Montanan State Innovations for Economic Development
Below are bulleted suggestions for next steps as follow-up suggestions to meetings with Montana's state leaders in rural economic development. Presented were two years of innovations by the Montana Choice project, a demonstration project for the U.S. Department of Labor focused on online training for entry-level web-based self-employment. Details at http://lone-eagles.com/montana-choice.htm and http://lone-eagles.com/future-proofing.htm
Ideally, the State of Montana will:
Validate the themes and quality resources of the Montana Choice project and process by helping disseminate these Ecommerce awareness and training materials via the web. http://lone-eagles.com/montana-choice.htm
Begin gathering Montana's Ecommerce and Telework success stories to be shared via a web page such as http://lone-eagles.com/montana-successes.htm to raise rural awareness regarding existing widespread Montanan innovation. Encourage local peer-mentoring programs to match those who "can" with those who "can't? and want to learn. A mentoring program model: http://lone-eagles.com/mentoring-mission.htm
Encourage state organizations to become aware of what's possible and how they can support Montanan innovations by inviting conference presentations from Lone Eagle Consulting. I.E. MEDA, MT commissioners, Business Educators, VISTAS, Mayors, and others who could share a role disseminating rural solutions for economic development.
Consider three pilot community "proof-of-concept" projects sponsored by the Governor as a Bottom-up Bootstrap Showcase for what rural communities can do for themselves. A simple five-step Montana Choice Community Process is listed at http://lone-eagles.com/montana-choice-2005.htm
And a full community action plan grant template "Sustainable Ecommerce Educational Development Strategies" is at http://lone-eagles.com/seeds.htm
1. Create a DVD with modular videos of Lone Eagle's best presentations, along with text documents of Lone Eagle training resources for mass-dissemination to both formal community leaders as well as other community grassroots champions.
2. Establish a "Montana's New Pioneers" newsletter similar to the quarterly "Community Technology Review" www.comtechreview.org to focus on sharing Montana's ecommerce and telework success stories as well as innovations from around the world that can be brought home to fuel the home fires of Montanan innovation on an ongoing basis.
3. Establish an E-marketing initiative for all Montana artists and crafts persons in association with the SBDCs, Made in Montana, and the Arts Council. Help everyone interested establish a basic web site to be co-marketed using serious expertise provided at the state level.
4. Establish an Internet Self-employment Cluster, perhaps to include sub-clusters for digital art, photography and music as key subcategories. Establish a web site with how-to tutorials and a listserv discussion group to share new knowledge and training resources similar to the Lone Eagle Consulting site http://lone-eagles.com
5. Establish a virtual incubator to help remote persons quickly learn to establish their own ecommerce web sites. The Lone Eagle Self-Employment Incubator is a model open-source content management system replicable for any community complete with deep training content http://lone-eagles.knet.ca Details on the indigenous host for this model site are at http://lone-eagles.com/indigenous_resources.htm Viewing the Flash videos presenting an overview of the KNET project model - as relevant to creating a similar Montana project is recommended: http://smart.knet.ca/kuhkenah_flash.html
The Idaho Virtual Incubator is a model worth reviewing http://idahovirtualincubator.org
6. Establish a Montanan teleworker skills registry to market to potential employers.
FYI, I'm already working with www.cfoadvisors.org in New York on Native American Telework pilot projects.
Conclusion: International recognition for the above "Montana Choice Model" could be an almost immediate as a way of marketing Montanan Ingenuity globally. My national role with CTC VISTA project, my upcoming train-the-trainers workshop for Industry Canada, and my many other International contacts including the new Microsoft Telecentre Support Network (www.telecentre.org) as well as the 57 tribe eco-devo org (www.atniedc.com ) could all become partners in a grand International initiative.
The above will all come to pass - it is simply a matter of who and when.