what happens when citizens and leaders across two states, fourteen counties and dozens of towns and cities "put people in charge of [the] region's future?"

The impacts resonate today...

SOLID designed and facilitated the historic Voices & Choices 1998 Regional Environmental Summit, bringing hundreds of elected officials, citizen leaders, subject matter experts and leading organizations in North and South Carolina together for the first time to address quality of life issues on open space protection, land and water quality, transportation planning and recycling/waste management. 

What emerged from the work were precedent-shattering cooperative plans across fourteen counties and two states whose impacts reverberate today, from cooperative drought response plans, more inclusive management of the Catawba River Basin, to the Carolina Thread Trail, a regional 220-mile network of greenways, trails and blueways that reaches 15 counties, 2 states and 2.3 million people.  

What emerged from the work were precedent-shattering cooperative plans across fourteen counties and two states whose impacts reverberate today, from cooperative drought response plans, more inclusive management of the Catawba River Basin, to the Carolina Thread Trail, a regional 220-mile network of greenways, trails and blueways that reaches 15 counties, 2 states and 2.3 million people.

 

The Summit emerged as a response to the 1995 report from Citistates consultants Neil Peirce and Curtis Johnson, who called on the 14-county Charlotte region across North and South Carolina to protect quality of life, educate its workforce, nurture neighborhoods and manage spectacular growth with a never before seen network of engaged citizens, institutions and leaders. 

The Summit emerged as a response to the 1995 report from Citistates consultants Neil Peirce and Curtis Johnson, who called on the 14-county Charlotte region across North and South Carolina to protect quality of life, educate its workforce, nurture neighborhoods and manage spectacular growth with a never before seen network of engaged citizens, institutions and leaders. 

SOLID's story can be traced back 20 years to Voices & Choices, the "big bang" point for over two decades of work in civic engagement, process design and civic communications. Later to serve as a model for efforts for similar regional engagement initiatives across the US, Voices & Choices emerged from Central Carolinas Choices, a successful experiment in civic engagement led by former Charlotte Mayor Pro Tem Betty Chafin Rash and staffed by a young, eager guy named Tracy Russ. Central Carolinas Choices and Voices & Choices catalyzed a network of leaders and citizens to action with communications, engagement and branding platforms that spurred leaders to lead in new ways and citizens to engage with each other and institutions of governance in new ways.

SOLID's story can be traced back 20 years to Voices & Choices, the "big bang" point for over two decades of work in civic engagement, process design and civic communications.

Later to serve as a model for efforts for similar regional engagement initiatives across the US, Voices & Choices emerged from Central Carolinas Choices, a successful experiment in civic engagement led by former Charlotte Mayor Pro Tem Betty Chafin Rash and staffed by a young, eager guy named Tracy Russ.

Central Carolinas Choices and Voices & Choices catalyzed a network of leaders and citizens to action with communications, engagement and branding platforms that spurred leaders to lead in new ways and citizens to engage with each other and institutions of governance in new ways.

Collaboration is a SOLID value.  A regional effort was nearly unknown in 1995 when the Peirce Report was published and visionary leaders like Betty Chafin Rash led the response, bringing hundreds of local, regional and state leaders together.  Citizen and business leaders Lisa Renstrom and Bob Freedman collaborated to sound a clarion call for quality of life issues, and skilled practitioner Denis Hayes partnered with Tracy Russ to craft the 1998 Summit as Interactive Decisions, a progenitor of SOLID.