Indigo Development
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Recovery Now! A regional economic recovery process
Recovery to what?   Recovery Resources   Recovery Now Team

Indigo Development is offering a service to municipal, county, and regional leaders who are seeking strategies to jump start recovery from the still unfolding impacts of the financial and economic crisis that began in 2008. We believe that grassroots innovation is vitally important to amplify the impact of Federal stimulus funds. Bootstrapping recovery in your region will add to the national stimulus as well as provide relief for those hardest hit locally.

It is time to act locally and regionally to put the human, economic, and natural resources you already have to work.

The crisis is rapidly deepening. President Barack Obama's team and Congress has approved the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and other national recovery programs. However, leading economists across the liberal to conservative spectrum believe this is not enough investment to create the thousands of new ventures and millions of jobs required for full recovery. The growing depth and expected duration of the economic and financial crisis shows up in closing stores and plants, layoffs, foreclosures, and governments at every level cutting budgets and essential services.

Designing regional and local responses is essential to minimizing severe hardship and renewing economic development. This is a vital step toward restoring confidence and a sense of control in an economy in turmoil.

The recovery process is an opportunity to create a more sustainable and competitive regional economy. For instance, initiatives to increase the efficiency of resource use, especially energy, are a means of cutting costs for all sectors. Installation of renewable energy technologies and development of ventures creates new jobs. Bioenergy from locally available biomass makes your region more self-sufficient. See Indigo's pages on  Integrative Regional Action Planning for guidelines on this broader context.

Indigo Development is offering a service to support regional organizations and their stakeholders in designing solutions for the short to long term. We guide a process involving:
  1. A regional economic summit: Participatory workshops and working conferences to bring regional leaders and financial people together to design solutions, with support from our experts;
  2. Expertise: Authorities on conventional and proven alternative strategies for financing regional sustainable development;
  3. Web-based interaction: Use of online tools for collaborative innovation, knowledge management, and access to regional and local solutions.
This process for regional economic renewal emphasizes design and innovation to respond to the unique crisis we are in. The response must be based on the knowledge and experience of regional leaders, not economic development theories developed for another time and place. At the same time, there are many proven programs and institutions that your leaders can draw upon to build community and regional wealth. These include innovations in such areas as eco-industrial development, Smart Growth, community wealth building, and sustainable development double-bottomline funds.

What sort of solutions might emerge from a regional economic and financial summit and the associated innovation process over time?
  • Development of a green ventures and jobs program to increase regional self-sufficiency in energy and materials:
  • A regional micro-lending program;
  • Formation of a regional sustainable investment fund for venture and real estate development;
  • A community garden and greenhouse program to increase local food production, with biomass-fed energy boilers heating the greenhouses;
  • A community currency system that enables trading of goods and services;
  • Redevelopment of closed big box stores and factories to keep the properties active in the local economy or society;
  • Programs for unemployed workers and their families to help them stay in their homes and remain linked to job opportunities;
  • A structure for sharing underutilized assets among counties, cities and towns, such as cars, vans, and trucks from public motor pools.
These are just a few options from a very large menu of solutions local and regional leaders have created in the last decades. Your stakeholders will design the right mix of their own innovations and established ideas that work for your region at this point in time. The desired outcome is a whole system solution that plans short-term recovery in the context of a strategy for long-term sustainability.

Go to our resources page for some organizations, action ideas, and publications you can use.

This regional recovery process will become a source of innovation for the administration of President Barck Obama. 

For more information, contact Ernest Lowe at ernielowe at or 707-542-4723.  (insert @ as usual in the address)

Contact Us | Copyright © 2009 Indigo Development | Last Updated: June 2009
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