Find What Works and Make It Grow

by Brendan Kramp | Mar 30, 2013
| 1 Comment

Summary:

Part of what makes St. Paul great is its people and its history. What will make its future even better is to find what is already working in St. Paul and invest in these ideas and activities to make them grow.

A curious thing about the world is that we often have great ideas and solutions to problems that just don't get implemented. Whether because of money, time, effort, patience, etc, we all know that we can produce carbon free energy and hydrogen cars, but other factors keep these things from happening.

However, solutions exist. Progress is being made. Often it happens in some of the least known, unexpected, and humble corners of our own world. Neighbors who find a way of pooling resources to buy goods at a discount for a number of households. The home gardner that produces enough organic tomatoes over a summer to feed dozens of families. The retired doctor who consults for new immigrants for free. These are not just unusual examples, they quite often prove the rule in how our society functions and in making a community whole.

We can use the $1Million to find and recognize exactly those people, organizations, businesses, or groups that are already making the kind of differences that we want, and to help them grow their activities. Innovative programs in early health interventions have proven life saving for many. Start up art groups have transformed old abandoned neighborhoods in St. Paul's Lowertown. Charter schools have shown that children from underprivileged families can receive a great education, and pursue a future of success.

With the help of a panel of experts that know the St Paul landscape of individuals, programs, advocates and organizations, we could find 3-5 amazing groups already doing good, and help them to do more. This could be done in the context of specific issue areas (like education), or simply based on the most outstanding personal stories. In the end, we need to invest in what is already working and help it to repeat.

About You

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About You

First Name

Brendan

Last Name

Kramp

City

St. Paul

County

Ramsey

Country

United States, MN, Ramsey County

Website (if you have one)

Names of others who helped contribute to my idea

How did you hear about the Forever Saint Paul Challenge?

About Your Organization (if applicable)

Organization Name (if applicable)

N/A

Organization Website

Organization Phone

Organization Address

City

Organization Country

United States

Your idea

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Title of your idea

Find What Works and Make It Grow

Give us the highlights of your idea for making Saint Paul great (2,000 characters maximum or approx. 250 words)

Part of what makes St. Paul great is its people and its history. What will make its future even better is to find what is already working in St. Paul and invest in these ideas and activities to make them grow.
A curious thing about the world is that we often have great ideas and solutions to problems that just don't get implemented. Whether because of money, time, effort, patience, etc, we all know that we can produce carbon free energy and hydrogen cars, but other factors keep these things from happening.
However, solutions exist. Progress is being made. Often it happens in some of the least known, unexpected, and humble corners of our own world. Neighbors who find a way of pooling resources to buy goods at a discount for a number of households. The home gardner that produces enough organic tomatoes over a summer to feed dozens of families. The retired doctor who consults for new immigrants for free. These are not just unusual examples, they quite often prove the rule in how our society functions and in making a community whole.
We can use the $1Million to find and recognize exactly those people, organizations, businesses, or groups that are already making the kind of differences that we want, and to help them grow their activities. Innovative programs in early health interventions have proven life saving for many. Start up art groups have transformed old abandoned neighborhoods in St. Paul's Lowertown. Charter schools have shown that children from underprivileged families can receive a great education, and pursue a future of success.
With the help of a panel of experts that know the St Paul landscape of individuals, programs, advocates and organizations, we could find 3-5 amazing groups already doing good, and help them to do more. This could be done in the context of specific issue areas (like education), or simply based on the most outstanding personal stories. In the end, we need to invest in what is already working and help it to repeat.

Website address (if applicable)

Innovation

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What makes your idea different or unexpected? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

I think we have a tendency often to think we need to do something new or start from scratch when trying to make a difference. The unexpected thing is how many people and groups are already doing great things that may not yet be on our radar, or haven't gained prominence yet due to money or press or any number of factors. This idea makes the distinct attempt to find and recognize already existing "outstanding" ideas and individuals, and help take them to the next level in their work. It's sort of like finding the next great business that already exists before it is discovered, only this has a social and cultural mission rather than a profits focus. This will also just raise the profile of many great happenings in St. Paul in general.

Impact

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This Entry is about (Issues)

How will your idea make a difference in Saint Paul? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

By recognizing what is already working and helping it to grow, the citizens of St. Paul will be exposed not only to some of the great things their neighbors are already doing, but also other examples of how they can enact similar changes in their lives and local areas. Choosing organizations that are already working, for example, in the areas of education and economic development will let St. Paul concentrate on where success is being made, and look closer at the conditions that enabled that to happen. This, in turn, can lead to further funding, support groups, access, and a number of changes at a broad level to encourage more and future such solutions.

Sustainability

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Why do you think people will recognize or remember your idea after it comes to life? How might it inspire others to do something similar in their community? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

People will remember this idea because it recognizes people that are in the St. Paul community and may be un-sung heroes, while also bringing to awareness many groups or organizations that are not already well known. People will also remember the idea when they see or read about how these people or groups found specific, small, local solutions to big problems, and started working piece by piece to make a difference. Finally, when we see our peers and neighbors doing things, it makes it more realistic that we can do the same. This idea can help us to see the natural leadership and mentorship that exists all around us while helping us to celebrate the everyday achievements of St. Paul's people.

Diego Salem said: For something that could really be the answer to anything that could truly be useful for anyone of us. - Sandra Dyche about this Competition Entry. - 2549 days ago read more >

Brendan Kramp updated this Competition Entry. - 2848 days ago

Brendan Kramp submitted this idea. - 2848 days ago