Planning for Scaling Up RainReady With IBM's Corporate Service Corps + Earthwatch Institute

As the new CEO of the Center for Neighborhood Technology, a top priority is finding new partnerships. But I didn’t expect that one would emerge in my first week on the job.

Through an opportunity made available through the Earthwatch Institute and IBM, CNT is part of a cohort of four nonprofits – also including the Alliance for the Great Lakes, Openlands, and Teach for America – that received pro bono assistance from IBM’s Corporate Service Corps. Over the past month, IBM’s management experts helped us identify the most productive and impactful future path for CNT’s growing RainReady program.

Guided by CNT’s Bryan Nelson, RainReady Field Manager, the IBM consultant team stops to smell the flowers (as they tour a RainReady site).

Their advice was twofold. First, regarding RainReady, IBM recommended that CNT document successes, tailor offerings to user needs, focus the program within Illinois and other Great Lakes states, and find creative sustainable financing. Second, CNT was introduced to management practices – namely, agile development and design thinking – that we can immediately begin to employ within our own organization.

Check out the NBC coverage last week for more. And many thanks to IBM, especially our team of consultants – Samrit Das, Hossam Hussein, and Sushil Kumar – and to Earthwatch for making the opportunity available!

The IBM team invites the photographer to join them for a final group photo (one of approximately 1,000 taken during the assignment).

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