Ideas and Initiatives

Greenway strives to understand and implement the most effective approaches to economic development by defining boundaries, encouraging social innovation and engaging youth and the community. Innovations or “renovations” function within their own “ecosystem,” and fostering innovation requires an understanding of, and ability to shape, that ecosystem such that innovation and economic development are natural, emergent properties of the system.

Boundaries and Innovation
System boundaries help organizations envision and develop innovations by clarifying parameters, identifying problems and solutions. However, too much rigidity can stifle creativity and exploration, and as a result innovation and adaptability suffer. One key source of innovation is the ability to see across system boundaries, to apply ideas from one area to another, or indeed simply to dissolve the boundaries altogether and look at things holistically.

Social Innovation
Fostering innovation requires an understanding of, and ability to shape, the broader systems in which social institutions — such as schools or businesses — reside.  True innovation results as a natural, emergent property facilitated by people who understand the relevant system and how it works and how it is connected to other systems, and know how to think about and enable the process of finding and adding value within that system and the broader social ecosystem.

Building Strong Connections
We help people make connections between systems, between ideas, and between each other.  And we strongly believe that one of the most important connections we can make is the connection between our children and their future. We want children to be motivated to learn and to tie what they are learning into their vision and creation of the future.  We have begun the Learn to Connect project with this idea in mind.

Some of our strategies to foster innovation include:

Resilience and Adaptation Planning
Greenway helps plan communities and organizations that are resilient and adaptable. Resilience is the ability to undergo a disruption and to rebound with prior system dynamics still intact. Read more

Regenerative Design
Thinking beyond sustainability means assessing how people can integrate with and actually regenerate, not just sustain, natural systems.  Through regenerative design, we regenerate ecosystems, ourselves and our communities, schools and businesses. Read more

Transition Management
Transitioning to more sustainable societies brings both environmental and economic benefits.  The simultaneous exploration of multiple options and adaptive policies can provide for new systems that are not implemented but “grown” in a gradual manner. Read more

Open Space Collaboration
Greenway helps design and facilitate innovative participatory processes using the Open Space technology  We help organize the Community Created Humboldt sessions. Read more


Additional Resources of Interest

Apollo Alliance
Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS)Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (DRIFT)The Natural Step (TNS)