11.29.05 Notes from NEO Net Impact Meeting - Envisioning Positive Change for East Cleveland

Submitted by Sudhir Kade on Fri, 12/02/2005 - 15:58.

Minutes for Net Impact Meeting - AJ Rocco's Nov 29     7-9 PM

Attendees (10)

Akash Abraham

Katya Chistik

Beau Deane

    Tim Ewing

Ed Hauser

Sudhir Raghupathy

Norm Roulet

Maurice Small

Stephanie Strong

Nicole Tuzzio

The meeting was convened to introduce several of the attendees who were first timers to Net Impact, what the organization is about, and our potential as chapter for Northeast Ohio. Net Impact is about leveraging business and professional skills to effect positive change in the community toward Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability.

A network of over 10,000 change agents working in this sphere globally, with chapters at nearly every top business school and 16 major Cities worldwide.


Administrative details were first discussed

  1. We currently have 5 paying members, and 2 limited members - so we need to make ita priority to reach 10 paying members as soon as possible - this is a new minium standard defined by Net Impact Central. To become either limited or full member please visit www.netimpact.org

Benefits of membership are numerous

a. internships and job benefits become accessible to full members only

b. Two excellent sustainability newsletter subscriptions

c. Eligibility to attend National Conferences every year of membership

d. For a limited time, 20 of the $40 membership fee comes back to seed funding

  1. Sharing a vision for positive change made possible through maximization of internal synergies - each of us are representative of various sustainability oriented organizations, and can coordinate efforts that create win-win outcomes for these organizations as well as the community at large.
  2. Exciting potential for our own sustainability - we can leverage 501c3 status of parent organization! Enables grant proposals for our designs.

Then, attendees were updated on the level of progress attained at our prior meeting:

The focus was placed on our last discussion which revolved around making changes happen in East Cleveland - an excellent      place for transformative and  specific sustainability efforts.


Possible Projects discussed:

  1. Bridging the Digital Divide and making Wi-Fi universally accessible to this 5-square mile region of great opportunity and promise.
  2. High performance / Green design aspects of land-bank property renovation that

    a. employs unemployed East Clevelanders as 'partners in reconstruction'

    b. many opportunities for green building - Steph mentions Green Building Coalition as possible ally

    c. creates new value - new ventures, raises property values, creates tax income

3.  working to enhance school curricula (Shaw) to:

a. address environmental issues

b. address arts and culture appreciation

c. Earth Day Coalition could be great Ally (Scott Sanders)

d. introduce innovative charter programs (entrepreneurship, intergenerational, etc)


4. Creating experiential opportunities - exposure to Nature Centers

a. Forest Hills Park - restoration?  create new nature center?

b. David Wright of Shaker Lakes doing work with schools (content and experience)- connect


5. Bringing wholesome organic produce affordably to East Clevelanders

    a. Maurice working on this - new connections with Beau and Nicole to team up

Of these, it was decided that it would be best to tackle the 'low hanging fruit' (Beau)
so wireless/ digital divide and property renovation look most inviting - BUT to be certain and help clear up the big picture of who's doing what and who might be able to help out - to help us decide better we decide upon :



  1. Tim and Maurice already have great connections - i.e. Mayor Eric Brewer
  2. Steph suggests using high quality SNA software : Valdis Krebs, Inflow
  3. Also possibility to use The Brain - investigate!
  4. Steph will send out spreadsheet template with key headings that match for #2  ASAP
  5. All members (attendees or otherwise) strongly encouraged to provide key contactsand organizations known to be working on East Cleveland betterment once spreadsheets are distributed - send to sudhir [at] realinks [dot] us">sudhir [at] realinks [dot] us for compilation onto centrally accessible web portal.
  6. Norm and Sudhir will work on NeoNetImpact COIL - open source web site to enable virtual dialog, communications, content management for our group to communicate.
  7. Please feel free to send any thoughts and ideas in the interim to email in #5.

Issues of Governance raised by Katya - Sudhir introduces the envisioned model to promote effective collaboration under a frame of equity - a ring of rings. Future vision is to someday have multiple task forces (committees) for each of six key areas :

Arts and Culture






This provided as one example, we could self-determine new or different categories as needed. As Ed Hauser indicated: Key will be for people to work on what they really want to do and have most intrinsic passion for.

Tim stressed importance of being as inclusive and collaborative as possible. Also need to involve community members from the very beginning - so consider forums, town hall meetings, dialog, surveys. Determine what locals really want and have passion for.

Norm shared aligned efforts being advanced by RealNEO in East Cleveland - nice synergy. Lead Abatement, issues with the Elderly, Digital Divide, Arts, etc.

East Cleveland 2010 project already underway.

Importance of defining timelines and assigning deliverbles clearly indicated.

Nicole expresses great interest in organics to East Cleveland - new connections

quotes Margaret Mead: 'Never underestimate power of small, concerned group of citizens to change the world...'

Sudhir : quotes 'Be the change you want to see in the world' - Gandh

we can and will lead by example and create an uprecedented effort , rallying all who have energy to help, to transform underprivileged communities with great promise like East Cleveland. 

Katya -how are we going to be effective and have time for yet another group?

  1. Maurice : through commitment and dedication and passion
  2. Sudhir : second Maurice, but also through shared and empowered responsibility that lightens workload on any one individual - as we grow burden distributes..

if you build it and others see the good in it - they will come!

Check Out: 

all members express satisfaction, excitement and interest, as well as happiness at actually defining and seeing a plan of action emerge - moving beyond the talk to action!

So in Closing : A great meeting - Key Deliverables and Next Steps :

  1. Steph : spreadsheet template , inquiry into feasibility of allowing and using Inflow software
  2. Sudhir: create new, more empowered web presence and communication medium
  1. All:  add content to spreadsheet Steph distributes to all collect the makings of the'ultimate network map for East Cleveland'