Small Towns and Cities Innovation Hub

This project combines economic and community development with the reinvention of the library as an engine of both. 


Small Towns and Cities have suffered from disinvestment by larger forces and a lack of generative processes on the local scale. We need to grow local economic ecosystems and the social fabric that supports them, and create equitable investment gateways for social impact and slow money. To do this we need a Community Innovation Hub - a physical home where people, projects, and place intersect and connect to larger networks.


Grow People: A primary mission of innovation hubs is to grow the capacity of their people, by inspiring, connecting, and equipping them with the ideas, mentors, and tools to bring their ideas to life. 

Catalyze an Ecosystem of Projects: Working as connectors, the coordinators of community innovation hubs are uniquely positioned to identify challenges within a city and mobilize resources to address them.

Embrace Place: Community Innovation Hubs have a deep connection to place, identity and the creativity, drive, and entrepreneurial skills to address local opportunities and cultures.

Economic Development: The core of this project is scalable community-based economic development that grows and connects inclusive opportunities for wealth building and generating businesses and jobs.

This project is currently in its development phase, and our team is generating local relationships to implement a series of pilots in towns across Pennsylvania as well as in Texas. There are three core ways to support this work: talk to us about resources that could provide for the planning and piloting of this project in one place or across multiple locations; partner with us to bring this to more places or develop and connect the project; partner with us to build social impact investment avenues that local Hubs will connect to.

Partners: New Leaf Initiative- community innovation hub, Michael Fortunato- Rural Development Expert & Sociologist


Altoona, PA; Franklin, PA; Clarion, PA; State College, PA; Huntsville, TX; Marlin, TX; Groesbeck, TX

“We need to re-invent work in the small town. As technology, local economies, social and environmental crises and a rapidly changing global economy continue to offer both challenges and opportunities, innovation communities are the best hope for finding and implementing new and equitable solutions in real-time.