Fund for Our Economic Future and Voices and Choices are transforming real NEO for the best

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 07/10/2006 - 11:26.



Voices and Choices is a groundbreaking initiative of the Fund for Our Economic Future to develop a far-reaching, comprehensive regional dialog for setting a course for our region's future that will produce more jobs and create better economic opportunities for our families and businesses. Voices & Choices is also educating hundreds of thousands of people about the realities facing the regional economy.

REALNEO.US Chief Technologist Phillip Williams, REALNEO social change expert Sudhir Ragupathy and I have been honored to play a core role in developing the Drupal-based technology that supports the Voices and Choices initiative, which is the same technology we use for REALNEO and offers the potential for further virtual community building as the region migrates to greater open source collaboration and the next version of this revolutionary technology, in demonstration at The open-box thinking of the world-class organizers of Voices and Choices, the Fund for Our Economic Future and America Speaks, leading them to embrace such an innovative, open-source global solution in collaboration with our team, shows the extent of the paradigm shift and revolutionary change at work in this region, and I commend them for their progressive approach and working with us to help transform real NEO.

The Voices and Choices solution is found at, and you'll see Sudhir Ragupathy has been a major contributor to our community development, Voices and Choices program operations, and the complete success of this groundbreaking initiative. Voices & Choices is a project of the Fund for Our Economic Future and is being directed by America Speaks in partnership with the Universities Collaborative. 

AmericaSpeaks, a non-profit organization, engages citizens in the public decisions that impact their lives.

Citizens expect and deserve to be involved in public decisions that most significantly impact them. Democratic deliberation – citizens working with one another, through dialogue, to come to a judgment about the best course of action on a given public issue – is a central part of our democratic tradition. And today’s decision makers are slowly becoming aware of the vital knowledge, perspectives, and support citizens can offer.

AmericaSpeaksdevelops innovative deliberative tools that work for both citizens and decision makers. These tools give citizens an opportunity to have a strong voice in public decision making within the increasingly short timeframes required of decision makers. As a result, citizens can impact decisions and those in leadership positions can make more informed, lasting decisions.

Since the organization’s founding in 1995, AmericaSpeaks methodologies have engaged over 65,000 people in over 50 large-scale forums in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The Fund for Our Economic Future is an unprecedented collaboration among the philanthropic sector of Northeast Ohio to promote regional economic development.

The Fund was launched in February of 2004 as the philanthropic sector’s response to the many pressing long-term economic challenges facing Northeast Ohio such as business retention/expansion, entrepreneurship, and technology innovation.

Currently, 80 entities from throughout Northeast Ohio have united to form the Fund.  Fund participants range from private, community, conversion, and corporate foundations to corporate giving programs and individual donors.

The Fund strives to respond to an expressed need for change by convening key voices, measuring economic progress, and making grants to high impact economic development initiatives.  The Fund and its members have deployed over $35 million to pursue economic development in Phase 1(from February 2004 through February 2007). Although the Fund met and surpassed all of its initial goals, much work remains ahead in supporting the economic transformation of Northeast Ohio. Strategic planning and fundraising are currently in process for Phase 2 of the Fund.

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Bottomless pit and the financial cliff

While the country debates how we can stop from going off the financial cliff - HUD still has $1.3 million  to give to another bogus planning consortium:


Ad nauseum. I give up. (SEE time stamp 2006 -

Fund for Our Economic Future and Voices and Choices are transforming real NEO for the best

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 07/10/2006 - 11:26.

Norm is basically a fugitive and REALNEO is still on the hitlist - sad, so sad)