Carissa McLane Connelly, MUP/MDes 2018

Summer 2017

Organization: Ibasho, Washington, DC

Sponsor: Doebele Community Service Fellowship

 

” I flew to D.C. on Sunday night to contribute to the next day’s Board Meeting and to have time to work with Emi in her beautiful home. I had a meeting with a Director of Resilience at the World Bank on Monday afternoon. In response to our ideas on how Ibasho would generate income, he suggested two routes:

(1) Take a developmental approach in the U.S., where Ibasho would be an offsite (or onsite) public improvement for developers; and

(2) expand Ibasho’s concept of post-disaster work to include post-epidemic and post-conflict, while also seeking to work in geographic locations that receive the most funding for those challenges.

We then had a 3 hour Board Meeting, following the slides that I prepared. During the rest of the week I outlined next steps. Emi and I also had a chance to delve into some of the tasks that are better discussed in person. Here are some key takeaways from the week:

Emi’s one-year plan: Emi will be taking one year to focus on raising funds for Ibasho, setting up the organization’s infrastructure, and writing a book.

Board composition & responsibilities: Ibasho seeks to reach more elders. To do so the Board needs to provide the outreach and strategic support, and responsibilities need to be clearly outlined.

Ibasho’s future: In order to raise funding and to grow, the organization needs to be able to clearly articulate what Ibasho does and the problems it addresses. We determined that the ultimate problem Ibasho seeks to address is social isolation; the ultimate outcome is a physical space with a sense of ownership and inclusion, accomplished through elder-generated programs and spaces.”