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Sustainability Collective

The Sustainability Collective is an online mapping database and directory of natural resource and clean energy organizations and agencies that facilitates building a community of practice around the work occurring in these fields throughout Northern MN. The Collective is created with the goal of gaining knowledge of the regional efforts occurring in these fields, and learning from one another with the opportunity to develop work and impact through collaboration.

The database collects organizational and agency name, contact information, description (mission/values), and any specific tools or curriculum they offer. In addition, entities have been classified by focus area and methodology of work, which enables more specific searching of the directory. The database collates the entity information into a user-friendly and publicly-accessed online mapping directory that can be utilized by entities to better partner and collaborate with regional peers.

The database will also serve as an in-house resource for the Northeast MN Sustainable Development Partnership’s Natural Resource and Clean Energy committees to better understand the work occurring throughout the region, a need that was identified by NMSDP’s committee’s who then came to SCI to develop the project.

More specifically…

There are a myriad array of community, nonprofit, governmental, and other entities working in the arena of natural resources and clean energy in the MN-portion of the Lake Superior Basin and greater northern MN. Because of the complexity and interconnectedness of natural resource and clean energy work, the activities and outcomes of these entities have broad implications and applications for our region as a whole. To be more effective in the sustainable management, conservation, and utilization of natural resources and energy, entities would benefit from knowing about the diversity of natural resource work occurring around them, and when advantageous, aligning projects to enhance outcomes and reach in a more synergistic, cost-effective way.

There are numerous ways in which entities can build communities of practice. First however, one must be empowered with information of whom their community is (or could be), why others are doing the work they do, what missions and values are, and how work might be aligned with other. The Sustainability Collective aims to be that starting place for collaboration to occur. Through the development of a working-database guised in a visual, user-friendly template complete with contact and organizational information, entities will become more aware of the work occurring around them. Awareness of that work and potential partners can lead to action. It’s the aim of the Sustainability Collective to foster a heightened level of collaboration as entities and projects that mimic or complement one another realize that their shared goals may be better achieved by working together.

The Sustainability Collective was conceived of and funded by the Northeast MN Sustainable Development Partnership in response to internal needs of the organization in supplying funding and technical support to sustainable development projects in the fields of natural resources and clean energy.