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Opportunities & Challenges:

Faced with an aging population, declining income levels, critical skills shortages in new industries and the lasting impact of Tropical Storm Irene, the State of Vermont hired a team of consultants including Maverick & Boutique team to develop the 2020 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) in 2013-14. Although Vermont has developed an enviable reputation for its skiing, cycling, culinary tourism, green energy, craft beer, cheeses, ice cream and chocolates; the state faces a plethora of systemic problems that can only be fixed if everyone works well together.

For example, sprawl eats up farmlands while brownfield sites from closed industries from a bygone era and dying downtowns remained undeveloped. the permitting process designed to protect the beautiful environment is difficult for small to medium size entrepreneurs find to navigate. Unaffordable housing contributes to the difficulty of attracting talent for emerging industries. Residents desire their energy to be “clean and green” but don’t want windmills on hill tops.

What we did:

M&B facilitated stakeholder engagement meetings in nine regions, conducted workshops with cabinet level officials, developed some 70 initiatives in six key areas – with a strong emphasis on developing the capacity of the tourism and working landscape sector to capitalize on the trend towards consumer interest in high-value added experiences, the revitalization of villages as destinations, and developing skills in village scale government administration, green energy, agriculture, forestry, advanced manufacturing, health and IT.

Deliverable:

View the Vermont 2020 COMPREHENSIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY (CEDS).

Opportunities & Challenges:

Over the past three decades, Australia has shifted its focus away from Europe to Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia, with China and Japan being Australia’s two main trading partners, and India, South Korea and Indonesia becoming just as important.  The national government decided embark on a long-term project to engage more deeply with Asia, to ensure that Australia develops the skills, and cultural awareness to build stronger relationships.

What we did:

After the government’s Australia in the Asian Century Task Force completed their report, Maverick & Boutique was asked by the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet to help develop the internal team responsible for the implementation of the plan to develop strategies for involving 30 other departments, major corporations, small business, universities and trade Organization in the roll-out of the plan. For this one day workshop, the implementation team used the Zing meeting system to rapidly share ideas, and reach agreement about the way forward.

 

Opportunities & Challenges:

In 2011, Maverick & Boutique was engaged by the New Jersey State Library and LibraryLinkNJ, the New Jersey Library Cooperative, to facilitate the development of a state-wide strategic master plan for the 2000+ libraries of all types in New Jersey.

Libraries continue to face substantial challenges, both as an institution and on the ground day to day. Public libraries, for example, are receiving unprecedented demand for services such as citizen access to the internet, the lending of materials that people could not otherwise access or afford and help with writing resumes to get jobs or studying for new careers. Yet the services of public and school libraries are being reduced or curtailed to help balance state and municipal budgets. Libraries of all kinds are having to redefine their value to their communities and, in many cases, reinvent what they do to remain a vital part of 21st century life.

What we did:

Maverick & Boutique helped the New Jersey library community cooperatively create a “living” strategic plan that put in place not only specific goals and measures—including some 33 initiatives—but also one that delivers an ongoing process for reinvention that any library can use, guided by the plan, as the need arises.

The planning process included multiple community engagement sessions held around the state to obtain the broadest possible range of input from stakeholders, extensive research into promising practices around the globe and close interaction with the directors and staff at LibraryLinkNJ and the State library.

Deliverables:

View the July 2013 Executive Summary, Statewide Strategic Plan, and the “Create Our Future” sheet.