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As we navigate change, how can we create actionable plans for the future? Futurist Rebecca Ryan has a few ideas. Based in Madison, Wisconson, her past work in Columbus led to the advent of the city’s young professional initiatives. We discussed the work of a futurist, the tangible things that can be done to improve the social fabric of communities, and if it’s important to be back in the office.
- Rebecca Ryan
- Create Columbus Commission
- Live First, Work Second
- Richard Florida
- Alliance for Innovation
The Confluence Cast is sponsored by The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission featuring stories about local and regional partners that envision and embrace innovative directions in economic prosperity, transportation, sustainability and an inclusive Central Ohio. MORPC’s transformative programming, innovative services and public policy initiatives are designed to promote and support the vitality and growth in the region.
Tim Fulton 0:12
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the confluence cast presented by Columbus underground. We are a weekly Columbus centric podcast focusing on the civics, lifestyle, entertainment, and people of our city. I’m your host, Tim Fulton. This week, I had the opportunity to speak with Rebecca Ryan, a futurist based in Madison, Wisconsin. As you’ll hear her work in Columbus led to the advent of the city’s young professional initiatives. We discussed the work of a futurist, the tangible things that can be done to improve the social fabric of communities. The challenge with thinking about creating actionable plans for the future, defining when it’s important to be back in the office and defining the value of it, what other changes are coming, and the questions we should be asking ourselves about that. You can get more information on what we discussed today in the show notes for this episode at the confluence cast comm also, the confluence cast is on Patreon. Find out how to support this podcast on our website the confluence cast comm [email protected] slash Confluence. The Confluence cast is sponsored this week by the Mid Ohio Regional Planning Commission, or more proceed featuring stories about local and regional partners that envision and embrace innovative directions in economic prosperity, transportation, sustainability, and an inclusive central Ohio Morrissey’s transformative programming innovative services and public policy initiatives are designed to promote and support the vitality and growth in the region. For more information, please visit more pepsi.org enjoy the interview. Sitting down here virtually with economist futurist entrepreneur and self described badass Rebecca Ryan. Rebecca, how are you would have been nicer if you would have just called me a badass and I’m sorry, let’s do it. You know what? Do it again. Leave it in and I’m leaving. I’m leaving the first one in. I want to give you credit, sitting down here virtually with economist, futurist entrepreneur and badass. Rebecca Ryan coming to us from Madison, Wisconsin. Rebecca, how are you?
Rebecca Ryan 2:35
I’m well from one university town to another in the Midwest, a virtual High Five Tim Fulton.
Tim Fulton 2:40
Indeed, as some guests come I got a pitch for you to be on the podcast, talking about sort of the the current environment we’re in in terms of return to work. I did some googling very quickly because I was like I know who Rebecca Ryan is Rebecca Ryan basically encouraged Columbus to create the young professional commission that we’re known as they create Columbus commission, which we’ve talked to former chairs, I am actually a former chair of the Commission. So first of all, Rebecca, just give us the elevator pitch on who you are and where you come from.
Rebecca Ryan 3:19
Yeah, so I’m a I’m an economist. And I come from I was born in West Bend, Wisconsin, a small very conservative town in Wisconsin. And I it was after I did the engagement with Columbus that I went back to school and get my degree in foresight. So now the futurist moniker has been added to my bio. But yeah, that’s it. I mean, I’m a futurist. I’m an economist, I love my work. I’m a wife, I’m a dog mom. And I really enjoy mowing my lawn.
Tim Fulton 3:52
Okay. So would you refer to those, those gigs with individual governments or some government adjacent is what you’ve referred to them as those entities? Is that an economic development that you primarily worked in? Or what was the pitch when you were getting those engagements?
Rebecca Ryan 4:11
Yeah, I mean, at the time, when I was working with Columbus, the brain drain was on everybody’s mind Ohio was talking to everybody in the Midwest was talking about where our number one export is talented young professionals whom we educate, and then they either go back home or they leave for brighter shores. So I was in the mix. During all of that I had written a book called Live first work second, and it was all about how young professionals first pick a place to live and then find a job. That was about the same time that Richard Florida’s book, The rise of the creative class came out and you know, he was just a darling among the economic development and chamber world. Really smart guy, I like rich a lot. So I rode that wave and we developed some tools to index communities as far as how attractive They were to young professionals, we looked at seven different factors that seemed to matter in communities that young professionals were migrating to. And we tried to help communities like yours, figure out how to attract and keep. And so one of the really cool things and by the way, I just want to say congratulations to the wipey. commission and how that has morphed over time. But it makes a difference if somebody is waking up every day thinking about whether young professionals are plugged in engaged and care about a community. And that was one of the top recommendations that came out of our work there.
Tim Fulton 5:38
And how do you come to that? What does that engagement look like once you’ve sort of set it up? I’m very interested a lot of times and like, how does this happen? And how does it work? Like, are you individually indexing? Are you doing background census research? Like how does that look? What does that look like?
Rebecca Ryan 5:57
So our business today looks nothing like our business did when we were with you guys. And okay, there’s a part of me that like, feels a little embarrassed to say that, but then there’s another part of me that’s like, No, I mean, that’s evolution, baby. That’s what happens. So, so we had been doing this indexing these seven community indexes for communities going into the census data, like you said, Every publicly available data source that we could find, where we could truly compare apples to apples for communities across the United States and Canada. And then the recession happened. And we just, we made two decisions. Decision number one was to make that indexing tool free and available online. So you can now index yourself, you know, using under the Creative Commons license, okay. But the second decision I made was, the name of my business is next generation consulting. And for almost 18 years at that point, I had been focusing on generations, especially the future generations helping become great places to live and work for young professionals. And it was during the recession that I decided, people are really going to be freaked out about all the things that are coming next, not just generations. So I remember sitting in my bathtub, I went through a period of depression there. I remember sitting in my bathtub, thinking, Oh, what needs to happen is I have to take the emphasis off generation in next generation consulting and put the emphasis on next. And that’s when I decided to go back to school, I went to the University of Houston and got my professional certificate in strategic foresight, and started thinking much more broadly about the future of communities beyond just demographics. But thinking about the future of how we’re gonna live, think about the future of how technology is going to change our communities, how economies are going to change in our communities. So I have basically, I went from the eight Box of Crayons to the 48 baccata hands.
Tim Fulton 7:55
And so you’re, I imagine primarily your work was Yes, around that indexing, but it was around attract and retain initiatives. Absolutely. And so what do those engagements look like for you now?
Rebecca Ryan 8:10
Yeah, so now we get called when a community like there are some states that require every municipality to update their comprehensive plan every 10 years. Okay. So they’re working in 2020 on their 2030 plan, and they want to know, like, what should we be thinking about? So we do a bunch of projections for them. Another constant call that we get are people who are going through visioning work. They know that their platform is burning, that the things they’re doing aren’t relevant anymore, but they don’t know what to jump to next. Okay, so another very common call we get and the third call we’ve gotten a little more frequently since the recession is, Oh, my God, we have a really good plan. We thought, well, we thought we had a really good plan before Coronavirus. Is this still valid? So we’re stress testing current plans against emerging realities? And are you expanding to not just municipalities, but also to businesses and enterprise? I’m not opposed to that. But somebody told me once that the definition of a market is that they’re self referencing, you know, so if if Mayor Mike Coleman and Columbus, Ohio talks to another mayor, that’s a self referencing market. So although I have done some work for corporations, we tend to do most of our work in the public sector or in the near public sector, do gooders who want to do community development, economic development, workforce development.
Tim Fulton 9:39
Can you give examples of and you don’t have to tie it to municipality or maybe you want to examples of what are the actionable what’s coming out of it and what is specific to the municipality?
Rebecca Ryan 9:53
Right. So one of the great things that cities can do, cities can afford to take the long view because they can do Things like pass bonds. And you know, when you’re working on transportation it takes for ever to get a road widened or changed or you know, to add another lane of traffic, if that’s the direction that you’re going. So many of our recommendations are around the built environment, like what’s gonna need to happen around the built environment, Asheville and buncombe. County, North Carolina is a recent client. And they have very clear geographic limits, because they’re mountainous, so they can’t just clear and like build, so they have to build up, they can’t build out there are true limits to their growth, at the same time that North Carolina is moving from the 12th to the eighth most populous state in the country, so they’re having incredible growth. And so there are policy changes that need to be made within the city. So those are some of the the sort of hardscape. But then there’s also the, the soft scape, you know, the social fabric of a community. So this might sound like a really small thing. But if you continue to build porches, on the backs of homes instead of the front of homes, you really decrease social connection within communities. So these are small things that are about the social fabric of communities. And this has become so much more important. Because, you know, social media amplifies, you know, the algorithms of social media around amplification. And what gets amplified, the easiest is anger. And that tends to divide us not unite us. And so I, you know, my open ended question for America in the next decade is how are we going to learn to live together? And this is where some of those questions about who is your community becoming? And how are you creating opportunities for citizens to engage with each other think it’s becoming more important than ever?
Tim Fulton 11:54
And do you prefer to work on in those engagements? Do you prefer to work on projects where they sort of say, just tell us everything we need to do? So that you can get to those granular and actionable things that say, when you’re approving housing plans, you should have you know, everybody shouldn’t be going into one door? Everybody should have their own door, but everybody’s got their own porch. Yeah. And you’re interacting with each other. And you’re not creating a monolith of a housing community that never interacts with the whole rest of the world? Do you prefer those kinds of engagements where it’s basically brought in for planning in general, and you’re like, here’s eight things you may want to be thinking about?
Rebecca Ryan 12:38
This is I’m enjoying this question, because I haven’t been asked it before what I what I can share is that when I think back on over 20 years of doing this now, the plans that I have loved the most have been the ones that have taken sort of a, like a best of approach. Okay, so an example would be, you know, everyone’s struggling with affordable housing and homelessness right now. So it’s important to be able to set some vision around what that can look like. And then I want to expose people to a broad diaspora of what’s possible from around the world. And one of the best compliments I ever got was from a young professional in Lafayette, Indiana, who said, It emailed me and she said, Oh, my God, I just came across our good to great plan. And I can’t believe how many ideas that are actionable are in this plan. And I think that’s the tension, you know, the tension is we’re trying to build something that is 10 years or 20 years in the future things that some people can’t even imagine. It’s not difficult for me, that’s how my brain works. But you’ve got a back at right into, okay, what does the City Council have to start talking about next week? Or what are the things we could start to put into our next year’s budget? And I love that tension of what can we do tomorrow? That’s going to leave this community better for a kid who’s going to be 2520 years from now?
Tim Fulton 14:07
Absolutely. Absolutely. Talk about what you’re seeing as a futurist Now regarding return to work, and basically the future of the workforce in general, high level?
Rebecca Ryan 14:20
Yeah, well, I’m gonna just tell you that I think most of what the media is talking about right now is nonsense, and
Tim Fulton 14:28
what’s not what what is not?
Rebecca Ryan 14:30
Yeah, so what I mean is I’m, as I’m answering a lot of questions, like, you know, are we going to have more remote work or hybrid work? Or is everybody going to return to work? And what I mean, is that the questions are these 01 questions, you know, it’s either or questions, and they’re getting at the very surface level of things. And I understand that in the media, you know, you’re on a news cycle. You’re going to be doing another show tomorrow. Yeah, it is hard. to dive deep, but from my perspective as a futurist, you know, the future is in these long undulating curves. It is not in these nanosecond discussions. So I have an uneasy time answering questions like this, like, from my perspective, the questions that we really should be asking about return to work are if I’m if I’m a boss, or a leader who’s or an HR person who’s trying to help decide what our return to work policy is going to be. The first thing I’m going to ask is, how well do our employees understand our mission? And what their role is like? Do people have clarity about how we do our work and how we add value? Or are they unclear? Because if they’re unclear, being together is going to be more helpful. Getting is easier to pass tacit knowledge, in spontaneous conversations going to and from the bathroom, or the, you know, the coffee pot, whatever. So but if you if you have a lot of clarity in your organization, or if your team has worked together for a long time, you coming back to the office seems more optional to me. And frankly, I think some people would rather be left alone, you know, like, you do their work either me Yes, exactly, to do their work. So, you know, I think one of the questions is for your own organization, how clear is the work to everybody? The second question is, is, you know, what kind of structure is needed for people to perform their work, because in some organizations, interaction is needed when you’re whiteboarding. Even though I love the online tools, and I use them, but there’s There is something about whiteboarding together and having everybody grab a pen and a race and move things around. Or if you’re trying to design anything that’s actually three dimensional, you know, you want to be around that 3d printer and getting things put in place. And also, you know, it is sometimes really helpful to be face to face for, for critical conversations with your teammates, and that includes onboarding people, it includes those first 90 days, I think those are some really critical times when it makes sense to be together. So you have to think about the structure of your work as well. And then the final thing I would say is, this is an opportunity to really step back and say, What is the value that we provide, that people pay us for, because if you don’t understand your value chain, it’s hard for you to really understand the right structure that you need to get there An example would be a friend of my running partners and attorney. And they might have 40 people in their office. And she talked about how they’re going to go to three days a week back at work. And I said, How did you decide that? And she said, Well, the truth is, our clients aren’t demanding it. Our clients are happy with zoom. In fact, they’re happier with doing things over the phone or via zoom, because there’s no friction for them of having to drive downtown, find parking, you know, especially if you’re not familiar with the city, it’s stressful, come into a city. So she’s like, it’s not for our clients. It’s for our staff, you know, so I thought she did a nice job there of saying, we understand that we’re going to continue to do remote for our clients, we’re not going to require in person meeting was with clients, it’s gonna be up to them. But we are going to expect our staff to be together for these very, you know, there’s a lot of tricky issues in a law office that kind of have to be decided just in time and being together is a little more real time than even telepresence. So I get it, I get it. And I’m like, behind her, and they’re still they’re still allowing people to work from home, which gives people I think, a nice amount of flexibility.
Tim Fulton 18:44
Yeah, and this and I think we’re leaving the safety conversation to the side here. It’s sort of what has the pandemic, exposed in terms of everything, you know, things shut down, but work didn’t stop over the course of the last year. And would you say if you don’t have to expect people to come back into work, that you shouldn’t expect people to come back into work? Because there’s not it’s not adding value? It’s not creating a better environment, if that’s not needed.
Rebecca Ryan 19:19
I mean, what I would do first is talk to people, I would just, I would ask my people, where are you at? What do you want? Because you’ve heard about the way that women have, you know, dropped out of the workforce to deal with family issues. And so we’ve got to be really responsive to our parents, you know, our working parents, so I would start by asking people what they want. Overall what I’m hearing, like if I had to put my you know, my marble on a number on that wheel and in Vegas, I would put it on three days a week in the office for those that are going to come back to the office. I think we’re gonna we’re gonna net out at three days a week and now this is interesting for the commercial, real Real Estate Market thinking about Columbus because if people come back three days a week, three out of five days a week, it’s estimated that they’re going to need, you know, 10%, less office space, less footage, possibly. And then when you look at the financials, as I understand this is the national average office leases go up about 1.3% per year. Okay, so if there’s a 10% decrease in the amount of office space rented, and we work under the reality under the assumption that increases in rent only go up 1.3% per year, we’re looking at what is that like seven years before commercial real estate is back at parity to 2019 in terms of return on return on value for for real estate companies?
Tim Fulton 20:52
So and you’re talking about parity in terms of hard numbers, not real? Yes. Like, you’re literally saying like $10, now is going to equal $10. And in seven years, reminder, inflation still exists.
Rebecca Ryan 21:07
Exactly, exactly. So it may be longer. And that’s something that I feel like the commercial real estate market is a little bit like in denial about this, you know, and and I also wonder, like, when I hear like mayor, the mayor of New York City, saying everybody needs to get back to work and demanding it of his own municipal employees. I wonder how much of that is really an economic development argument, like, we can’t just let our downtown economies stall out, like we all need to do our part and getting people back and circulating downtown is is important.
Tim Fulton 21:41
Do you have any additional insights into the inflexibility of the current labor market, folks don’t want to return to I’m sorry, I apologize. I’m making assumptions here. Some people don’t want to return to some jobs or some types of jobs, and are taking advantage of the time that they had in order to migrate to a new one. And it’s or it’s creating new conflicts in that space of the labor market?
Rebecca Ryan 22:14
Yes, what you’re referring to is the quits factor, the people who have quit their jobs and are like going completely somewhere to a different thing. I’m going from engineering to being an outdoor guide, you know, just taking out hard left into something else. And there are many people who are doing that. And I think it’s this is an interesting thing, because you know, there’s I haven’t seen any good reports on this yet. And by reports, I mean, like NBR, National Bureau of Economic Research or something like that, because there are little sentiment surveys that are done all the time. But I’m thinking about something more substantial, more toothsome in the research area. But the number of people who have had the real existential questions, I don’t know, I mean, have you have you used this time to think about what is it that I really want?
Tim Fulton 23:03
How can I just enrolled in graduate school, I mean, that’s where it’s going, right?
Rebecca Ryan 23:10
So you’re a living example, Tim of this, and I’m a living example, too. I mean, I’ve, I’ve made a deal with myself that I’m going to try to be on the road a lot less, I am an older woman, now, I can’t just that, you know, being consulting in the way that I was as a young person’s game. And so that means I’m mentoring up a lot of folks, you know, and increasing our, our labor pool somewhat. But it’s, it’s created in me a recognition of what my unique gifts are, how I can really add value. And I think it’s done the same thing for other people. I mean, when it’s like, you know, everything came to a screeching halt. And you had to sit on your couch for a while, you turn a lot of people turned inward. And so I think this quits rate is one thing to measure in the short term, but I do feel like, remember, when I was little, my parents would play this card game with me called 50 to pick up 52 cards in a deck, and they would just throw all the cards in the air and be like, here’s the game pick up the cards.
Tim Fulton 24:14
It’s the same game. I mean, it is. What’s that? It the quiet game? What is that? Oh, it’s when you tell your four year old Hey, we’re just gonna play the quiet game, and we’re gonna see who can be quiet the longest.
Rebecca Ryan 24:29
That was the race to nap game in my house. A parent would lay down and say, who can fall asleep first?
Tim Fulton 24:36
Oh, that’s a good one. I’m gonna try that. Definitely. In addition to here’s what back to work looks like. And in addition to that quits factor that you were talking about, and I’ll link to everything I can find in the show notes for this episode. But what are the other aspects of work in general that you see change? In the near or medium term,
Rebecca Ryan 25:03
this is an anecdotal signal. Okay. But when I think about the future of meetings, I heard a global executives say that the way they’re not and they’re not domiciled in the United States, they’re domiciled in the EU. So this might be a slight difference in perspective. But he said in the future, before we have a meeting, before we schedule a meeting that people are expected to travel in for we will be asking ourselves three questions. Question one, does this require us to meet in person? Question two? Is it worth tearing people? His word, not mine tearing people away from their families? Hmm. To attend the meeting? Question three, is it worth the carbon cost of what it’s going to the planetary cost of flying people in? That is an incredible, like, reset to what I think hat I think most of us, most organizations, just have a meet in person first default, like, yeah, we’re gonna do our annual conference, then we’re gonna do our biannual conference, and we’re gonna do our management team off site, and then we’re gonna do this, and then we’re gonna do that. And we have whole departments of events, coordinators, who who work on setting these things up. And those three questions are a fundamental reshift. So business travel, I think there’s going to be a long tail on the change in business travel.
Tim Fulton 26:26
Rebecca Ryan 26:27
And that in that in packs, the meetings industry that impacts the keynote speakers industry. And I think there’s always going to be a place for people who can now be ambidextrous, who can work remotely? Or do it live in person, you know, can you facilitate an amazing workshop remotely? And can you also do an amazing workshop in person, and I think the future spoils will go to those who can be ambidextrous in that way. And the the new, the new need for meeting planners is going to be how to really design for all kinds of environments as well.
Tim Fulton 27:06
And how do you build for it? Yeah, for technology, like I was, super side project had their annual conference just like two weeks ago, and it was hybrid, and it was totally hybrid. And this is for a very physical industry that I can’t talk about. And I was like, How do you do? How, how do you do that, and it’s a whole bunch of tech guys, you know, and a whole and making sure that that conference center is, has the best internet that it can. And I’m curious for as somebody who does keynotes, I do price that then differently, I don’t have to go anywhere, I don’t have to travel, you’re not, you know, I don’t need a per diem to sit in my office. That’s interesting.
Rebecca Ryan 27:54
We do have two different rates. So we have the in person rate, which is the same as it was pre pandemic, and we have the remote rate, which is steeply discounted, and has and has a few other, you know, features. So it’s but it’s it’s the Wild West, because I don’t know if that’s gonna I don’t know if it’s gonna last because if, if the US meetings industry, which is where I do most of my keynoting, if they say Nope, we’re going all back to in person. I don’t know that I’m going to do that. Okay, because of my own carbon footprint. So now I’m thinking for myself, like, Okay, how big is the audience? And how many? How much spin off potential? Is there in this audience? can I build this in such a way so that I’m not just on the platform, and then off the platform? But can I design some sort of a doodle poll or something so that anybody who really wants to have coffee with me, like I can just set up at those Starbucks and we can just every 15 minutes, I can be meeting, you know, five or six people who are really interested in having the next conversation, so it feels less transactional? Yeah, flying in and doing a thing. And then the final thing is how we’ll charge for the carbon offsets, because that’s important to me, too.
Tim Fulton 29:08
Yeah. Well, I’m wondering if, and I realized that there’s a little bit of novelty to this. But if you can call it that, if you can say, and here’s your carbon offset price for me to be in person. It’s just interesting to me. I want to wrap up today, just but normally, I would ask what’s Columbus doing well, and what’s Columbus not doing so? Well. From your perspective, I just want to hear what are in general, what are cities doing well, and what are cities not doing so well?
Rebecca Ryan 29:39
In the 20 or so years that I’ve been working in communities I’ve seen something that I’m so happy to see and this has been within the last maybe five to eight years, there’s been we’ve moved from everyone trying to be like Austin, Texas, to because even Austin has a little Sick of itself right now to everyone trying to figure out what their actual DNA is. What is the actual DNA of our community? And I’ve seen it happen in two communities of note. There are others as well. Well, I guess three I heard so Lexington, Kentucky has said we’re about basketball, bluegrass and bourbon. Okay. And you know, you can’t get bluegrass anywhere else. I mean, it’s really true. It’s Yeah, it’s a special kind of, of grass that they have there. So that’s, you know, that’s memorable with the three B’s but the two communities I was thinking of are Chattanooga, Tennessee, which has recognized that their accessibility to the mountains and the natural places the wild places, is not only what attracts talent, and keeps talent, but it like helps keep them healthy and connected. And, you know, in Japan, for example, where there are such high suicide rates, you know, there are doctors now who prescribe nature Bad’s that being outdoors in nature is good for your soul. I remember when Nashville the mayor of Nashville about 20 years ago said I want every resident to be within a 10 minute walk of a public park trailer recreation area. I don’t know if that’s held Nashville seems like it’s going bananas. But so so Chattanooga, Tennessee has recognized part of what makes us naturally unique are these things and then Asheville, the greater Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and their economic development council, they have taken a values first approach to economic development. And their three values are the triple bottom line. So as people, you know, site selectors are looking at Asheville or as people are trying to expand in the area. They’re asking, how is this good for our people? Like this needs to raise the minimum wage? This can’t be you know, they’re thinking about living wages? How is this good for the planet? So are you going to remediate a brownfield? Are you going to how are you going to preserve green space? And it’s got to be good for the bottom line. Good. So people planet profit. And I have never in my career, seen an economic development entity come with a values first approach to trying to attract employers or help employers grow and that those things make me think, okay,
Tim Fulton 32:31
things have changed. I think those are pretty good philosophies. What could they do better? Is it simply more of them adopting things like that of like, know, your true character? Don’t try to be the Austin of the Midwest, and take some time and identify that, right? Because maybe not every city is going to be people planet profit. But at least they can spend a little time and saying what are our values?
Rebecca Ryan 32:58
That’s right, that, you know, when you said cities, I mean, I literally went to the municipality, I was thinking about, like Parks and Rec, and, you know, sewers and streets. And I was thinking about the municipal staff. And I do think that it’s there’s this tool I’ve come across, it’s an old tool, but I think it’s a new time for it. Okay, well, priority based budgeting it was, it was launched by a guy named john Johnson, who’s now the Chief Financial Officer for the Alliance for innovation. But priority based budgeting starts with the question, what are the values of our community? And then what they do at the city level is they pull basically, have you ever had a closet that like, you had to literally like, jam the doors closed? Because there was so much stuff in right? Yeah, we’ve all had that. So priority based budgeting first, you ask, what do we really care about? Then you sort of open the closet doors of all the programs that you do? And you take each one out? And you say, which value does this one align with? And is there anybody else in the community who could do it better? Because if you’ve got businesses in your community, for example, who are also doing this to you, as a city really want to be in competition with businesses in your own community? Or is there redundancy? Is the police department also doing a project kind of like this? And where should it really live? So by taking everything out of the closet and asking how does it fit with our values, is it doesn’t even work anymore? Because you know, a lot of stuff when you actually clean a closet, you donate a lot of it and throw a lot of it out because you’re like, this
Tim Fulton 34:29
stuff’s bro Surprise, surprise. Right?
Rebecca Ryan 34:32
Exactly, exactly. So anyway, at the end of it, what you have is a budget based on your priorities that is leaner, and meaner and more forward looking and has less redundancy and waste the kinds of things that taxpayers like to complain about all the time. And it’s, it’s, it’s it is a big lift for a community to do that, but it helps clarify your values. It helps you streamline your budget, and I I also think it teaches, you know, financial management. These are resources that we’re trying to steward for the whole community. So I love pbb. And everybody should check it out. JOHN Johnson
Tim Fulton 35:10
well, and it is super similar, you know, that happens not for Nouriel space all the time, the first thing that a startup does when they have an idea is do a competitive landscape and say, Is somebody else already doing this? And could I do it better? You know, first to market is the first to market. That’s it. If you’re not doing it better than your your second. And I don’t know how high level these conversations happen, but it happens in the nonprofit space a lot to have. We’re gonna go in and provide service to the homeless families. And it’s like somebody already does that. Like, please don’t be duplicative, because what you’re doing then is drawing funds away and creating bad competition to do it well. So yes, I totally agree with that approach. And
Rebecca Ryan 35:57
I, I love knowing that that happens in the nonprofit space as well, because there has been just like a rangy, proliferation of nonprofits. And yeah, if you did a similar process and said who are all what are all the organizations that serve in this space? Who it’s a huge drain on resources, funding 3000 nonprofits who do mediocre work is probably less impactful than funding 1200 that do amazing work?
Tim Fulton 36:23
Absolutely. And it’s all about standards and practices in that space. Right. And people, frankly, so Rebecca, thank you so much for your time.
Rebecca Ryan 36:33
You’re the best Tim. Congratulations on the podcast and keep going Columbus keep going.
Tim Fulton 36:51
Thank you for listening to Confluence cast presented by Columbus underground. Again, you can get more information on what we discussed today in the show notes for this episode at the confluence cast comm please rate subscribe, share this episode of the confluence cast with your friends, family, contacts, enemies, your favorite futurist. If you’re interested in sponsoring the confluence cast get in touch with us. We can be reached by email at info at the confluence cast calm. Our theme music was composed by Benji Robinson. Our producer is Philip Cogley. I’m your host, Tim Fulton. Have a great week.