Not an architect, graphic designer, or city planner. But a lot of my work has been in a similar role to what you may find in your professional lives: Consultant/Advisor/Solution Facilitator-Creator. A lot of the work I’ve done in teams in my business, with colleagues, and in the company I’ve recently joined involves “program design.” Tonight I’m sharing one real life example of how my colleagues and I worked on a project — our role, how we thought about the work. Maybe it will give you some ideas about how to approach your weekend exercise here to solve a food desert/water problem — or ways to think about your professional work in the future.
Our hero. The hero of our story. Don Green. Community leader. Trusted community based institution (MDCFWOI). Job training and placement.
The setting: Clarksdale, MS Endemic poverty, limited opportunities for employment, low literacy, chronic health issue indicators, history and culture of racism Agricultural tradition (skills and knowledge, small plots of land), rich floodplain soils, blues tradition—and growing tourism in the downtown area (primarily white business owners), rural.
The organization and its work.
He hired my team as grantwriters and organizational consultants – outsiders - to help.
Our job: -- Raise money (Federal programs) to support their work and to help them grow to better serve their constituents: jobs, income, opportunity for farmworkers, low-income wage earners, jobseekers.
We learned, dreams: • Build local economy, incomes rooted in agricultural tradition (but of small, family production) – slide (? One of the farmers? Selling stuff?) • Healthier population • Women’s agricultural coop: shared commercial kitchen
principles we work under. Important in thinking about/developing design solutions. Whether, like mine: programs and funding or like yours, build environments and community plans.
My teams in my own firm and now with ICL, consulting. A lot of work has been in program design grant proposals
• Start with assets. Asset-based development (start with what is working) • Supporting partner - Lead from behind or beside (less-visible leader) • Sustainability lens: economic, cultural, environmental • Actively inclusive – diversity is baked in • Empowerment freaks. Focus on strengthening skills and abilities of partners (clients) – goal is independence • Critical friend: critique comes with trust, critique is directed toward what partner (client) is creating – helping them make something that meets their goals • Practical and realistic – impact ROI; context of relationships ( allies, coop-etition, frenemies) and resources; story/narrative; technical structures (4 lenses)
What are some of the assets you imagine we had to work with?
Surprise: also this.
And an extraordinarily well-connected community organizer.
Work with the person or two people sitting next to you and come up — quickly — with a solution that might work for this organization in this community (addressing income and poverty/jobs with this community’s and people’s history, shared skills, warehouse, and leadership).
Here’s what we came up with — or rather, helped design and support. The market was one piece of it. Vision: food hub and economic hub.
And also, as projects developed: Later learned of more assets Labor paid through job training and prison labor. Construction supervisor through senior corps And they began to attract other assets: donated walk in cooler and freezer, three donated trucks (two refrigerated), and partnerships with access to produce processing facilities…
Also farm microentrepreneur training and beginning to build a kitchen.
Principled Program Design KU_final
Principled Program Design
Amy Kincaid, ChangeMatters
2015 Water Charrette: Food Deserts
University of Kansas School of Architecture & Design
January 22, 2015