From the Good Ideas File (and from EngagingCities): 20 Innovations that Matter in government and technology

As some of you probably know, one of the hats that I wear when I'm not sharing Good Ideas for the Local Economy Revolution is that I'm the Managing Editor of EngagingCities, an online magazine that focuses on the use of internet technologies to help people connect to and participate in their communities.  We cover …

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Random Excerpt: What a consultant is good for

This is a selection from The Local Economy Revolution: What's Changed and How You Can Help.  Like what you read?  Check out the book at  https://localeconomyrevolutionbook.wordpress.com/book/ --- Um, Della.  You keep beating up on consultants.  You've been a consultant for close to 20 years.  You still make money consulting. You like to eat, don't you? Hm. …

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From the Really Good Ideas File: the Awesomeness that is Piqua, Ohio

You're gonna have to forgive me a little crowing over this one.  Little Piqua was one of the first towns on my radar when I first moved back to Ohio after more than 10 years elsewhere, thanks to its mature and impressive Main Street Program.  Between that and the rehabilitation of the Fort Piqua Plaza, …

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From the Good Ideas File: new attention to harnessing the 50-lb gorillas in Cincinnati

I'm always glad when Good Ideas come out of Cincinnati, in part because it's the town that I have called home for the last 15 years and in part because there's pretty good stuff going on.  Historically, Cincinnati has relied on its over-supply of Fortune 100 businesses, at least as compared to its population size, …

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From the (maybe not so) Good Ideas File: Chasing retail because taxes

You always have to be a little careful about how much you read into a mainline press story about another city, but I have to say, this one worries me.  According to this story from the Denver Post, that city has decided to place an emphasis on recruiting retailers to the city:"Retail activity is extremely …

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From the Good Ideas File: Crowdsourced Real Estate Deals

I have been following the growth of crowdfunding for a long time, and I've been particularly intrigued by the potential for crowdfunded real estate development.  But so far truly broad based crowdfunding in real estate has been rare, with the most widely known examples coming from the Prodigy Network based in Bogota, Columbia. Imagine my …

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From the Good Ideas File: Mini Maker Faire!

This Good Idea come with a personal stamp of approval.  Mini Maker Faires have been popping up all over the country, and, well, they're awesome.  Initially developed by Make Magazine,  Mini Maker Faires are typically locally-orgainzed events that allow anyone who, well, makes stuff, to show off what they can do. What does that have to …

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From the Good Ideas file: Understanding what’s really going on with work (hint: measure it)

This article focuses on national policy, but in the process it gives a great insight into the challenges and the unknowns of what I referred to in the book as the 1099 Economy, after the United States tax form used to report income from freelance work.  And it highlights a key problem: since at the …

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Random Excerpt: The three main barriers to meaningful public engagement

Every week, I open The Local Economy Revolution to a random spot and give you a selection here from the book.  Intrigued by what you read?  Get the whole book here. One of the biggest, often overlooked challenges we are facing today is that our traditional debate model of public involvement isn’t working, and it’s …

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From the Good Ideas file: South Carolina’s Abandoned Building Revitalization Act

One of the major themes in the book revolves around the risks -- and our tendency to overlook the risks -- of the unintended consequences of the big ideas we come up with to try to make our communities better.  As I've noted a bunch of times, including here and here, a huge number of …

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