Accelerate US started during the COVID-19 pandemic, but I should have started it much sooner.
For years, I have been learning from some of the best on-the-ground soldiers of the Local Economy Revolution — watching them do everything from leading panicked small businesses, to coaching young creators on emotional intelligence, to creating data analytic tools that allow us to replace top-down, machine-model economic growth with the kind of network-leveraging, asset-based, resilient local economies we need, more than ever.
These are the folks who are making the Local Economy Revolution happen.
And I’m glad to share what I’m learning from them with you.
You can find most Accelerate US installations in either video or audio format. For video versions, follow the Wise Economy Workshop YouTube channel. For the audio podcast, check out Building a Wise Local Economy on Soundcloud, Stitcher or Spotify.
Be sure to share your favorite episodes to your members, government leaders and partners. And if you hear anything that you want to put into practice, contact us and we’ll design a way to help.
Here’s a few recent installations:
The Perspective we Need with the Black Urbanist
We all have a lot to learn and to do right when it comes to how the environments we build impact the people who live there. Join Della and Kristen to talk about the unintended (and sometimes intended) ways that city design and city policy impact people who do not fall within the majority’s narrow bands. Having worked and written on these issues for more than 10 years, Kristen’s voice shows many of us what we have not seen, but must understand and act upon.
Interview June 26, 12:00 Eastern Daylight Time
Destroying Restart Anxiety with a little Small Business Hopscotch
What can a small business owner do now, when their markets and channels and all their old assumptions have been thrown into chaos?
Answer? They can play their way to a new strategy, a new tribe and a renewed sense of purpose. Join Della and Jaime Izurieta of Storefront Mastery as we explore a new strategy for evaluating and planning for the future of any small business, building from the factors that made someone work and fight for that business in the first place. And we’ll hear the story of the businesses that started the Hopscotch — a struggling bookstore in a desperately struggling country that found renewed purpose and new opportunities.
Building Transformative Innovation Communities
We often want to think that creating the kind of community where people can do great things requires fancy buildings, and cool cafes, and street art and the like. But Wisconsin’s Nick O’Brien has been building exactly those kinds of communities in places that don’t have these — and getting impressive results. Join us while we explore community-building in a whole new way, leveraging the power of people in collaboration to get transformation going
Interview June 21, 12:00 Eastern Daylight Time
Leading in a crisis: Emotional Intelligence and the independent business with Christina Aldan
Trainer, speaker, coach and branding expert Christina Aldan talks with Della about why Emotional Intelligence is so important to small businesses and small organizations, and how to build EI practices into your work and communication.
What you can do, now: A conversation with Isaac Kremer on the role of local leaders in the crisis.
National downtown revitalization specialist and Executive Director of the Downtown Metuchen Alliance talks with Della about five specific things he is doing to help his 365 members survive the pandemic — and four kinds of practical business pivots.
Take the helm of your local economy: the present and future of the American Independent Business Alliance with Executive Director Derek Peebles.
Independent local businesses are the backbone of communities nationwide, but few people realize that a resilient local economy depends on those businesses being able to thrive in a healthy business ecosystem. In this interview, Derek tells Della about AMIBA’s role as one of the founders of the Buy Local movement, and how the organization is increasing its collaboration and impact on independent business communities nationwide.
Finding the money: new approaches to public funding post-COVID with Danielle Steinhauser, CT Consultants
As communities re-evaluate their budgets and programs in the wake of the COVID-19 upheavals, thinking through new ways to find and deploy funding sources becomes more important than ever. Della and Danielle Steinhauser of CT Consultants share a friendly, honest and enlightening conversation about how our local governments and partners can find and use funds and other resources for our long-term resilience.
Intelligent Business Retention: How data makes the difference between good economic development and a waste of time with Anatalio Ubalde, CEO of SizeUp
Economic crises like the COVID-19 pandemic throw a harsh light on how crucial and fragile our local independent businesses are — and how inadequate most traditional economic development methods are for meeting those needs. Anatalio and Della dissect why conventional Business Recruitment and Expansion methods fail, and explore how powerful new data tools can transform how we help local businesses.
What We’re Missing: the unique challenges facing Black and low-income entrepreneurs and independent businesses, and what we can do to help them.
With Willie Hill, Executive Director of the Greater Cincinnati Microenterprise Initiative
Being an entrepreneur or business owner is hard, and being a Black entrepreneur or business owner can be even harder. And if you come from a background with little income or family wealth, even seemingly small challenges can derail you. We will explore the outsized importance of coaching and training, what microlending requires and why that’s so necessary and so hard for conventional banks to do, and more. You don’t want to miss this conversation with one of the few organizations in the US that provides business training and coaching and microfinance lending for low-income entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Density of trust and clarity of purpose: building the independent business communities of tomorrow, today
With Enoch Elwell, Founder, CO.STARTERS
It’s no secret that the world facing independent businesses was changing fast before we ever heard of a COVID — and the pandemic has accelerated those changes. But there’s more to thriving in the coming era than setting up an Instagram page. As one of the leaders of the entrepreneurship ecosystem groundswell nationwide, Enoch has a deep and wide perspective on how the fundamentals of business, and business in community, is changing. You will not want to miss this insightful and encouraging conversation.
Technology FTW: practical ways to communicate with your community and promote your businesses without making everyone crazy
With Theodora Skeadas, Cambridge Local First
People who run economic development and local business organizations know that they have to get good, useful, reliable information out to their community — and do it NOW. But too many of the resource guides and directories coming out since the pandemic consist of small-text laundry lists that give the overwhelmed user a headache before they get to anything they can use. Which isn’t surprising, since “User Interface Expert” and “Tech Genius” isn’t on most of our resumes.
But Cambridge Local First didn’t let that stop them.
You won’t want to miss this deep dive into the technologies, tools, design strategies and more that Cambridge Local First and its partners have been using to make it easy for businesses and residents to find the foods, services, and resources that they want. Join us as we explore the tech that’s not only possible, but being used right now!
Building A Bridge to Impact: Developing & leveraging public sector relationships
Community nonprofits often struggle to develop the kinds of collaborative relationships with local governments that lead officials to trust you in times of crisis. But that’s exactly what Dane Buy Local did — and it has resulted in over $10 million that they are distributing to businesses that need it on behalf of Dane County, Wisconsin. We will talk with Colin Murray, Executive Director of Dane Buy Local, about how that relationships developed, what that required of the nonprofit and how that is impacting the community and Dane Buy Local today.