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January 07, 2020 | Tom Ballard

TVA announces first 10 participants in its “Community Innovation Academy”

Ten communities have been announced as launch partners for the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) new “Community Innovation Academy” that begins in the first quarter of 2020.

This program is focused on economic development and dedicated to teaching economic development leaders how to create ideas and innovations that prepare communities for the future of work. According to multiple articles over the holidays, participants will learn the science of collaboration, design thinking, future forecasting, risk-taking ideas, rapid prototyping, and planning methods.

Heidi Smith, TVA General Manager of Global Business, said the program will: (1) help participating communities rethink solutions to be healthier and have more resilient economies; (2) support participating communities in identifying and creating new income and tax revenue opportunities; and (3) provide the framework for community accelerator efforts that incubate new ideas for advancing the quality of life necessary to attract and retain talent.

One-half of the inaugural participants are from Tennessee. They are Clarksville and Montgomery County, Lewisburg and Marshall County, Memphis, Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Partnership (Carter, Washington and Unicoi Counties); and Tullahoma and Coffee County.

The other participating communities are Bowling Green and Warren County, KY; Catoosa County, GA; Huntsville and Madison County, AL; Oxford and Lafayette County, MS; and The Shoals, AL.