One Street News
Vol. 4, Issue 2
- City to Velo-city Ambassadors Gearing Up
- Bold Steps for Ride 4 a Woman in Uganda
- Resources – Sevilla, Spain
- Hot Topics – The Failures of Strategic Planning
- Supporter Spotlight – New Belgium Brewing Company
Come mid-March all four bicycle ambassadors from Prescott, Arizona will be connecting with city officials and advocates in Amsterdam as the first part of this eleven day trip. Their schedule is already filling up with meetings and outings with Dutch locals to learn the successes and struggles that made this city one of the top bicycling cities in the world. The ambassadors are Prescott College students Valerie Scheffler, Karajane Cournoyer and Taylor Kuyk-White as well as Sue Knaup, One Street’s executive director and the teacher for the Prescott College course The Bicycle: Vehicle for Social Change.After several inspiring days in Amsterdam, these ambassadors will travel to Sevilla, Spain to take part in the international bicycle advocacy conference, Velo-city 2011. There they will connect with city officials and bicycle advocates from around the world to learn the hottest new approaches to bringing bicycling back to cities.
As Prescott College Bicycle Ambassadors, these four have studied the barriers currently preventing bicycling initiatives from moving forward in Prescott. Misconceptions about who bicyclists are and the costs of making streets safer for everyday cyclists have blocked all attempts at significant new bicycle improvements within the city limits for the past seven years. These ambassadors are charged with the challenge of translating the processes followed by supportive city officials into a package that will inspire Prescott officials to finally open their minds to the benefits of bicycling. It’s a tall order, but they are ready!
Fundraising for the trip has brought in just more than half of the funds needed to cover the travel costs, so, even as the ambassadors pack and prepare for the trip, we continue our fundraising efforts to ensure they are covered. Please help by donating today at www.onestreet.org. Make sure to note the trip on your donation form.All of us at One Street and especially the four ambassadors want to thank our trip sponsors – Ironclad Bicycles, European Cyclists’ Federation, Hicks Dental Group, One Root, the Raven Cafe and New Belgium Brewing Company – and all our individual and in-kind supporters for their generous contributions that have gotten us this far!
As Ride 4 a Woman’s (R4W) freshly tuned fleet of mountain bikes rolls through the Bwindi forest with happy tourists and the rental income goes into building their Women’s Community Centre, their leaders are looking ahead to the next level. Urgencies are getting taken care of and the basics are humming along. But there’s no time to rest because once the first building in the community centre complex is completed, R4W’s leaders know they must have a vibrant program ready to go.
Plans include sewing workshops and crafts making and of course, a fully stocked professional bicycle workshop with three to four workstations. R4W’s professionally trained bicycle staff will use this bicycle workshop to train their women members as bicycle mechanics. The workshop will also be open to the whole community for bicycle repair service. And, as R4W brings in more bicycles for their program, this workshop and all of R4W’s trained mechanics will ensure the whole fleet is professionally tuned for teaching bicycling to the women members and renting to tourists for continued income to support the program.
With help from One Street, R4W has just opened the first account with a wholesale supplier of high quality parts for bicycles ever to serve Uganda. This is just one example of how R4W’s bold steps for their Social Bike Business program are taking them to new heights for empowering the women of the Bwindi region and encouraging our other Social Bike Business partners in other parts of the world. We are proud to work with such an inspirational organization.
This month we are highlighting an entire city as our recommended resource for increasing bicycling. Sevilla, Spain was not chosen to be the host of ECF’s annual Velo-city conference for nothing. In fact, city officials made a significant commitment three years ago to change their car-dominated city into one that welcomed all of their citizens to choose bicycling. In just three years, the bicycle mode share of trips made by bicycle in Sevilla leaped from .6% to 6%, one of the most dramatic increases of any city in the world. Read some of the ways they did it in this press release from ECF. And if you can read Spanish, take a look at Sevilla’s Master Plan for the Promotion of Bicycle Transportation (2007-2010).
At One Street we have learned to bristle at the very mention of strategic planning. This is not because of the good intentions of this concept, but because of blatant abuses of the strategic planning process that have become all too common in the nonprofit world.
Through our mission of serving leaders of organizations, part of our job is to respond to organization emergencies, most of which are driven by internal clashes between leaders. Unfortunately, strategic planning is a common tool used by leaders with plans to overthrow their organization for personal gain. While funders who often require nonprofits to go through the arduous strategic planning process generally have good intentions, organization leaders with not-so-good intentions have learned it is the perfect device for tearing the organization apart.
While we have come to understand this danger, disseminating it is not easy because strategic planning continues to be a buzz term meant for unanimous applause. Anyone sounding an alarm against it comes off sounding like they are against good planning and professional practices.
That’s why we were so thrilled to discover this article on the Blue Avocado blog for nonprofit leaders. Not only does the author boldly renounce blind obedience to calls for strategic planning, the dozens of comments from nonprofit leaders underscore the deep severity of this issue. Take a look and the next time someone demands that your organization commits to a strategic planning process, look deeper at why they are requesting this. If their intentions are good, you might consider more effective alternatives including enhancing your yearly work plan and budget process to include long-term visioning. And please give us a call if you find that a demand for strategic planning is actually signaling a serious threat.New Belgium Brewing Company has been a top supporter of One Street since our founding in 2007. From the start we made a deep connection because they are so committed to helping social needs through their company. From employee innovations that improve the sustainability of their brewery to generous support of socially minded organizations, New Belgium is an extraordinary model of a social business. And through their support of One Street’s Social Bike Business program we have been able to develop our replicable model that is helping local social bike business programs get started around the U.S. This in turn has inspired our current partners in other parts of the world. Once again, for 2011, New Belgium has stepped up with another generous grant for the program helping ensure we don’t miss a beat. And on top of that, they even donated two delicious kegs to our City to Velo-city fundraiser on March 1st which helped raise much needed travel funds. Thank you New Belgium for all your great work and for your continued support of One Street!