The Impact Economy Un-report

By Brennan Lowery

95% of people don’t read past the first sentence of a blog or newsletter. There’s something about information and the way people distribute it today that makes it seem irrelevant and expendable, especially when it comes to information about sustainability and green initiatives. That is why, here at Lifecity, we are revolutionizing the way New Orleans approaches the information resources we need to build a sustainable and healthy city through the Impact Economy Un/report. And we are starting with what our city loves most: food.

What is an un/report? It’s an undoing of the traditional way of collecting research on green policies and initiatives, moving away from the information overload of government and business reports that end up languishing on a shelf making them out of touch with the people who can put them into action. Instead, LifeCity and a team of Tulane University students are leading a citywide effort to make a new kind of information resource to connect citizens, businesses, non-profits, and government officials to the challenges of creating an impact economy in New Orleans and the solutions that we all can be a part of. The un/report will be a living document that the whole community can use, contribute to, and improve as the impact economy grows. And it’s coming soon, with the Food Un/report going live during its official launch in August.

What will be in the Un/report? The purpose of the Un/report is to collect and share information about New Orleans’ impact economy, or the growing movement in our city that is dedicated to making positive social and environmental impacts through meeting the city’s needs. We are starting with food both because of its special place in our lives, economy, and culture, and also as a follow-up to the Food Forum in January led by SENO, LifeCity, and other players in the food economy. After the Un/report is launched in August, we will continue with 11 other areas of the city’s spectrum of needs, ranging from water, to health, to energy. We will then send each of the 12 documents to the community to get feedback.
What will the Un/report do? In each of the 12 phases, the Un/report will map out where we currently stand as a city, where we want to go to reach a healthier, more sustainable model, and the challenges standing in our way. The most important part will be the solutions where you will be able to find every kind of initiative, ranging from policy, entrepreneurial, to research solutions that are underway to solve our city’s problems and see which organizations and people are working towards solving them.

How can you benefit from the Un/report? Businesses can find out where their company fits into the needs of the city and how they can be part of the impact economy by meeting those needs with better, greener services, and products. Along with that, nonprofits can learn about great initiatives working on their mission, get the word out to volunteers and find potential donors in their key areas. New Orleans’ government can get feedback on challenges that community and businesses are talking about and see what innovative people are already working to design new policies. You can learn about finding the goods and services you need to live a more sustainable life and find out how to be part of solutions to citywide challenges.

When we launch the Food Un/report in August, you can visit the LifeCity website to read and make comments or suggestions. This project is going to redefine how we face the problems of our city and bring everyone to the table to find the best solutions possible to build an impact economy that works-for every New Orleanian, but we need your help to make it happen. Join the movement to build a healthier and more sustainable economy for a renewed New Orleans!