As globalization, technology, and institutional power have grown, people in local communities became increasingly convinced that their education, health, wealth, and happiness depends largely on factors outside of their control. But for most of human history, the opposite has actually been true.  Wherever people have organized their resources and relationships around a shared vision, they have realized the ability to both lead and benefit from the change they wish to see.

Unfortunately communities here in Pittsburgh, across America, and throughout the World are experiencing conditions which are simply unsustainable.  Overcoming the current and future challenges of climate change, wealth inequality, and the oppression of marginalized people will require a major paradigm shift.  One which rejects extractive models, while reinstituting the natural, mutually beneficial balance between institutions and the community ‘markets’ they have grown to serve.

The good news is that many people are waking up to our socioeconomic realities, rejecting stale paradigms, and building the foundation of a new future together. Through 18 years of practical experience learned by walking alongside a wide range of organizations and communities, New Sun Rising realizes that far too often, development decisions are made without respect for the readiness, participation, or to the benefit of local people. To help those seeking guidance in their efforts to build equitable, sustainable communities, we created the Vibrant Communities Framework. This model helps communities to build their capacity and take action through 18 strategies organized by three development phases: Ignite, Launch, and Grow.

The Vibrant Communities Framework is now being adapted and used by a diverse and growing set of community leaders to build power and inspire action.