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Turn a Spark Into a Flame

The first steps to turn an initial idea into a real project

By Katya Matanovic

I am surrounded by people with good ideas. Perhaps it’s living in Seattle, a hub for nonprofits and foundations; or maybe it’s being of the Xennial generation (it’s really a thing); or it could be the speed and access to information every minute of every day. I’m not sure what it is. But a lot of my casual conversations with friends eventually meander to “I’ve got this idea…”

When the ideas are about their neighborhood or getting people together, I pay special attention because, well, it’s my job. Sometimes the ideas are big and loose and abstract – “I’ve been thinking about a connection between food and talking about racism,” – and sometimes the ideas are much more digested.

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Ground Rules Deep Dive #1: Turn Opposition Into Proposition

By Milenko Matanovic

Together we are capable of extraordinary achievements. Over the years, Pomegranate Center has proven this by encouraging people to uphold a code of conduct that leads to creativity and collaboration. This code of conduct, what we call “ground rules,” is essential to creating a positive atmosphere that focuses on how things can be improved, free from complaints. In this series of short essays, I will look at different ground rules, evaluate why they are important, and share stories from the field.

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Year-end Highlight: New Zealand Trainings

by Shalema Wanden-Hannay, Beacon Pathway Inc., and Kait Heacock

This year’s trainings work took Milenko down the West Coast–from Seattle to Ashland, OR to National City, CA–and all the way to Auckland, New Zealand, where he introduced our method for effective and joyful collaboration and welcomed a new group of trainees into our network of engaged, global citizens.

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Paper Roads and Placemaking

What is a Paper Road? In New Zealand, it’s a common term for a legal road that may exist only on paper. These roads are typically not fully developed but are well known as walking and biking routes for locals. One industrious group of New Zealanders saw Paper Roads as a perfect opportunity for placemaking. Read more

Tactical Urbanism as a Tool for Placemaking

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How does place-making inspire people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community? Learn from the best as local hero Milenko Matanovic, founder of the Pomegranate Center, joins nationally renowned Island Press author, Mike Lydon, to discuss the intersection between placemaking and tactical urbanism. Read more