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 over 17 years of practical experience learned from a wide range of services and investments, New Sun Rising realizes that far too often, development decisions are made without respect for the readiness or participation of local people. To help those seeking guidance in their efforts to build equitable, sustainable communities, we created the Vibrant Communities Framework. This tool helps leaders build their capacity and take action through 18 strategies organized by three implementation phases: Ignite, Launch, and Grow.

  • Ignite strategies serve to discover community assets, identify shared priorities, create a plan, and identify leaders ready to take action
  • Launch strategies help residents, nonprofits, social entrepreneurs, and elected officials to build their capacity by increasing human, social, and financial capital
  • Grow strategies amplify the level of impact through collaboration, catalytic investments, and building infrastructure projects

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.