EcoInterview ~ Lucy Vallejo-Anderson on Oregon Unlimited’s new EcoCommunity

Today is the roll out of the new EcoCommunity Hub on Oregon Unlimited!

Oregon Unlimited is a Meyer Memorial Trust funded platform where Oregonians can connect and share ideas on creating change that’s good for Oregon. EcoApprentice has been invited to serve as the EcoCommunity Ambassadors for OU’s newest knowledge hub. We are excited about working with OU and look forward to connecting and creating “sustainable” change.  
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Lucy Vallejo-Anderson is the Community Manager for Oregon Unlimited.  Lucy is a native Oregonian, born and raised in Portland. Having lived in Los Angeles during her college years, she is happy to be back in the Pacific Northwest. She loves being able to meet new people and become exposed to the inspiring work that people are doing in their communities. 
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Tell us about Oregon Unlimited
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Lucy: Oregon Unlimited is an online community designed for Oregonians to connect and collaborate in order to work together to make our communities and state better. The idea came about during the Meyer Memorial Trust’s Ideas 4 Oregon campaign in 2010, which was created in celebration of Meyer giving away $500 million in grants. Wanting to help make Oregon a state where ideas could develop and thrive, the foundation pledged $1 million to help bring the winning submission to life. What emerged was a request for a virtual town hall where folks could be productive, share best practices, and get things done. Basically, Oregon Unlimited is part project management and part social network – helping you get things done but with the added bonus of getting the chance to learn new things and meeting like-minded people!
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What inspired the launching of the EcoCommunity Sustainability Hub?

Lucy: I think it can be agreed upon that Oregonians care about their environment, so when Richard Halpern from EcoApprentice posted something on OU and I checked out the work that he does and the innovative business model they use, it made sense to start up a conversation about how his network of eco-warriors and problem solvers should connect with the OU community’s passion.  After brainstorming together we came up with the EcoCommunity Hub idea. We like the name because it’s inclusive of all things ecological and economical. This encompasses both the values of OU and the great work that EcoApprentice is doing.

Is OU for businesses and non-profit organizations?  How might each entity use the site?

Lucy: OU is for both! Organizations, businesses, individuals – there’s something for everyone here.  Because the tool is so flexible, it has the ability to be customized to a variety of needs. We’ve seen individuals hop on OU with nothing more than an idea and get support and answers from other OU members.  Non-profits and other organizations have been able to create partnerships, share best practices, exchange knowledge, and spread the word about the work they do. Not to mention this will give them a place to engage with their communities! In addition, OU has an amazing project management tool, which makes it easy to collect resources, assign tasks, and make sure that goals are achieved!

Do you have long term goals for OU?
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Lucy: Our goals are pretty simple: to create a space where Oregonians can collaborate and move forward with their initiatives. We hope that Oregon Unlimited will become the go-to place to create positive change in Oregon.
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What do you enjoy most about your work at OU?

Lucy: I love the people I work with and being able to help facilitate conversations that haven’t had the opportunity to happen yet. Getting to meet individuals that are doing such wonderful things in their communities is always inspiring. I can only hope that OU can support them so they can continue to do what they do!
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We would love to hear your innovative solution ideas as we post more EcoChallenges (with cash EcoBounty awards for solutions). To get notified of new opportunities, become a member at EcoApprentice here.

© 2013, Richard Halpern. All rights reserved.

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