What do we do?

We tear down barriers

We enable a shared future

We create constructive discussion of complex issues

We find solutions that fall outside the usual expectations

We actively involve everyone we can reach

We find and create action on common ground

We change how people think about each other

 

We don’t do conventional

Public engagement

Land use planning

Economic development

Because we don’t think the usual ways of doing those do most places much good.

 

 

Instead, we allow the people who care about a place — any place, large or small, urban or rural — to understand and choose their best future. Together.

 

So here’s the specifics of how that works

We base the search for the right solutions on a framework we call the Pathfinders Method.  Pathfinders is a system developed by our partners at Econogy that allows us to lay out a full understanding of a challenge, its local and larger context, and its possible solutions. The Pathfinders Method makes the process of understanding and selecting a strategy crystal clear and completely transparent, and it allows everyone from expert to newcomer to participate fully.  

We place high-talent young people (typically high school, college and recent graduates) at the center of the process. We recruit, train and manage a team of local young people to do the research, lead the meetings and identify the Pathways. We teach them methods and templates and tools, and we guide, coach, and support them the whole way.  But it’s their work, and its their leadership.

Why?

They know more than they’re given credit for

They can access information and technology that others can’t

They see possibilities that more seasoned people easily miss

Their presence and leadership short-circuits the usual public meeting dysfunctions

The process shows them that they can have a productive future in the community

 

But though young people are leading the process, they are by no means doing it alone. The Pathways process is designed around collaborative co-creation: all community members who participate have their hands directly in the process of making the decisions.  That doesn’t happen by magic, but it does happen, because the teams use Wise Economy Workshop’s Crowdsourced Wisdom methods to make it work

A project ends not with a big paper report, but with a flexible online platform that keeps everyone informed and on track. From action steps to report-outs, from news to discussion boards, the process continues through the power of its own people.   

Most importantly, the process results in measurably better solutions:

More innovative

More relevant

More widely owned by the community

More likely to turn into action.