Local Partners Support Almeda Fire Recovery Zone Captains

Local Partners Support Almeda Fire Recovery Zone Captains

Here’s a great video from The Mail Tribune on some of our work in the community.  Zone captains is a partnership with founding organization, Remake Talent, and Rogue Workforce Partnership who helps fund the Zone Captain’s work.  Zone Captains (espanol) are hiring part and full 

Local Innovation Works Updates and Invitations

Local Innovation Works Updates and Invitations

Hi, I hope you are well.   Just an invitation or two and a quick update.  Invitations  Our commitment to supporting innovation in our community continues with a discussion on how citizens can better collaborate with each other and city government with Ashland Mayor Julie Akins and 

Winter 2021 Internship Showcase

Winter 2021 Internship Showcase

This term 13 interns worked on a variety of projects supporting fire relief, local community organizations, and self-leadership. Interns presented their projects on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. Below are descriptions and links to each presentation, then the full showcase video is embedded at the end of this page.

Recovery Dashboard

Sabra worked with the nonprofit Remake Talent to create an interactive fire recovery dashboard using ArcGIS, county data, census data, and linking live data from other sources using APIs. She will be continuing to develop this project through the spring term. Video of the presentation.

Rogue Forest Restoration Initiative

Turtle worked with four non-profits and six public agencies to create a geospatial infrastructure to facilitate collaboration on project scale forest management, monitoring, and restoration in the Rogue Basin. Video of the presentation.

Family Nurturing Center Client Needs Data

Nicholas took survey information gathered by Family Nurturing Center to understand what the community was telling us about their needs and learn how to address the community’s core issues. Video of the presentation

Map of Fire Relief Organizations

Finlay created an interactive online presentation of the evolving network of fire relief organizations that provide resources to the Rogue Valley. Video of the presentation

Community Investment Fund

Brian continued another intern’s work started in Fall 2020 of creating a community investment fund, researching gaps between local banks’ loan terms and the ability of underserved entrepreneurial borrowers to get credit. Video of the presentation

Wellness Support Instagram Profile

Creating an Instagram wellness channel, Kelsey shared tips for mental health, well being, and resiliency, and also met individually with her many followers to support their personal journeys. Video of the presentation

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Forensics Lab Genetic Sequencing

Ritikaa worked at the local Forensics Lab to increase their reference sample collection to include DNA extracted from a variety of species. Video of the presentation

Self-Leadership and Discovery Through Songwriting

India created one original song by herself, critically examining and refining her creative habits to gain some insight into her artistic process. Video of the presentation

Accounting Support for the City of Phoenix

Hannah was originally tasked with sorting out the City of Phoenix’s water billing accounts post Almeda Fire. She then tackled the city’s 2021-2022 budget (yes, seriously!). Video of the presentation

Spanish Translation of Fire Relief Resources

Jorge continued working with LIL for a second term, this time helping Mi Valley Mi Hogar ensure that all their outreach materials are accessible to the Spanish speaking population.

Funder Database

Another intern (who wished to be unnamed) worked with the Gordon Elwood Foundation to create a “visually appealing, accessible online database profiling key funders in the Southern Oregon region.” 

Local Innovation Works Social Media and Website Support

Ryden helped to post events and updates on Facebook and to revise and add content to the LIW site.

The full showcase video hosted by Ellie Holty, Program Director of the Local Innovation Lab, and Stephen Sloan of the Humane Leadership Institute:

Front Page News!

Front Page News!

Local Innovation Lab interns are making a real difference in our valley’s recovery from the twin disasters of 2020.  Their impact was recently featured in our local newspaper. The article features Local Innovation Lab intern Hannah Brandt, who worked with the City of Phoenix to 

Autumn 2020 Internship Showcase

Autumn 2020 Internship Showcase

In the wake of Covid-19 and recent wildfires in our valley, our first cohort of ten students has been working to meet the essential needs of ​our community​ and create new local jobs. In the process, the students have been diving into their own humane 

Local Innovation Lab Internships Autumn 2020

Local Innovation Lab Internships Autumn 2020

This term 10 interns worked on six projects to support fire relief and capacity building within our organization.

Post Almeda Fire Community Rebuild Opportunities

Interns: Jesse Jo, Karina, Kadyn, Makayla
Clients: Linda Tetreault

The original objective of this project was to create land asset maps of possible rebuild sites by compiling public record information and inputs from the affected community.

As it became clear that available land was not immediately suitable for rebuilding, the focus of this project pivoted to a three-pointed study. Interns have researched the current assets of the town of Talent– including its long range plan, emergency declarations, local housing solution initiatives, grassroots organizations, and potential buildable land sites. They have also researched other fire affected areas and their rebuild efforts, as well as other temporary and long-term low income housing solutions from across the country. Their synthesis of how various solutions might serve the needs of the fire-affected community in Talent, and a presentation of those scenarios and recommendations, is the culmination of their project.

Team’s Showcase Video

Community Listening Session Learnings

Intern: Aileen, Jorge, Karina
Client: Local Innovation Works

Knowing that input from the largely Latino community of fire-displaced people would be critical in rebuilding the Rogue Valley, we partnered with My Valley My Home to participate in their community listening circles. Because the leadership of that organization was somewhat slow to gel, their listening circles were slow to materialize, and we opted to join intern Karina Medina’s involvement with the Northwest Seasonal Workers Association. This group of interns attended weekly meetings of 30 to 50 members, listening to their collective experiences, concerns, and ideas around the rebuild. Many of the members shared their frustrations with FEMA, the Red Cross, and their landlords, and the interns’ reports to our group about their learnings informed the efforts of all our other projects. We have also reached out to representatives from Unete and the Zone Captain group organized by Remake Talent to further our collaboration with those displaced by the Almeda fire.

Aileen’s Showcase Video

Karina’s Showcase Video

Development Research and Administration

Intern: Tina
Client: Julie O’Dwyer of My Valley My Home and Local Innovation Works

This massive undertaking has included the research of funding sources and the creation of a list of potential donors and supporters of LIW and MVMH, researching grant opportunities and developing granting schedules for both organizations, developing preliminary program budgets, and developing preliminary grant application template information.

Tina’s Showcase Video

Community Investment Fund

Intern: Cassandra
Client: Bob Kaplan, Local Innovation Works

A community investment fund is a new concept for us in the Rogue Valley, and a possible way to provide seed funds to local innovations that meet community needs and create jobs. This project involved researching already established community funds as well as preparing our community for a presentation of and community wide conversations about establishing such a fund.

Cassandra’s Showcase Video

Marketing – Website/Video

Intern: Grayson
Client: Stephen Sloan and Ellie Holty of LIW

This project provides marketing support for LIW by creating promotional video, updating website content. You can see his video work here. And webpages he built here and here.

Grayson’s Showcase Video

Opportunities for Job Creation and Needs

Intern: Haylee
Clients: Stephen Sloan & Julie O’Dwyer of Local Innovation Works

This pivotal project has ensured the continued success of the Local Innovation Lab program. The objective was to contact nonprofits and businesses in the community who could possibly create new jobs and expand their services with the help of one of our interns. Haylee not only made LIW some great partnerships and internship clients, but identified a number of organizations with immediate needs for new hires that we could support with our network in the Winter term of 2021.

Haylee’s Showcase Video

Fire Preparedness

Fire Preparedness

Download the PulsePoint app. We follow both Jackson County Fire District #5 and Ashland Fire & Rescue. on Facebook. Focused on weather forecasting and climatology within Southern Oregon and Northern California. He also provides updates on local and regional wildfires during the summer months. 



Here is a collection of ways to help and receive help that we have been sent by the Rogue Valley community. This Google document has so much information, updated regularly, in one place for those wanted to give and those looking for gifts:    Here 

Local Innovation Works: Mayoral Candidate Interviews 2020

Local Innovation Works: Mayoral Candidate Interviews 2020

As the November election approaches, we face a choice of tracks to travel toward our shared future. In this important moment, we wanted to contribute to the community’s consideration of candidates. We believe that the agenda-setting and convening power of the mayor is crucial as we face a variety of important decisions in the coming months.

Our concerns about this election

  • Our situation as a community is difficult and complex.
  • Civic discourse as a shared search for common ground, sense, and solutions needs to regain momentum.

Our assumptions

  • Leadership can make a difference.
  • Conversations in community will likely yield better solutions than a few dedicated staffers and folks voting in the council chambers can create.
  • Understanding what candidates value and how they think is crucial in these fast-moving, unpredictable times.

The goal

Try reinvigorating civic discourse with an experiment in one small town mayoral race. This experiment is to give the candidates space to reveal:

  • Who they are
  • What they value
  • What they see as the key issues
  • How they think
  • How they will host the community conversations required to prioritize our values, cocreate solutions, and organize actions.

The plan

Interview each candidate separately on Zoom to give them space to reveal themselves in the openings questions create for them. Keep commentary to a minimum.

Release the two unedited videos at the same time so that no one can have an advantage by knowing the other person’s answers.

The questions

  1. What do you see as the values of this community?
  2. What are your values as they relate to the communities values?
  3. How are those values revealed in your daily life?
  4. How do you see Ashland succeeding in the future?
  5. What other cities do you think Ashland could learn from?
  6. What have you learned about leading Ashland in the last year?
  7. How do you study issues and arrive at priorities?
  8. What are the key issues that the community should address in the next few years?
  9. What are the policy trade-offs, the competing values built into these issues?
  10. What is your plan for helping the community to discuss and decide about how to balance those tensions?

The conversations:

Note, the candidates were free to answer each question to their own satisfaction. I tried to be encouraging with minor feedback; humans need that to feel comfortable. I also tried to avoid follow up questions to keep the playing field even. The videos are different lengths because the candidates each chose to answer the questions in their own ways.

I hope that you will find the candidates as interesting and engaging as I did.

Thanks to Julie and Tonya for participating.

Thank you for taking the time to understand the mayoral candidates a bit better.

1. What do you see as the values of this community?Julie 1 Tonya 1 
2. What are your values as they relate to the communities values?Julie 2 Tonya 2 
3. How are those values revealed in your daily life?Julie 3 Tonya 3 
4. How do you see Ashland succeeding in the future?Julie 4 Tonya 4 
5. What other cities do you think Ashland could learn from?Julie 5 Tonya 5 
6. What have you learned about leading Ashland in the last year?Julie 6 Tonya 6 
7. How do you study issues and arrive at priorities?Julie 7 Tonya 7 
8. What are the key issues that the community should address in the next few years?Julie 8 Tonya 8 
9. What are the policy trade-offs, the competing values built into these issues?Julie 9 Tonya 9 
10. What is your plan for helping the community to discuss and decide about how to balance those tensions?Julie 10Tonya 10 

Julie Akinswebsite

Tonya Grahamwebsite

Reach out if you would like to support this same process for other races or if you have other ideas for building our community.