The Clarksville-Montgomery County Economic Development Council announced recently Clarksville and Montgomery County will be one of only 10 communities that will take part in the recently launched Tennessee Valley Authority Community Innovation Academy set to start in the spring.
The program is focused on economic development and dedicated to teaching those in the industry how to create ideas and innovations that launch communities forward toward progress.
As the demand for innovation increases, along with technology changes and the evolution of our work structure, TVA identified a need for communities to build innovative environments and created the academy program to help communities become more adaptive and successfully plan for future growth and development. Clarksville-Montgomery County’s participation in the TVA Innovation Academy will be a collaborative effort with local representation by Jeff Truitt, Economic Development Council CEO, Frank Tate, director of the Industrial Development Board and Millard House, director of Clarksville Montgomery County Schools. The local representatives will participate and assist in the incubation and acceleration of a pivotal plan for the community that will come to life during the course of the six-month program.
“TVA’s Community Innovation Academy will provide participating valley communities the opportunity to explore fresh and transformational approaches to competitiveness in the economic development industry. We are proud to partner with the Clarksville-Montgomery County Economic Development Council to help prepare the community catalysts for industry disruptors, and support innovative solutions to foster economic growth,” said Heidi Smith, TVA general manager of global business.
TVA outlined key goals for the program as helping participating communities rethink solutions to be healthier and more resilient economies; supporting participating communities in identifying and creating new income and tax revenue opportunities and providing the framework for community accelerator efforts that incubate new ideas for advancing the quality of life necessary to attract and retain talent.
According to Guillermo Mazier, founder of Collective Intelligence, who will lead the Innovation Academy, communities participating will learn the science of collaboration, design thinking, future forecasting, risk-taking ideas, rapid prototyping and planning methods. The program will provide communities with a custom community ecosystem map, and a community innovation index, or measurement of our ability to change and innovate in the future.
“Change is happening at a more accelerated rate daily, and we know as a community in order to stay competitive and continue our pattern of growth we must be ready to embrace our constantly adapting environment with the kind of creative thinking that will lead us to new plans and fresh business models, we need to be thinking and planning long term now,” said Truitt.