Innovation in Economic Development with Jane Fischer hosted by Dr. Roger Firestien

Video Transcript:

For a community to grow incrementally or to have a big boom change, creative thinking has to happen. We need new ideas. Growth comes from these new ideas, and they have to come from somewhere, why not come from us?

Meet Jane Fischer. Jane is Chair of the Local Economic Development Initiative of the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation in Dunkirk, New York. Jane hired me to lead a Creative Problem Solving workshop with about 100 members of the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation Local Economic Development Initiative at their annual summit.

Why we asked you to come and facilitate the session on creativity in community and economic development was because we see all the time there’s government’s, community organizations struggling with diminishing means, diminishing resources but being asked to do more with less. We find that to be particularly true in Economic Development where a lot of the thinking has to be very linear and based on what’s the bottom line and bottom dollar. What we wanted to do in the spirit of economic development is focus instead on the “what can’t we” do and focus on the “what might we do.”

What was it like to be in the session?

I noticed just by scanning the room was the people seemed energized they sat up a little straighter, and there were smiles on their face. And you usually don’t see that at a morning meeting of your colleagues. We had everybody there from nonprofits, local governments, from businesses from community groups. They were with their colleagues, talking about possibilities– what might we do, this sort of dream state, this wish state–this era of possibilities that we don’t have on a typical meeting or on conference.

What has happened since the summit?

Since the summit there’s talk about infusing creative problem solving, creative thinking into various aspects and levels of our community. Whether it’s an organizations or teams or government or communities. Some of the language is different when we are in our meetings we are using “might” instead of “can” or “should,” we’re just doing small changes like that, just adopting the deferring of judgment and letting ideas sort of rise and sit and sort of bubble up and fall if they need to.

The spirit of conversations is much more, rich with creative possibility. I think that small thing can turn into big things.

I’m Roger Firestien – Thanks for Watching.

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