The New York Times blog, Economix, describes The Springfield Institute and all of us who have gotten on board (click here, scroll down) as “social entrepreneurs” and “local heroes.” UMass economist Nancy Folbre talks about how community organizing and civic engagement builds social capital, and in turn, is our best shot at creating the kind of equitable, regional, and sustainable economic development that has eluded Springfield and Holyoke for decades.
But beyond simply describing our work to a larger audience, this post shows that we are successfully inserting our struggles into the larger context of post-industrial urban and regional development. So many people talk about a long history of isolation in Springfield and Holyoke. There seems to be a growing consensus that our challenges will be most fruitfully addressed with a deeper understanding of what other cities are trying. And ultimately, once we are able to show some progress here, we’d like to project our experience and expertise outward to other cities with simlar challenges. Please join us in celebrating our coming out party!