The Island Institute Network Approach


design strategy

The Problem: With 35 years of experience under its belt, Island Institute has learned the “nitty gritty” of doing community development in the island and coastal communities of Maine. Primarily focused on problem-solving in the communities it serves, Island Institute now had the opportunity to play a different role as communities around the world look to gain from its leadership and vice versa. I worked with them to develop a network strategy outside Maine.

The Design: To inform how a networked approach can bolster Island Institute’s long-term strategy, I worked with Island Institute for 8 weeks in early 2018. The discovery process looked at existing activities, beneficiaries and partners in Island Institute’s community while also gathering ideas from peer networks that can positively impact Island Institute’s strategic direction. As part of the process I conducted site visits on two islands and facilitated a co-design session with their community in Maine.

Sample Work: At the end of the first 8 week engagement, I was able to provide recommendations on the value of adopting a networked approach as a means to increase the impact of Island Institute’s activities. They now have a community-informed platform model to test and I look forward to continued collaboration as the work progresses.

Editing recommendations with the graphic designer.