I’m delighted today to launch a new podcast mini-series with MIT CoLab’s GEDI (Green Economic Development Initiative). In 2012, CoLab hosted 14 Mel King Community Fellows, mid-career professionals from across the country who are doing ground-breaking work at the intersection of economic development, environmental sustainability, and social justice. These folks work in the largest cities and the most rural regions, for shoestring nonprofits and massive governments, private sector, education… you name it.
Each in his or her own way is finding opportunities to finally put into practice that triple-bottom-line idea that planners and economic developers and community advocates have been talking about for a generation…and they are doing it in ways that are practiceable, replicable and moving the needle in a meaningful manner.
At the beginning of 2012, the Fellows met with staff of GEDI, who recorded one-on-one interviews with each of the participants, talking about their work, their challenges, the opportunities they foresee and how the practices of economic development, environmental management and social justice can grow together to provide real benefits for communities.
I have spent hours listening to the raw audio of these interviews, and I will tell you that you can’t hear these folks without having a whole new perspective on what’s possible.
In this series introduction, you’ll get some background on the GEDI initiative and get introduced to some of the 2012 Mel King Fellows. Upcoming installments will focus on issues like
- How the Fellows are using unusual data sources to measure and demonstrate their impact,
- How the Fellows bridge gaps and break down silos between different kinds of professionals and interest groups, and
- What the Fellows see as the future of sustainable economic development.
I’m so grateful to Brendan MacEwen, Dayna Cunningham, Dr. Karl Seidman, and most importantly the 2012 Mel King Fellows for the opportunity to learn about and share their experiences. Stay tuned!