttituions, survey of participants, attendees matched to opportunities at the end of the day. Executive Auction is a successful match making process. Entrepreneurial website is open to the world and provides a place for people to connect.

Stuart Mendel, CSU how do organizations learn better and more intensely when they work with other organizations. In the Learning Environmnet organizations are brought together as a team to build capacity. organizations that thrive are adaptable and participate in replicable acitivites. Non profits create webs of relationships such as the ones IOpen.

David Akers, Cleveland Bridge Builders, Is there a leadership gap? Who is the present leadership? Leadership program helps individuals to figure out projects and then work with their team along with accountability measurements to learn new ways of leading. Can existiing leaders see the new leaders? Sometimes it seems as if there is a filter. Someitmes it is necessary to position people in ways for them to be seen by those in existing power. How do you systematically create ways of connecting? Leadership Cleveland - existing -, Bridge Builders - emerging - and iCleveland - students - will as of July 1 become one entity.

Courtney DeOreo, Entrepreneurs for Sustainability: attracts people from diverse sectors. Highlight opportunities for entrepreneurs. Product and process opportunities. E4S would like to help transform businesses and create new ones. Provide new learning opportunities. E4S now connects 3,000 people through third Tuesdays events to systematically build collects. Gathering information from the networks and begin to close the networks. Will add more more venues a place for people to gather virtually as well as provide a new place in Glenville to allow people to begin to build out the netowrks by building collaborations together. Akron would like to replicate E4S Tuesdays model. E4S workd with Green Building Collitian and many other reigonal organizations. Don't set boundaries or control the growth. Alot of ideas have had their ideas come out of Tuesdays.

Tony Diggs, Boy Scouts of America, mission is to help boys to advance leadership through scouting. Advancement does not exist in Cleveland. This is because there has not been anyone advancing the relationships. CAAO and Capt Norman has stepped out to help to advance the Merit Badge program in Cleveland. Scouting is all about teaching the boys about leadership.

Capt Norman, is from Cleveland. Norman was mentored by many individuals. For the leaders who are able to mentor and teach children. By not doing this, children are lost because of our own lack of involvement. Sea Scout program is designed around Lake Erie, an abundant resource we have an outstanding value. Capt. Norman teaches updates about the Lake and the changes taking place. Youth need to be educated about this.

Shilpa, Team NEO talks about the organization that builds economic development and connects organizations. TeamNEO came to be by bringing an entity together to attract businesses and retain and grow businesses. A srong team of research and marketing teams to get the word out about what NEO has to offer. Preceptus, a company at Case, was growing very fast and needed expansion support. TeamNEO connects needs and resources of businesses to existing resources in NEO.

Q & A

Many complaints that NEO has too many nonprofits, too much talk and not enough happening is this true?

CAAO connects 9,500 Black Professionals; Boy Scouts depends on collaborations to exist, in 100 years the Boy Scouts has moved out across the globe.

SA Mendel: Society wants to be prosperous; people see the gaps in society and we all watch the compeititon. When people feel strongly enough about something a nonprofit will be formed. Our ability to walk freely is to thanks to nonprofit oprganizaitons.

C DeOreo: after 4 1/2 years E4S thought long and hard about incorporating as a nonprofit. In Cleveland there are alot of opportunities.

CAAO: gets a return of $25 on every $1. CAAO does alot that is not seen. A large funder requested that all Black organizations come together. CAAO does not feel that by building mega bureaucracies will be good for the larger community because of the lack af ability to access information and power. With Connie's background

There is alot of space for civic entrepreneurs. In NEO there are alot of closed areas vs rural areas where it is open.

Eric Johnson Do you see NEO profit driven, growth driven and how does that affrect business?

Most of the people who run organizations are attorneys and not entrepreneurs and not risk adverse. In the 1990's how many multimillionaries were created in NEO? During an economic boom? Very few.

Necessary to mastermind the environemnt that leads to success. Too focused on dictating on success instead of creating the environment

Not for poroits, academics, governments are not known for creating wealth. Looking around the room we see many people are entrepreneurs.

Tony Diggs:
Alof of corporations left the region. The nonprofits came forward to fill the gaps. The corporatins left are the ones who have dwonsized and are too busy paying the bills and not going to be taking on the job of the nonprofits. The region must come together as a region. Everyone must collaborate and replicate the successes we have had.

Clevelander's spend too much time standing in line waiting for permission. We need to create the environments to help ideas to bubble up. There is alot of networking going on in NEO.

Stuart Mendel: ultimately nonprofits need to dig deeper and go beyond networking. What is it that needs to be done? These are the next steps.

Courtney: the people who participate have a passion for doing something.

Shilpa: the focus is to listen to the businesses in NEO. Let the state and county do their job. Listen only to the companies.

Emma: what about tapping into the teens that are looking for jobs? An opportunity to supply experience, education and mentor.

CAAO focuses on educating high schools students. Youth Innovation Forum for students built through collaborations with local institutions. Disappointed in the lack of creativity and ingenuity.

Dot com entrepreneurer built the infrastructure for the websites for the future. This type of thinking prepares for the future.

Midtown Wednesdays: Non-Profits Building Entrepreneurial Networks

Forward this invite link here.
Date: Wednesday, May 17
Time: 5:00 P.M. - 6:45 P.M.
Place: Myers University, Chester Campus
3921 Chester Avenue, Cleveland, OH
Map Link

Northeast Ohio non-profit leaders come together this week to swap stories and share insights about connecting in new and different ways.

Learn how non-profit organizations are responding to change in a shifting, networked world. We'll share best practices to strengthen connections in and out of organizations and you’ll hear solutions to accelerate response time to unforeseen opportunities.

Spread the word about innovations going on in Northeast Ohio. Bring your stories and questions for regional leaders in a panel presentation that combines cutting edge research updates with practitioner working know-how.

Learn more about regions making change in new and different ways on the Midtown Wednesdays Blog.

Non-profit organizations leading this week's discussion:

Cleveland Bridge Builders, David Akers, Founder & Chair-Emeritus
Cleveland State University, Stuart Mendel, PhD, M.N.O., Assistant Dean & co-Director, Center for Nonprofit Policy and Practice, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs
Consortium of African American Organizations (CAAO), Connie Atkins, Executive Director and William Holdipp, Manager of Research and Member Services
Entrepreneurs for Sustainability (E4S), Courtney DeOreo, Network and Resource Development
Intercity Yacht Club, Capt Luther E. Norman
Greater Cleveland Council Boy Scouts of America, Tony R. Diggs, District Executive
TeamNEO, Carin Rockind, Director, Marketing and Communications

Join us to make new connections and get energized! Bring a colleague or friend.

I-Open Knowledge Resources:

Read the I-Open Whitepaper, by Ed Morrison, Director, I-Open, here.
Read the Midtown Innovation Zone 1st Quarter Report. Go.
Check out the Midtown Innovation Zone wiki we're building here.

Coming up...
MidTown Cleveland, Inc. is hosting its annual meeting, May 24. For more information and to register, go here.

Join us for Midtown Mornings. Share coffee and bagels, make new connections and explore business opportunities. Network with awesome entrepreneurs working on transformative initiatives to build the Midtown Innovation Zone. Download the PDF here.

Date: Friday, May 19
Time: 7:30-8:30 A.M.
Place: Nead Brand Partners
3635 Perkins Avenue, Suite 6a
Map Link

Midtown Wednesdays Wednesday, May 24: Updates on Strategic Doing in Midtown
Time: 5:00 P.M. - 6:45 P.M.
Place: Myers University, Chester Campus
Cleveland, OH 4411
Map Link

Questions? Contact:
Betsey Merkel, Network Development
The Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open)
Cleveland MidTown Innovation Center
4415 Euclid Ave., Suite 310
Cleveland, OH 44103 USA
Tel. 216-246-2447

Play Nice

Here's advance copy to be posted on the Nead Change blog for Monday:

It seems to me and to others who understand that hierarchical systems, dusty political structures and closed networks are irrelevant to building better economic and social communities, that denial is still a powerful force in cities across the country. For many, the saying "You can't put out a raging brush fire if you don't think it exists" is all too relevant. So, what to do? If you're experiencing closed mindedness and hostility from members of your work group, your neighbors, or the community at large, an effective approach is to show them a better way. Be friendly. Be inclusive. Take actions, especially small ones, that create momentum and attract others. Those who resist and deny will have a choice to make: either hop in the boat or be left down stream. Or, if they must, let them build their own boat . I am a newbie to such heady notions as "quality, connected networks" and "open source economic development", but I'm quickly learning that the concept is really quite simple. Provide safe havens for open discussion, allow people to gravitate toward the focus of their discussions (they will anyway), and start taking action. As if by magic (mixed with hard work), change happens and momentum builds. There are many examples of change taking place with the help of people who respect each other, who care about driving positive change, and who see the value of playing nice. You'll know these people when you meet them – there's a glimmer in their eyes, a smile on their face and music in their voice. These are the people I want to spend more of my time on this planet talking and dreaming with.
PS - More information on an open, inclusive approach to creating positive change is at: Be sure to check out Ed Morrison's report titled "Open economic networks build sustainable regional economies." Good stuff.

Accelerating Growth for Women Entrepreneurs

Here's an article about women and business from Canada:

Winnipeg business workshop will showcase success stories and provide women entrepreneurs with business growth resources

WINNIPEG, May 10 /CNW Telbec/ - BDC, RBC Financial Group and the Women's Enterprise Center of Manitoba are presenting Accelerating Growth for Women Entrepreneurs workshops this afternoon at 1:00 p.m. at the Fairmont in Winnipeg. The session will provide participants with a forum to share their experiences and to hear from experts about how to successfully implement business growth strategies. Today's event is part of a series of similar workshops held across Canada.

"Canadian women entrepreneurs represent an increasing economic force," said Joy Playford, Regional Director, Special markets at BDC. "But, according to Industry Canada, over half of businesses run by women entrepreneurs are in
a slow-growth stage of development."

Women entrepreneurs today own one-third of all Canadian companies, paying the salaries of nearly 2 million people. The top 100 women entrepreneurs in Canada generate over $2 billion in revenue annually. What's more, women now own increasing numbers of small companies outside of traditional service sectors, such as biotechnology, robotics and manufacturing. Last year, women represented 64% of new business creation. But women entrepreneurs face unique challenges when it comes to growing their business, as the majority of women-owned businesses tend to have fewer employees, export less and request
less financing.

Today's workshops will provide opportunities for women to leverage the successful experiences of other women entrepreneurs, to network with community resource people, and to learn about topics like financial growth, marketing,
exporting, and Human Resources planning.

As well, a reception to launch the 2006 RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur Awards - the biggest and most prestigious honour for women business owners in Canada - will be held today at 5:00 p.m. at the Fairmont Winnipeg. The deadline for nominations for these awards is July 31, 2006; the winners will be announced November 21, 2006.

About BDC

BDC is a financial institution wholly owned by the Government of Canada. BDC plays a complementary role in delivering financial, investment and consulting services to Canadian small businesses, with a particular focus on the technology and export sectors of the economy. For more information, visit

About Our Keynote Speakers:

Shelly Werner, Principal, smartfurniture for business inc.

Shelley Werner, B.I.D. is principal of smartfurniture for business inc. Shelley's background as interior designer on projects that include Red River College Downtown Campus and Ceridian Canada Ltd. underlines a keen sense of the elements necessary to create a successful work environment. Her company provides ergonomic office furniture at a variety of price ranges, and excels at installation and service. With significant expansion plans, Shelly is taking her business into new markets, and offering the latest in products and technology that support effectiveness and human interaction in all types of
work environments.

Heidi Reimer-Epp, General Manager, Botanical PaperWorks Inc.

Established in 1997, Botanical PaperWorks Inc. designs, manufactures and
markets handmade paper and stationery made from recycled fibers, flower
petals, herbs and spices and more. Its products are sold to retail customers
through its website, to the wholesale stationery market and contract
manufacturing clients such as the promotions industry. The majority of company
sales are from exports to the US. Today, over 90% of Botanical's sales are
into the U.S. market. Innovation is key, as Botanical develops new products
using various alternative fibers and adapts production techniques.

Polly Craik, President and CEO, Fineline Solutions

When she was 20, Polly Craik joined a small family-owned telephone
answering service, Fine Line Communications. But Polly knew she wanted to
start her own business. Twenty years later, Polly has morphed the small
company into Fineline Solutions, a highly successful international player in
the field of information management. Among Fineline's major clients are The
American Arthritis Foundation and the Canadian operations of The Salvation
Army. Fineline processes donations and manages donor profiles. Whether for
commercial, not for profit or government clients, banking funds and creating
highly detailed reporting are also key elements of its service. Polly was
named "Manitoba Entrepreneur of the Year" in 2005.

For further information: or to arrange an interview: Eva
Boucher-Hartling, Media Relations Manager, BDC, (514) 283-7929,


LIVE BLOG: Building Sustainable Regional Food Networks

Ed Morrison just called and provided an update on his work in open source economic development in the WIRED grant in Indiana. Ed has just been asked to lead a national meeting in Atlanta to talk

James Howard Kuntsler, author of "The Long Emergency", sets the table for the 21st C. Kundstler identifies trends and opportunities in sustainability and energy. We are watching a video of Kundstler talking....about the development of coal and equipment to support the production of this industrial economy progression...The kerosene lamp was the iPod of the Civil War era. During this time of development the world consumers more and more oil progressing up to 100Million B of oil a day.

Between 2/3 and 3/4 of American oil is imported. More that 2/3rd of the world's oil comes from the MiidEast - where we are not so well liked.

There is an arc of discovery just as there is an arc of

Hubbard came up with a model - bell curve graph - that states that any given region or locality will reach a peak of discovery and after that time - 30 years - will begin to decline.

US production peaked in 1970. This came to the attention of OPEC had the pricing power and the Muslum nations the opportunity to flex their political muscles. Affecting interest rates affected an entire web of pricing and the overall economy. The oil in Alaska and the North Sea saved America for 20 years from the affect of OPEC.

The Arabian population is in a predictiment of their own, because they live as a large otherwise unsupportable economy where it not for oil.

We cannot sustain the current system running without first going through a period of hardship and adjustment before we can begin to move forward.

Europe is ahead in that it did not destroy its cities and towns and as a serious habitat; they continue to support local agriculture and development of regional food production.

We will need to live profoundly and intensely locally. Large government will become increasingly ineffective. We will see profound differences in the various regions throughout the country. We are living with large systems failure. We are living with the investment of our last 60 years of resources in a way of living that is not sustainable as a car, oil driven economy.

An "outside context problem". Circumstances and events will propell us to do certain things whether we like it or not.

Link to download the video:

Here are more links to read:

"Rolling Stone" article: The Long Emergency: What's going to happen as we start running out of cheap gas to guzzle?

Howard Kunstler's web page here.

Add the Orion Magazine to your favorites here.

What are some next steps?

Horticultural Enterprise Zones HEZ

Only 1% of our population can see far out ahead. It takes time to move forward; first, to acknowledge a problem and then to reconstruct what is troubling you and what some answers may be.

The case for locally grown organic foods is very strong. We need to have healthy soils that produce healthy foods; today we think big sizes and big eating quantities. We eat large quantities because the level of nutrients in food is too low and we must eat more.

Large dam construction has displaced millions of cultures. We can love a building but somehow not as much as loving soil. Our society needs to listen and address the question of how do we create the urban environments to ensure healthy living and create community equity and social justice?


1) Establish Eco-industrial Zones

Support long term, sustainable healthy environments and create new businesses as we do that.

Pennsylvannia where oil was first discovered is now leading with models of sustainable activity.

The HEZ model points to Food Security, Green Enterprises, Alternative Energies, Support Services. All of these categories produce enormous workforce development opportunities for any local region.

Here is follow up information provided by Melvin Hendrix:

Part I:
Part II:

Midtown's Movin'

Here's a link to today's Cleveland Jewish News report "Neighborhood in the shadows no longer", describing new activity in Midtown. Learn here.

Calculating the ERR: Growing tomorrow's innovations

The Investor's Circle's Slow Money Program is made up of a national network of investors looking for the ERR - external rate of return - while leveraging the social and financial transitions going on in the venture capital business world wide.

Read more about Investor's Circle, on the nexus of venture capital, social investing and philanthropy. Go.

Read the Spring 2006 Conference Program here.

More useful links for sustainable agriculture and living

A family of websites created by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) offers information and links to other resources on sustainable energy, sustainable agriculture, and sustainable community development. Learn more here.

Here are two stories from Up State New York and Vermont about two chefs who built restaurants around local foods. Learn more.

Visit the Leoplod Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University's Marketing and Food Systems Initiative here. The site also includes an interactive mapping system that locates businesses and markets of agricultural products in Iowa, providing an important link between producers and consumers. Here.

Midtown Wednesdays: Building Sustainable Regional Food Networks

Date: Wednesday, May 10
Time: 5:00 P.M. - 6:45 P.M.
Place: Myers University, Chester Campus
3921 Chester Avenue, Cleveland, OH
Map Link

In regions with flat, networked economies collaborations can be built quickly to move ahead. How residents in Northeast Ohio collaborate across social and regional boundaries to share resources and respond to change will determine the future of our region.

Food security is one of the major issues facing residents in our region and around the world in this century. Learn more about why our current food system is not sustainable and what you can do to help promote a secure and sustainable food production system in Northeast Ohio.

We're moving forward in Midtown! Join us to explore new possibilties and build your connections.

Leader: Melvin Hendrix, President, PermaCycle Organics

Learn more about organic food production. Visit the Alternative Farming Systems Information Center, sponsored by the USDA here.

Read about the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems, University of California whose mission is to research, develop, and advance sustainable food and agricultural systems that are environmentally sound, economically viable, socially responsible, nonexploitative, and that serve as a foundation for future generations. Learn more.

Green Roofs are helping to make up for a recent loss of 676 acres of park land in Richmond Canada. Councilman, Harold Steves says, “We have to start designing cities that contain the park space and the food producing space within the area where people live, simply because transportation costs and the lack of a rural food supply are going to be pretty detrimental to cities.” Read more here.

Systems thinker, Marcin Jakubowski, PhD, is building an Operational Model for a Replicable, Regenerative Development Social Enterprise. "The two main projects that we are engaging now, in preparation of deploying our first new enterprise learning community, " says Marcin, "is the compressed earth block machine (CEB) and the modern steam engine for combined heat, power, and water distillation." Read about about Source Open Ecology, Inc. here. You can download the 2006 Activity Report here and the Future Work Report for 2007 here.

Read the I-Open Whitepaper, written by Ed Morrison, Director, I-Open, here.

Read the Midtown Innovation Zone 1st Quarter Report. Go.

Check out the Midtown Innovation Zone wiki we're building here.

Join us for Midtown Mornings. Share coffee and bagels, make new connections and explore business opportunities. Join us to network with entrepreneurs building the Midtown Innovation Zone. Work on transformative initiatives. Download the PDF here.

Date: Friday, May 12
Time: 7:30-8:30 A.M.
Place: Nead Brand Partners
3635 Perkins Avenue, Suite 6a
Map Link

Coming Up: Wednesday, May 17: Non-Profit Innovations in Networking
Time: 5:00 P.M. - 6:45 P.M.
Place: Myers University, Chester Campus
Cleveland, OH 4411

Questions? Contact:
Betsey Merkel, I-Open
Tel. 216-246-2447

LIVE BLOG: Building Black Cultural Entrepreneruship Networks

Carl Williams

Networking is the poor people's way of accomplishing things. Carl started thinking about the International Cultural Parade about five years ago. Various groups have helped him to strengthen his vision.

So many people have contributed because of their passionate support. It is amazing to understand what can happen when people come together and contribute to get things accomplished.

A review of the 2005 Parade: Tri-C Professor

many different organizations were represented: Cleveland Ventures Bureau, Million More Movement...

Many performers performed from all across the country and many generations represented and theater.

This year will host a three day conference beginning August 10: International Business Conference

A new way to support this activity is to slowly build network social connectivity. Huge funders and large sponsorships are helpful, but there are few opportunities to explore this. There is a need to expand our horizons and leverage the opportunities. An example of this is to apply resources and capabilities that are not used here in other parts of the world

An objective of the conference is to ask anyone of African descent to share skills, talents and money with Africa. Different Ambassadors will be visiting. The Counselor from Zambia - this is a connection shared through Baldwin Wallace College - will come, as will many others, to talk about opportunities in Africa.

Kiosks will also be displayed to present ideas and intercontinental opportunities.

This will be followed by the Ambassadors Ball. This will be an opportunity for people to come in their best. The Cuyahoga County Library has partnered with this initiative for the summer. Each library will study one country in Africa and engage in mask making projects. Many children have not left their neighborhoods and is an opportunity for them to meet and explore.

The Parade theme will honor our African ancestors. Last year featured XXXXX who was a leader who stepped forward to engage others and who built business.

We need to change the way we operate: literacy levels are low, high levels of African American males are incarcerated.

Carl envisons a highly level exchange of international exchange and interaction.

This year Queen Nzinga is the focus this year and was from the present day Angola. Shew made a treaty with the Dutch to fight the Portegese and then made a treaty with the Porteguese to fight the Dutch.

We need to support self image in cultures to prevent enslavement and strengthen personal initiative.

The initiative is asking for Wards to enage 50 children from each district to learn about mask and costume making. This teaches children about their cultural heritage and roots. Eventually competitions can be created and engage families. In putting together presentations for the parade, families will need to come together and talk. This will help to build linkages in families where there are none today.

Everyone should be involved. The Carnaval in Brazil is a powerful model to celebrate culture. Last year 400 vendors participated from all over the county. The festival presents an opportunity to raise awareness and strengthen connectivity in all communities.

Poverty is only a mental state. If activity continues, people will connect and over time enagage.

Carl participated in the first Brooklyn parade - just a couple of fellows playing steel drums, and now millions of people participate. The San Francisco parade evolved the same way.

Efforts that make change start small; but with relentless optimism activity will build. To engage the community is the most important piece, more important than having large corporate funding. The valuable lesson is to learn to develop our own resources.

Comments: target the groups that are interested: the NCA, Community Centers, Boys and Girls Clubs, the Wards. Developing an international exchange program. Get the children from here out to Africa for education and experience.

Pre-identify what African American companies that might be interested, Dept of Defense match making. A trade show arrrangement.

How are the Colleges and Universities helping? CSU. Tri-C and Baldwin Wallace College
Urban League Young Professionals

Looking for:
CIA marketing strategy and plan ?
Technology integration and citizen journalists?
International Exchange
International Entrepreneurship program

Library partners could develop sister cities in Africa. Make the linkage. The Ohio Dept of Economic Development

Top Ranked Barriers to Innovation in Business

Building open economic networks and new collaborative behaviors can accelerate the transparencies needed to move quickly in or out of the four walls of any organization.

Here's a clip from this week's National Dialogue on Entrepreneurship newsletter:

The April 24, 2006 edition of Business Week contains an interesting look at the world’s most innovative companies. Apple took the top spot, followed by (in order): Google, 3M, Toyota, and Microsoft. The survey also asked respondents to identify
the primary barriers to innovation. Slow development times ranked as the top obstacle, as firms cannot innovate quickly enough to meet rapidly changing customer needs. A lack of coordination ranked as the No. 2 challenge. Firms want
to enhance collaboration, but often find it difficult to work across different organizations and groups.

“The World’s Most Innovative Companies,” appears in the April 24, 2006 edition
of Business Week here.

May Issue: Ontario's Regional Economic Development and Innovation Newsletter

Index of this month's newsletter ORED available here


* Toronto to Become the Largest WiFi Zone in Canada
* Canada to Play a Key Role in Biggest Science Experiment in History

Editor's Pick
* People and Excellence: The Heart of Successful Commercialization

Innovation & Related Policy
* The Knowledge Filter and Economic Growth: The Role of Scientist Entrepreneurship
* The Evolving Role of Governments in the 21st Century Economy: Summary of Interviews and Roundtable Discussions

Clusters & Regions
* Building Blocks for Place-Making Policy
* Problems and Prospects for Clusters in Theory and Practice

* Innovation in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology: Comparing National Innovation Systems at the Sectoral Level

Statistics & Indicators
* Dashboard Indicators for Ohio
* Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Sector Profile, 2005

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