After careful review of regional data and global trends, the pilot project’s catalyst team created four key initiatives that aimed to build sustained regional economic prosperity by addressing the 4T’s. The catalysts then broke up into groups and attempted to take each initiative from merely a grand idea to tangible and self-sustaining realities.
This initiative set out to establish Tallahassee as the world leader in existing and emerging “green” technologies that benefit the environment and spur economic development. Facets of this initiative included taking an inventory of existing technologies and activities within the region, establishing policy and regulation to promote energy conservation and sustainable design, and developing a strategic plan to create the infrastructure to support intellectual and entrepreneurial development.
Throughout the year, Greenovation established previously non-existent partnerships among the city, county, K-12 schools and local universities that focused on “green” initiatives, especially recycling. They also established a park-and-ride pilot program and generated local buzz about community-wide efforts to “go green.”
The team formed a 501(c)(3) organization called Sustainable Tallahassee, a resource center offering the public a “how to” on green construction, as well as green resources, products, vendors and funding sources for green building including solar energy. It educates and certifies builders and professionals, certifies green buildings and pursues grants for research development. Ultimately, it will be the engine that continuously enables and encourages Tallahassee to be “green.” This membership organization now encompasses an executive director, a board of directors and bylaws, and volunteers who continue to raise money to fulfill its mission.
For more information about Sustainable Tallahassee, visit their website at: sustainabletallahassee.org
Tallahassee Film Festival:
This three-day event showcases regional and national talent in the film industry by harnessing the creativity of university students and others that excel in production, cinematography, acting, directing and everything in between. The festival offers screenings and educational seminars, provides increased tourism during a typically slow time of year, promotes North Florida as a desirable location for film, television and music production, and capitalizes on Florida State University’s top-ranked film school.
This initiative team formed a 501(c)(3) organization and secured more than $100,000 in private funding for each of the 2008 and 2009 festivals. Volunteers spend hours screening films, securing additional funding, developing marketing materials and coordinating a wide array of festival activities. For more information visit www.tallahasseefilmfestival.com.
Get Gaines Going:
This initiative was established to accelerate the ongoing efforts to revitalize and develop Gaines Street as an arts and entertainment district. Get Gaines Going planned to work with community leaders to create incentives that would move the project forward at a quicker pace and eliminate hurdles that previously caused delays. Richard Florida’s research shows that people are now choosing where to live before choosing where to work. The development of Gaines Street will help create a more vibrant sense of place and encourage members of the creative sector to locate in the region.
Throughout the year, this team operated as a non-funded political action committee, consistently meeting with city leaders and encouraging them to make decisions and take action in the best interest of the Gaines Street corridor. The team also supported businesses and individuals with an interest in Gaines Street to communicate better with one another. In the near future, the city will begin landscaping the street and moving forward with a number of redevelopment projects, including plans for a 90,000 square foot arts incubator in partnership with Artspace. As the catalysts’ year-long commitment ended, some team members chose to continue working with local leaders by sitting on the newly created Gaines Street Vitalization Committee, where they have a voice in the future of the corridor.
Jump Start Plan X:
This initiative was created to make Tallahassee a more small-business-friendly community. However, the team members had very different interpretations of the goal and could not agree on a primary direction and focus. Unfortunately, this team ultimately disbanded.
This was not an initiative but rather a team of catalysts charged with informing the greater community about KCCI, while also managing media relations, responding to resident questions, building and maintaining the KCCI website and coordinating internal communication.