welcome to SOLID

we would love to build a solid path to impact with you and your community, organization, campaign or cause.

IMG_3122.JPG

COMMUNICATION

Relationships that work and drive positive choices depend on clear, solid communications.  A narrative that resonates across multiple platforms with intention connects with people at a fundamental level and enables countless possibilities.  Rather than a one-time splash, effective communications create enduring contexts and crescendo at key moments to drive solid connections and choices.

Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 9.13.24 AM.png

ENGAGEMENT

People, institutions and organizations say yes when asks for their attention, time and resources open with compelling engagement platforms and programs. Options that reflect understanding, credibility and empathy invite rewarding participation over simple transaction. Solid communities, organizations, networks and movements evolve from authentic connection.

BRAND

Intent and invitation to participation are signaled through strong, convergent brand experiences across multiple points of access. When brand experience upholds brand promise, powerful, shareable impressions are created, communities grow, movements spread and missions advance. Are you telling a SOLID story that people want to be a part of today? We can help.

Empowering people to build economic mobility.

SOLID provides strategic communications, community engagement programs, press/media outreach and civic outreach services to the Opportunity Task Force in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.  The Task Force was created to develop recommendations that can broaden access to economic opportunity for all residents of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, following a call to action from civic leaders to expand economic mobility possibilities for all residents of this rapidly growing and diverse community.

SOLID created an omnichannel outreach and engagement strategy that gives people multiple points of access into the community effort from live events, social media, website, traditional media, collateral materials, discussion kits, workshops and stories from real people living real lives that can share, inspire and help create solutions that work.

SOLID concepted the #balloonsorbricks campaign to simplify the concept of economic mobility and provide an easy way for large numbers of people to get involved.


reaching out to leaders with a call to feed the world with sustainable energy innovations 

SOLID was retained to support an expanded outreach strategy for the 2014 PAEGC, reaching out to senior leaders in the sustainable energy sector to spread the word about the USAID-led Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development. The PAEGC seeks to identify and support new and sustainable approaches to accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy solutions for increasing agriculture productivity and/or value in developing countries.  The number of submissions to the 2015-2015 PAEGC far exceeded the previous year's levels, setting new records for engagement.

how does the brand experience of the world's largest conservation organization become real to senior leaders gathered together to explore new ways for collaboration, connection and impact?

The SOLID team (www.solid.today) was engaged to support the World Wildlife Fund's visionary work to "deliver innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature." SOLID will provide strategic communications and brand experience consulting services for upcoming gatherings of senior WWF leaders from across the globe.

World Wildlife Fund is "the world’s leading conservation organization, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.1 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally. WWF’s unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature."

When special events convey deep resonance with an organization's core mission and strategies, the results are inspiring and catalytic - SOLID can help make this happen.


When cities across America join forces with technology leaders, private sector partners and university brains, a smart cities revolution comes to life

SOLID provided strategic communications, public relations and media support for Envision America (envisionamerica.org), a three-day workshop that brought together municipal leaders, smart technology experts and private sector allies to collaborate and kick start smart city initiatives in ten selected U.S. communities.

The workshop accelerated deployment of innovative technologies in urban centers to tackle energy, water, waste, and air challenges. Agenda, city project descriptions and additional information available at envisionamerica.org.

Communities participating in Envision America included: Cambridge, MA; Dallas, TX; Greenville, SC; Los Angeles, CA; Milwaukee, WI; New York City, NY; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR; San Diego, CA; Spokane, WA. Corporate allies participating in Envision America include: Accelerated Innovations; AT&T; Autodesk; Bank of America; Black & Veatch; Cisco; Duke Energy; Esri; GE; IBM; Intel; Itron; Landis+Gyr; Microsoft; OSIsoft, LLC; Qualcomm; SAS; ThingWorx; Wells Fargo.

SOLID Principal Tracy Russ introduces US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on day three of Envision America

SOLID Principal Tracy Russ introduces US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on day three of Envision America




How can 30,000 Carolina Panthers fans  #keeppounding all the way to the Super Bowl?

SOLID partnered with long-time collaborators Priceless Miscellaneous (http://pricelessmisc.com/) to create PURRMOJI, a custom digital emoji keyboard for fans Carolina Panthers fans!

Get your Purrmoji at purrmoji.comWe can create custom emoji for your organization, institution, campaign or cause, too!

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 8.30.16 AM.png

PRESS RELEASE - PURRMOJI LAUNCH

January 19, 2016

For Immediate Release

Press Contact: Sara Beth Jones; 910.384.4196; sarabeth@solid.today

Panthers Fans Can #KeepPounding Digitally with Free Purrmoji

Purrmojis keyboard now available at http://purrmoji.com/

CHARLOTTE, NC – January 18, 2016 - Local Charlotte businesses Priceless Miscellaneous and SOLID have joined forces and launched Purrmoji, a free digital keyboard that gives Carolina Panthers fans a new way to digitally cheer on the Carolina Panthers. Purrmoji are available for free download at http://purrmoji.com/

Purrmoji highlight popular and well-loved figures, iconic figures and themes that fans will recognize and can share across the nation and the world via the Purrmoji downloadable keyboard.

“We created Purrmoji because we love our Carolina Panthers, and as local communications companies, we wanted to contribute in our own way to offer Panthers fans everywhere a free way to say #keeppounding and share their Panthers support digitally,” says Tracy Russ, SOLID principal.

“Purrmoji bring another element of fun to watching the Panthers play. The custom emojis we’ve developed are entertaining to share and we hope people everywhere will enjoy using them and sharing them to support the Carolina Panthers in the playoffs and beyond,” says Matt Tyndall, Priceless Misc principal.

SOLID and Priceless Miscellaneous are locally-owned and operated small businesses that are excited to support the Carolina Panthers and fellow Panther Nation fans.

About Solid

SOLID provides strategy development, communications, public relations and engagement program design to the civic, social and innovation sectors.

About Priceless Misc.

Helping clients grow through compelling video and unique digital experiences.

http://pricelessmisc.com/

###

 

 

 

building a coalition and campaign for community needs

Time was short when the opportunity came for Charlotte-Mecklenburg voters to support local teacher pay, arts and cultural access, public libraries and community colleges. SOLID responded quickly to serve a unique coalition of institutions and leaders, creating the Together4Meck campaign brand and engagement strategies. Leveraging community resources, SOLID worked with partners to activate a comprehensive campaign that brought together a compelling brand narrative and identity, direct and digital outreach, public relations, earned media, social media and good old-fashioned on-the-ground engagement. Together4Meck connected thousands of people and helped create a platform for on-going advocacy in the community that will help drive action on education, arts, libraries and jobs forward long past Election Day.

In the belief that authentic engagement works best when real people call for change, SOLID worked with local students at Studio 345 in Charlotte-Mecklenburg to produce this video in support of Together4Meck. Special thanks to the students and staff of Studio 345 and the Arts & Science Council.

Together4Meck catalyzed a coalition of dozens of organizations and tens of thousands in the community in support of the referendum benefitting education, arts, libraries and jobs.

Collaboration is a SOLID value.  Together4Meck brought together a coalition of people, organizations and institutions, including:  Arts & Science Council, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, MeckEd and Charlotte Mecklenburg Public School Friends.  Thanks to the tens of thousands of voters who supported this effort to boost our community's core institutions, teachers, arts, libraries and jobs.

America's fastest growing region is working together to build a workforce for tomorrow...

What's the story of tomorrow's workforce and how do you build the right collaborative approach among public and private sector partners to make that story real?

SOLID is working with the Centralina Council of Governments, the Lumina Foundation and regional partners across a nine-county region with strategy development, focus group facilitation, partnership and organizational consulting, branding and strategic communications services for Working for Tomorrow.

Building Futures (originally named the Centralina Partnership for Attainment and Career Pathways CPACP) is a community collaboration of the 9-county Centralina region around Charlotte, NC committed to increasing overall post-secondary attainment in the region and to increasing post-secondary attainment for occupations in the region’s high-demand, high-growth industry sectors that require a variety of postsecondary credentials.  These sectors – Aerospace, Automotive, Energy, Finance, Health/Biomedical Sciences, and Logistics – depend heavily on core workforce competencies of our region in advanced manufacturing, information technology and engineering.

Building Futures' overarching goals are twofold:

  • increase the percent of the population aged 18-55 with post-secondary credentials in skill areas required by the region’s target industry cluster employers, by 25%; and
  • raise overall post-secondary attainment among 25-64 year olds to 60% by 2025.

The region has successfully built many best-in-class systems and programmatic infrastructure, all aimed at aligning educational systems with the talent pipeline for projected in-demand occupations in our targeted industry growth sectors.  In fact, the NADO award-winning “Prosperity for Greater Charlotte Report” (2012) included a ground-breaking Jobs, Workforce and Education Alignment Strategy that identified improved post-secondary attainment in the region’s target industry clusters as a critical need to support industry growth and economic development.  Our challenge now is to more aggressively promote those careers and pathways. Building Futures will help fill this critical need.

 

 

joining business, health, faith, higher education, community and municipal leaders together on the path to a positive future

An initiative of ecoAmerica (find out how ecoAmerica starts with people here) the MomentUs campaign assembles networks of senior leaders from a wide range of sectors outside the traditional environmental/climate advocacy world and gives them tools and resources to connect with their constituencies on climate. As a part of the MomentUs leadership team, SOLID created and implemented engagement strategy, collaboratively created customized sector brand experiences and designed and led the first gathering of over 150 leaders from across America in Chicago at "The Path to Positive", the 2014 MomentUs Leadership Summit.

What happened?  See how these leaders got on the Path to Positive here.

Special thanks to our friends at ecoAmerica for sharing of resources!

SOLID principal Tracy Russ in action as lead facilitator at "Path to Positive".  Tracy has worked with hundreds of local, regional and national organizations to design and facilitate dynamic, impactful engagement events that drive strategy and move missions forward.

SOLID principal Tracy Russ in action as lead facilitator at "Path to Positive".  Tracy has worked with hundreds of local, regional and national organizations to design and facilitate dynamic, impactful engagement events that drive strategy and move missions forward.

ecoAmerica brought senior leaders in faith, higher education, business, stewardship, communities and health together for this inaugural Summit designed by SOLID.  "It was an outstanding summit, possibly the best I’ve been involved with. I’m very excited about the prospects for progress that this effort promises,and look forward to remaining involved and helping the effort in any way I can." - Michael Mann, Earth System Science Center, Pennsylvania State University

ecoAmerica brought senior leaders in faith, higher education, business, stewardship, communities and health together for this inaugural Summit designed by SOLID.  "It was an outstanding summit, possibly the best I’ve been involved with. I’m very excited about the prospects for progress that this effort promises,and look forward to remaining involved and helping the effort in any way I can." - Michael Mann, Earth System Science Center, Pennsylvania State University

To welcome leaders and set the stage for "Peth to Positive", SOLID produced this short message from Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), emphasizes the need to engage people for climate solutions. Figueres explains the importance of MomentUs in providing the missing link for local and community leaders, and in bringing a diversity of leaders onto a path to positive climate solutions. She affirms that a new narrative and new ideas will create awareness, build momentum, and put us on a track for a stable, healthy planet, and encourages leaders to support and join MomentUs.

Path to Positive featured a dynamic, interactive agenda design utilizing world-class audience response technology to drive participation and engagement.

Path to Positive featured a dynamic, interactive agenda design utilizing world-class audience response technology to drive participation and engagement.

The MomentUs Path to Positive (©2014 ecoAmerica) lays out a positive, motivational vision of the future, principles for climate solutions and a leadership commitment that underlays ecoAmerica’s engagement.  

The MomentUs Path to Positive (©2014 ecoAmerica) lays out a positive, motivational vision of the future, principles for climate solutions and a leadership commitment that underlays ecoAmerica’s engagement.

 

telling a community's story to the world

(and 35,000 delegates, media and VIP's)

When the Queen City was chosen to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention, SOLID created "We Make It Possible", an immersive, shared brand experience to welcome 35,000 delegates, media and VIP's, engage the local community and catalyze a legacy of positive impact in the local and state community long past the end of the Convention.  The brand was articulated through a robust campaign that included digital and social media, paid and earned media, on-site brand activation, live events and volunteer engagement opportunities.  Key to the effort was creation of a coalition of economic, governmental, arts/culture, non-profit, academic and philanthropic organizations to drive the "We Make It Possible" brand experience out through shared channels and networks, leveraging the campaign to much higher levels of exposure than otherwise would have been possible using host committee resources singularly.

Have a story to share with the world?  Let's talk! 

 

The Charlotte in 2012 logo reflects the Queen City's skyline and is constructed with words that both tell a short story and reflect the input of hundreds of Charlotte-Mecklenburg citizens sharing what they love most about their community.  (collaborative credit to K2Forma)

The Charlotte in 2012 logo reflects the Queen City's skyline and is constructed with words that both tell a short story and reflect the input of hundreds of Charlotte-Mecklenburg citizens sharing what they love most about their community.  (collaborative credit to K2Forma)

An immersive Charlotte in 2012 brand experience gave multiple audiences comprehensive points of access into the narrative and leveraged brand assets to exposure to millions of people across the nation and around the world.

An immersive Charlotte in 2012 brand experience gave multiple audiences comprehensive points of access into the narrative and leveraged brand assets to exposure to millions of people across the nation and around the world.

The "We Make It Possible" video (click to play above) was produced by SOLID with partners (special thanks to the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and GreyHawk Productions) to welcome delegates, media and visitors to the Queen City as a part of the comprehensive Charlotte in 2012 brand experience.  The video was shown during the Convention to assembled delegates, featured on the website and social media channels.  The making of the video was a catalytic civic engagement experience as economic development institutions, the arts community, students and local city and county government came together to produce a marquee video story.

Local youth, dancers, choreographers, production crew and volunteers came together to create the "We Make It Possible" video, providing not only a video worthy of sharing with 35,000 delegates in the Convention arena as an official welcome, but a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the youth and their families.

Local youth, dancers, choreographers, production crew and volunteers came together to create the "We Make It Possible" video, providing not only a video worthy of sharing with 35,000 delegates in the Convention arena as an official welcome, but a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the youth and their families.

Carolina Stories short videos, featuring over sixty 2-minute videos produced as a key part of the Charlotte in2012 brand experience (click above to check them out!) The videos highlighted key messages to extend the "we make it possible" brand narrative about the Charlotte region to over 35,000 guests on site and many tens of thousands more through digital and social media platforms. The videos were produced via a collaborative effort with local videographers, writers, photographers and leading partner institutions, adding voice to the "We Make It Possible" brand narrative and experience. 

Carolina Stories short videos, featuring over sixty 2-minute videos produced as a key part of the Charlotte in2012 brand experience (click above to check them out!) The videos highlighted key messages to extend the "we make it possible" brand narrative about the Charlotte region to over 35,000 guests on site and many tens of thousands more through digital and social media platforms. The videos were produced via a collaborative effort with local videographers, writers, photographers and leading partner institutions, adding voice to the "We Make It Possible" brand narrative and experience. 

Visual brand activation across the Charlotte region greeted visitors at key touch points in the brand experience, including brand activation at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, all official host hotels throughout the region, shopping and entertainment venues, cultural facilities, street and highway signage, welcome packet collateral materials, volunteer costuming and digital signage.

The "We Make It Possible" brand marque and multi-channel, immersive experience is unveiled to community and convention leaders by Mayor Anthony Foxx.

While official delegates, media and VIP's convened in the Time-Warner Arena (pictured above), the "We Make It Possible" Kids' Convention concepted and produced by Charlotte in 2012, SOLID and partners brought the convention experience alive to hundreds of families eager to participate in the excitement of this historic event and to learn more about American democracy, civic participation and the power of getting involved. Click the image above to find out more about the Kids' Convention.

While official delegates, media and VIP's convened in the Time-Warner Arena (pictured above), the "We Make It Possible" Kids' Convention concepted and produced by Charlotte in 2012, SOLID and partners brought the convention experience alive to hundreds of families eager to participate in the excitement of this historic event and to learn more about American democracy, civic participation and the power of getting involved. Click the image above to find out more about the Kids' Convention.

Paid media in USAirways magazine and other outlets over six months prior to the Convention helped to share the Charlotte in 2012 story and build economic development profile of the Charlotte region to hundreds of thousands outside the 35,000 who came to the Queen City for the 2012 DNC. Featured content linked to Charlotte in 2012 digital assets as a part of the overall brand experience.

The "Make It Possible" mobile app provided both community residents and visitors to Charlotte before and during the Convention a customized Charlotte in 2012 experience, matching their interests with local places, people, recreational, historic and cultural features of the community.  Pet lovers could find local doggy day care and veterinary facilities while special audiences such as LGBT visitors were connected with an inclusive message and community resources. (developed in partnership with AT&T)

A Legacy of Impact. As Charlotte and the region prepared to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention, the community came together under Mayor Anthony Foxx's leadership and the help of Charlotte in 2012 staff and thousands of volunteers to improve people's lives long after the last balloon dropped.  Watch the video above and find out more about the Legacy of Impact.

The Charlotte in 2012 Legacy Village extended the We Make It Possible brand experience to the community, visitors and the media through a festival of volunteer opportunities and hands-on activities. The Legacy Village was created through the collaborative efforts of Charlotte in 2012 staff, community volunteers, leading local community organizations and institutions and SOLID expertise to "walk the walk" of DNC2012 Convention positive legacy impacts across the community.

The Charlotte in 2012 Legacy Village extended the We Make It Possible brand experience to the community, visitors and the media through a festival of volunteer opportunities and hands-on activities. The Legacy Village was created through the collaborative efforts of Charlotte in 2012 staff, community volunteers, leading local community organizations and institutions and SOLID expertise to "walk the walk" of DNC2012 Convention positive legacy impacts across the community.

Collaboration is a SOLID value. We were fortunate to work with a fantastic team of people, organizations and institutions to bring concepts to life and make the Charlotte in 2012 brand experience possible in a once-in-a-lifetime effort. Credits and thanks to: K2FormaWray WardAdam Roth for fantastic collaborative brand activation, the Arts & Science Council, Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, Charlotte Area Transit SystemCharlotte Center City PartnersCharlotte Chamber of Commerce, Charlotte Regional Partnership, Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Shout outs to core team members: leader Dan Murrey, fearless Dockery Clark, multi-talented Liz Barrett, level-headed Suzi Emmerling, steady Josh Field, photo/vid genius Daniel Sircar, digital guru Dusty Trice, Legacy Village guru Jeff Mallare, volunteer diva Courtney Counts, events czarina Mary Tribble.  Carolinas Stories teams high-fives:  priceless miscellaneous; Scott Lazes and Kevin Beatty; Lashawnda Becoats and Tonya Jameson.  Most of all, to the people of Charlotte and the region - YOU made it possible. 

if ideas worth spreading are everywhere, possibilities can emerge anywhere

Bringing the TED franchise to Charlotte and executing a flawless experience for presenters, attendees and partners was an exercise in artful collaboration and a demonstration of community pride in Charlotte, NC.

 

TEDxCharlotte 2013 explored how ideas come together to form a community and inform many.

Tracy Russ and Quentin "Q" Talley open up the inaugural TEDxCharlotte with twelve "Right Brain Ideas for a Left Brain City."

TEDx Charlotte 2014 Stage.jpg

Collaboration is a SOLID value.  A never-say-never TedXCharlotte steering committee, supportive sponsors, dozens of dedicated volunteers, kick ass speakers and the ideas-fueled TED organization proved that action together moves shared vision to reality for TEDxCharlotte

what happens after you challenge a community of ideas people and connect them for change?

Cities and communities thrive when vibrant futures are built on the building blocks of talent, opportunity and engagement.

Yes, and...when the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation launched the Knight Cities Challenge in 2014 and asked people in 26 communities across America for ideas on how to make their cities more successful, thousands of ideas people responded robustly.

Yes, and...borrowing from the innovative flow of "yes, and" dialogue in jazz and improv, SOLID created the #YesAndClt engagement and brand experience for the local Knight Foundation program to connect great ideas together with all of the participants via a digital platform, a publised booklet of 475 ideas, and a signature launch event entitled #YesAndClt.

Yes, and...#YesAndClt connects this community of ideas people and provides a platform for collaboration fueled by a sense of collective purpose to drive a multitude of efforts forward.


if you could see tomorrow, what would you do today?

How do you engage dozens of organizations and tens of thousands of citizens to build civic infrastructure, chart a course for a shared future and create purposeful connections among leaders, citizens and community institutions ?  In collaboration with a team of leaders, funders and expert colleagues, SOLID created a Crossroads Charlotte comprehensive brand experience, including unique engagement programs such as Get Real, KnowIt2WorkIt and Art in the A.M. and strategic outreach platforms that connected the Charlotte, NC community with four scenarios about their shared future and asked them to "Imagine Our Tomorrow, Act Today."  The Crossroads Charlotte initiative provided a ground-breaking civic platform for engagement across a spectrum of issues and drove impact through collective action.

A Crossroads Charlotte Learning Network linked dozens of leading institutions and organizations with initiatives planning, resources and professional facilitation guidance. The institutions were taken through a process of internal exploration around access, inclusion and equity, and participated in external initiatives to guide the community towards a positive future within their own sphere of influence to maximize the impact of collective action.

A Crossroads Charlotte Learning Network linked dozens of leading institutions and organizations with initiatives planning, resources and professional facilitation guidance. The institutions were taken through a process of internal exploration around access, inclusion and equity, and participated in external initiatives to guide the community towards a positive future within their own sphere of influence to maximize the impact of collective action.

Four scenarios depicting possible future for the community served as a key part of the Crossroads Charlotte engagement strategy.  Click on the CROSSROADS CHARLOTTE ACTION KIT above to see the scenarios AND spoken word responses!

Four scenarios depicting possible future for the community served as a key part of the Crossroads Charlotte engagement strategy.  Click on the CROSSROADS CHARLOTTE ACTION KIT above to see the scenarios AND spoken word responses!

SOLID produced Crossroads Charlotte: the Movie to bring four future scenarios to life.  The movie engaged thousands of citizens through live events, house parties, broadcast television and digital platforms. The movie was Emmy-nominated and selected as the feature project at the Sundance Arts Roundtable in 2008. Click the image above for the Crossroads movie trailer.

SOLID worked with spoken word artists to respond to each of the four Crossroads Stories, bringing them to impact in a different way. Check out this video of Q's (Quentin Talley of On Q Productions) response to the Crossroads Charlotte story, Class Act. For more information on Crossroads Charlotte, go to www.crossroadscharlotte.org. Poem and performance by Quentin 'Q" Talley, On Q Productions. Poetic responses to Crossroads stories coordinated by Quentin Talley.

Robust web-based and social media platforms augmented the reach of Crossroads Charlotte and served as key civic infrastructure for the community to connect on major issues.

Robust web-based and social media platforms augmented the reach of Crossroads Charlotte and served as key civic infrastructure for the community to connect on major issues.

SOLID designed and produced Get Real, engaging over 75 small groups of residents across the community in discussions about values and priorities that were important to guide public budget decisions.  The results were given to elected officials to support decision-making when tough budget choices. Click the Get Real logo to see a short video on outcomes and impacts.

SOLID designed and produced Get Real, engaging over 75 small groups of residents across the community in discussions about values and priorities that were important to guide public budget decisions.  The results were given to elected officials to support decision-making when tough budget choices. Click the Get Real logo to see a short video on outcomes and impacts.

Check out a short video on Get Real outcomes and impacts

A.C.T. Projects were one tier of a three-tiered program of grants and outreach.  Click on the image for a short video on A.C.T.

SOLID provided project management and executive leadership services to Crossroads Charlotte in the last phase of this large-scale civic engagement project.

SOLID provided project management and executive leadership services to Crossroads Charlotte in the last phase of this large-scale civic engagement project.

Crossroads Charlotte: the Movie was nominated for an Emmy and chosen as the focus of the 2008 Americans for the Arts National Arts Policy Roundtable at Sundance with actor/activist Robert Redford in September 2008, where 29 leaders gathered to consider "The Arts and Civic Engagement: Strengthening the 21st Century Community."  Click the image above for a full report from the Roundtable.

Crossroads Charlotte: the Movie was nominated for an Emmy and chosen as the focus of the 2008 Americans for the Arts National Arts Policy Roundtable at Sundance with actor/activist Robert Redford in September 2008, where 29 leaders gathered to consider "The Arts and Civic Engagement: Strengthening the 21st Century Community."  Click the image above for a full report from the Roundtable.

Collaboration is a SOLID value. Crossroads Charlotte was a multi-year, pioneering civic engagement effort that moved forward because leaders, dedicated people, adventuresome funders and community institutions came together to imagine tomorrow and act today. Credits and thanks to: Foundation For The Carolinas, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Community Building Initiative; initial scenarios by Denis Hayes and Carol Morris; Learning Network leads Octavia Seawell, Denis Hayes, Jeanine Bensi-Enchill, Sylvia Biddle Patton; shout-outs for artistic and creative outreach to Jessica Deltac, Quentin "Q" Talley, Melissa Harris, Lawrence Maher, Valaida Fullwood; movie production partner awesomeness to JoAnne Hock and GreyHawk Productions; making the trains run on time: Brant Aycock, Annetta Foard; Christi Robinson Lee, Patricia Zoder; design wizardry by Adam Roth; digital magic kudos to the team at UNION; telling the story glitter to the entire Crossroads Correspondents team; photos in crossroads matrix by Frank Balthazar.

Special thanks to leaders who supported the Crossroads vision with imagination and trust: Michael Marsicano, Susan Patterson, Brian Collier, Dianne English, Mike Rizer and Darrel Williams and all of the CEO's and senior staff of the amazing Crossroads Charlotte Learning Network.

new strategic directions emerge from inclusive engagement and an historic Summit

SOLID partners designed and facilitated the 2005 Sierra Summit, the first large-scale gathering of its members and leaders in the organization's 123-year history. But it wasn't just a gathering. "It was like democracy broke out," according to one member. SOLID designed a total engagement process that included timed, self-guided small group sessions, volunteer facilitator training, step-by-step process guides, materials and reporting mechanisms to garner mass member input leading up to the historic Summit. The Sierra Summit process drew participation from thousands of members in chapters and groups across the country, culminating in gathering of nearly 1,000 delegates in San Francisco, which SOLID also designed and facilitated.  The Sierra Club emerged from this transformational process with a new strategic vision based on "building a new energy future" that shifted the Club's priorities, gave members, clubs and groups shared purpose and focused the efforts of leadership.

Sierra Summit 2005 collage.jpg
Robert Kennedy, Jr. addresses nearly 1,000 Sierra Club delegates from across the country during the Sierra Summit, the organization's first large gathering of members and leaders in history.

Robert Kennedy, Jr. addresses nearly 1,000 Sierra Club delegates from across the country during the Sierra Summit, the organization's first large gathering of members and leaders in history.

can a collection of neighbors and neighborhoods become a network of informed people participating in decision making?

SOLID designed and activated the KNOWIT2WORKIT brand experience and civic engagement program to equip citizens searching for participation opportunities with knowledge and tools to engage in local governance and decision-making.  KIWI incorporated elements of participatory budget making, civics training modules and advocacy training packaged into one platform for education, awareness, advocacy and action.  

from the story of a Southern city comes a New South vision in action

In a community that is growing in population and diversity, SOLID helped the Community Building Initiative forward the organization's mission to "intensify the commitment and increase the capacity of individuals and organizations to build a more inclusive and equitable community" with a comprehensive communications platform, brand narrative and engagement programs such as I See Your Point and Different Together Is Better.

Different Together Is Better was created by SOLID to serve as the theme for a Community Building Initiative outreach program and annual community leadership gathering.  The campaign paired familiar objects that work together as a cohesive whole, much like a diverse community can work best. Check out the Different Together Is Better video above.

Collaboration is a SOLID value.  Dedicated leadership from CBI's Dianne English, fantastic brand graphic design from Adam Roth and authentic people images from Frank Balthazar came together across multiple SOLID projects with Community Building Initiative.

inspiring corporate commitment to possibilities at a global scale

Working with senior leadership, SOLID developed "Real Possibilities" brand narratives, messaging platforms and products in support of a global goal to "solidify Corning’s commitment to Diversity and inclusion as a business imperative for success in the global marketplace."  The effort extended through Corning, Inc.'s talent acquisition, retention and development and global talent management shared services networked structure to deliver impact globally.

 

can a positive story we craft together help save the world?  we think so...

Building a positive narrative about the future, sharing it in ways that reach people and engaging them in creating the next chapters about the future could shift the narrative about climate change from doom and gloom to we did it! Created as a lead-up to COP15 in Copenhagen, The Copenhagen Story (later re-named Converge - Where the Good Life Meets the Green Life), established a baseline narrative on a platform that allowed wiki-style participation and attempted to change the tone about our climate future.

description of TCS video and purpose

Download The Copenhagen Story overview here

 

Collaboration is a SOLID value.  The Copenhagen story's invitation to collaboration and shared vision reflected the evolution of the project itself.  Co-founders Lisa Renstrom and Tracy Russ worked together with dedicated teams across the US and Indigo Creative Studio to nurture Converge.

during challenging times, how can people get involved in making tough community choices?

Hard economic times brought controversial choices into community budget decisions. As civic tempers flared around school closings and other cutbacks, SOLID designed and produced Get Real, an engagement process and brand experience that brought over 75 small groups of residents across the community together in discussions about values and priorities that were important to guide public budget decisions.  The results were given to elected officials to support decision-making and tough budget choices.

Click the Get Real logo to see a short video on outcomes and impacts.

Check out a short video on Get Real outcomes and impacts

Kids and youth in the community also participated in Get Real - check out the video!

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.