Working Groups

11 Dec 2013

For each Localism Initiative we have a small Working Group. A Working Group follows four stages: to Inform, to Inspire, to Imagine and to Innovate. The eventual product of a Working Group is a sustainable, repeatable and measurable and Program that benefits the local community.

  • To Inform:  The Working Group researches and writes about the Initiative.
  • To Inspire:  As this content matures it may result in a published piece on the web, a poster, or perhaps a video.
  • To Imagine:  After grappling with an initiative the Working Group brainstorms possible projects.
  • To Innovate:  Projects that get a green light are given a budget for a prototype or pilot program. The Working Group reorganizes into a Pilot Team, which may require additional expertise.

The Pilot Team iterates to find Local Market Fit following lean innovation principles. Adjustments are made based on feedback or tests. Criteria for measuring success is created, which will determine if the project aligns with Localism’s mission and model. If it meets the criteria it can move on to become an official Program, and move into full production. At this time the Pilot team organizes  a Production Team, which is usually a new group that is focused on repeatable, scalable operations. The Production Team is focused on scaling the project to the scale of one city first, and then refining before taking it to other metro areas.

In order for a Project to receive a green light it must meet the following general criteria along with project-specific criteria:

  1. Aligned with the Localism mission and model.
  2. Achievable on a local scale.
  3. Repeatable / Scalable to other metro areas.
  4. Sustainable at a large scale.
  5. Measurable, to show impact.

The Local Merchants Project has completed a Pilot Program in the Twin Cities, and the Production Team is preparing for an official launch. The Project is called CLIQUE which stands for Cooperative of Local Independent Quality Urban Establishments.

CLIQUE is now launching in two neighbor-city metro areas: Los Alamitos and Long Beach California, and Minneapolis / St. Paul Minnesota. The model has three initial phases:

  1. A “Mobile Gift Card” for local merchants.
  2. Using the Mobile Gift Card as a fundraiser for local non-profits and schools.
  3. Other incentives to encourage residents to choose local merchants over chains.

The Local Schools Project has moved past the Prototype stage and is in full production in the Los Alamitos Unified School District.  It consists of a mobile communication platform that integrates text messaging, an iPhone app, an Android app, and social media.  The app connects the campus, classroom and community in the following ways:

  • Connected Classroom: The app pulls together leading apps for the classroom into one app.
  • Connected Campus: Students can post tweets and Instagram photos to a campus social feed to share what’s going on daily.
  • Connected Community: Parents, faculty and the surrounding community can stay up to date on activities, academics, athletics and the arts.

The Local Growers initiative is in the early stages of forming a working group. The initial focus is to Inform people about the economic and health benefits related to independent farms, edible gardens, grocers co-ops, farmers markets, local producers of unique foods and beverages, and the restaurants who serve these goods. The working group will use this information to Inspire a conversation that may ultimately lead to a sustainable project.