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Social Innovation

photo Bob Perkoski

Like other industrial cities around the turn of the 20th century, Cleveland prospered and grew rapidly, earning many of its residents handsome nest eggs. Fortunately for future Clevelanders, wealthy industrialists made a habit of digging deep to give back. Generous contributions lead to the creation of the Metroparks system, Cleveland Orchestra, Playhouse Square and numerous other enduring regional assets. Who's leading the charge these days to affect change for the public good? Social innovation requires us to think differently about how to solve tough social problems. It's getting new people around the table, from techies and artists to those already working on the issues. It's not just coming up with ideas; it's putting good ideas to work.

Features

Public Square Protest - LAND studio’s Landform public art series

Future so bright: Five public art projects brightening Cleveland's landscape

Fresh Water scoured the city in search of public art. It didn't take us long to find five new public art installments that add a little character and color to the skyline. Check them out here.

Remi at Welcome House

An extra helping hand for foster care children with extra-special needs

Most children who come into Cuyahoga County's foster care program have been traumatized to some degree. But for kids who are LGBTQ or have intellectual developmental disabilities and are victims of violence, the trauma can be even greater. These programs aim to help those young people with special circumstances thrive in foster care and life. 

Bobby Kennedy by artist Keith Mayerson

American Dream, Constant Sun illuminate MOCA

Wall clocks that tell stories, but not time; TRUTH from Detroit; an embarrassment of pickles — it all adds up to a feast of color and content amid MOCA Cleveland's summer 2017 exhibition.

human trafficking

First person: Inside the local fight against human trafficking

Fresh Water contributor Christopher Johnston steps inside Cleveland's human trafficking scene to uncover some dark realities — and the people and organizations battling them.

"Neighbor Up Spotlight" host Carol Malone

Podcast: a Clevelander 'steps up' to University Hospitals — and a local jobs pipeline beefs up

This episode of "Neighbor Up Spotlight" welcomes Amanda Harris, who tells her successful employment story that was made possible by an innovative program — Step Up to UH. Also, Alicenne Passavanti explains how like opportunities are expanding into the hospitality industry.
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Social Innovation In The News

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Social Innovation Founders

lynde vespoli

lynde vespoli

City: Cleveland
Meet Lynde Vespoli, founder of Discover My Cleveland, a destination management company with nine part-time tour directors and one fulltime employee.
jennifer coleman

jennifer coleman

City: Campus District
Meet Jennifer Coleman, founder of CityProwl, which produces urban walking tours 
lauren steiner

lauren steiner

City: Downtown
Meet Lauren Steiner, founder of Grants Plus, a fundraising consulting firm with 14 employees.
doug bell

doug bell

City: Ohio City
Meet Doug Bell, co-founder of Global Prairie, an organization with 20 employees in Cleveland.that has a simple idea: Do great work for clients so that Global Prairie can do good work in the world. 
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