The Future is Community Podcast

This is the official home to Dr. Caitlin Bletscher's “The Future is Community” podcast series, starting from a discussion in her undergraduate classes at Washington State University Vancouver. This podcast series explores the future of community development from a wide range of perspectives and disciplines, uncovering new insights, strategies, and best practices for addressing future community concerns - locally and globally.

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Sunday Nov 08, 2020

In this episode, Carrie Staton highlights the value of rural community perspectives through her enhancement of physical capital by developing abandoned buildings and vacant lots in West Virginia. With the current COVID reality of remote work and community life, some rural communities have capitalized on remote worker programs, while serious issues of broadband accessibility have been exacerbated in others. Carrie is the Associate Director of the Northern WV Brownfields Assistance Center at WVU.

Thursday Oct 15, 2020

In this episode, Dr. KP Williams bridges community and leadership, challenging the idea of our current ‘normal’ for a ‘new normal’ future: one that is more just and equitable for everyone. The future of community development first requires us to lead from within, but then also to seize possibilities, where we are all responsible for making our communities better. Dr. Williams is a faculty member in the Iowa State University Leadership Studies program.

Wednesday Oct 14, 2020

In this episode, Dr. Maryam Ahmadian narrows the broad discussion of community development towards a conversation about community mental health. Dr. Ahmadian questions if communities are truly ready for future pandemics and crises, due to the lack of attention given towards mental health, especially for those most marginalized and vulnerable. Dr. Ahmadian is an affiliate faculty member in the department of Women and Gender Studies at George Mason University.

Wednesday Oct 14, 2020

In this episode, Jane Leonard draws from her 40 years of wisdom to emphasize the fact that our world is not one-dimensional. Jane highlights examples of interdisciplinary collaborations across Minnesota to demonstrate how successful community development enhances economic growth alongside social justice. Jane has been President of Growth & Justice since 2018, a research and advocacy organization that develops innovative public policy proposals based on research and civic engagement.

Wednesday Oct 14, 2020

In this episode, Dr. Huston Gibson compares sustainable and economic development initiatives between communities in Kansas and Portland, Oregon. Dr. Gibson and I discuss how to shift community culture by questioning "the way we've always done it," embracing potential failure, and enhancing community innovation and creativity in midst of the pandemic. Dr. Gibson is an Associate Professor at Kansas State University in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional & Community Planning.

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