Current Projects

Our Cities, Our Climate: A State Department-Bloomberg Philanthropies
Partnership for International Best Practice Exchange on City Climate Leadership

The Innovation Network for Communities is supporting the Our Cities, Our Climate program, a partnership between the U.S. Department of State and Bloomberg Philanthropies to leverage the leadership role of international cities in building climate change action. This program is designed to strengthen networks between international and U.S. cities, showcase cutting-edge U.S. climate change efforts, encourage the implementation of best practices at the subnational level, and reinforce climate-action momentum in the final months before December’s UNFCCC Conference of the Parties in Paris (COP21). INC is supporting this process with content development, facilitation and final report production.

Human Services Framework and Best Practices Case Study
With a grant from the Kresge Foundation, INC is partnering with OH Community Partners to create a Human Services taxonomy of top performing organizations that create pathways toward the economic mainstream in the United States and to identify and assess the key attributes of those leading organizations. The project will then document the core strategies and promising practices that can inform the sector and philanthropic investment in the Human Services. The project was launched in Q2, 2012 and follows a strategic planning engagement with the Kresge Human Services Team, led by INC partner and board member Richard Anderson.

Boston Green Ribbon Commission
John Cleveland serves as the part time Executive Director for the Boston Green Ribbon Commission, a group of 35 high level civic and business leaders supporting the implementation of the Boston Climate Action Plan. The Commission was launched in 2010 through a joint effort of Amos Hostetter, founder of the Barr Foundation, and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. INC has been involved in the Commission from its beginning.

Urban Sustainability Directors Network
The Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) is a rapidly evolving North American network of 100-plus municipal sustainability directors who are on the front lines of addressing climate change and collaborating on local innovations for sustainability. INC has provided network development, facilitation and innovation fund management services to USDN. INC has been working with USDN since its inception in 2008.

A Framework for Developing Sustainable Water Markets
With a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, INC is partnering with OH Community partners to create a framework for investment in the development of sustainable water markets that create a balance of positive economic, environmental and social outcomes. This framework is targeted for use by a combination of philanthropic funders, NGOs, governments and private investors. Patterned after our analytical work in the Building Retrofit Industry and Market (BRIM) development project, we will developed a detailed segmentation analysis for the water industry. This project was completed in January 2013.

Scan of Leading Edge Thinking and Practice on Carbon-Neutral Communities
With a grant from the Kresge Foundation, INC created a practical “road map” for achieving carbon neutrality, with a specific focus on a carbon neutral building sector. The project synthesized leading edge thinking and practice on carbon-neutral communities and identifies the developmental steps (stages) that communities need to pursue such a future. This project research was completed in 2013 and set the foundation for the creation of the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance.

Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance
The Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance is a network of 17 global cities that are committed to deep de-carbonization targets – 80% or more reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The Alliance aims to address what it will take for leading international cities to achieve these deep emissions reductions, and how they can work together to meet their respective goals more efficiently and effectively. The Innovation Network for Communities supports the Alliance through the development of its framework for deep de-carbonization.

National Competency Validation Center
INC has been working for several years on the vision of creating demand-driven career pathways supported at the sector, regional and enterprise level that use evidence-based credentials to connect individuals to good jobs. In support of this vision, INC is partnering with Metrics Reporting, Inc., The Hope Street Group, Corporation for a Skilled Workforce (CSW), and Jim Scharf Associates to create the national Competency Validation Center. The Competency Validation Center will define, validate, and openly communicate the competencies that can be demonstrated to be related to job performance. By filling this void, the Center will set the foundation for a cooperative and openly shared competency-based talent supply chain system that aligns employers, educators and individuals across the US economy.