2021 is the centennial of ICA GreenRise, which was constructed for Mutual Insurance in 1921 and donated by Kemper Insurance to the Institute of Cultural Affairs and Ecumenical Institute in 1971. We approach this milestone in celebration of the accomplishments of the past year and enthusiasm for our vision of the future!
Chicago’s new Chief Sustainability Officer, Angela Tovar, visited ICA GreenRise on September 28, 2020 to tour the mixed-use building and learn how it serves both people and the environment as a hub for sustainable community.
Tovar’s visit came in response to a letter sent by the GreenRise Restoration Project (GRRP) Advisory Team to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot urging her administration to support the project with capital investment and an operating grant. Lightfoot was previously introduced to ICA GreenRise at a North Side community meeting organized by LISC Chicago in May, 2019, just prior to being sworn in as Mayor.
Four new Technology of Participation (ToP) online training courses launched this past month, a major milestone in a months-long journey to translate the facilitation methods authentically to the virtual world. We're proud to offer a small selection of courses available now--ToP Facilitation Methods (TFM) Online, ToP Strategic Planning (TSP) Online, Shift Happens: Design Principles for a Virtual World, and Action Planning Practice Lab on Miro. All the online courses are designed to train participants to apply ToP facilitation skills virtually.
I feel like the [ICA] team consistently cares about the planet and the community, and are willing to put their time and effort into making them better. I trust their intentions and their actions, which is a rare thing.
Matt Cardoni is founder of Green Lightning Marketing, a digital marketing consultancy that works with nonprofit organizations, mission-driven businesses and educational institutions. He has been a member of Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network for six years, helped launch and organize the Uptown Garden Walk, and has connected numerous digital marketing students and volunteers with ICA.
The Ecumenical Institute (EI), ICA’s sister organization that owns and operates ICA GreenRise, has signed a sales agreement to sell 40% of our parking lot at 4747 N Sheridan Rd to Sarah’s Circle, an Uptown-based nonprofit organization that provides a continuum of programs and supportive housing to help women permanently end their homelessness.
We’re honored to announce that ICA GreenRise has received a major State Capital Grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to invest in renovating key building features. The $150,000 award will support upgrades to the building’s fire safety system, part of a roster of capital improvements planned as part of the GreenRise Renovation Project (GRRP).
“Folks in this group wear a lot of hats—community leaders, community organizers, parents, pastors. When you come into those different roles you bring different skills and focuses and things that you’re trying to do with a group, and facilitation is no different,” said ICA staffer Samantha Sainsbury to a group of organizers leading efforts to expand clean energy opportunities to Illinoisans.
Funded by a grant through the Energy Foundation and Illinois Environmental Council, ICA partnered with the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition (ICJC) to offer a training series in our Technology of Participation (ToP) facilitation methods to fellow grantees engaged in the Listen. Lead. Share. (LLS) campaign.
The Technology of Participation (ToP) methods were distilled from decades of experience facilitating meaningful, transformative experiences in community. The methods have been applied throughout the world, in cities, towns, and villages. They have been used at every scale from the United Nations and Fortune 500 companies down to staff meetings and family gatherings. For most of its history, ToP has thrived in-person, face-to-face.
For years, the focus of the ICA Social Research Center (SRC) has been to translate our massive collection of written and recorded material to a comprehensive and accessible website. Throughout that journey of digitizing documents and building websites, the dedicated team of volunteers also began exploring tools for working together virtually. By last fall, the team was reconsidering the in-person meetings that had brought colleagues to Chicago twice each year for the past decade.
We’re excited to announce that ICA will be working with the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition on the Listen. Lead. Share. (LLS) campaign! Last year, we joined a cohort of organizations working to educate the public about clean energy and hear feedback from residents about recommendations for the upcoming energy bill for Illinois.