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How Citizens and Local Leaders Can Use Strategic Thinking to Build a Brighter Future

By Suzanne W. Morse
President of the Pew Partnership for Civic Change

Based on the results of more than a decade of research by the Pew Partnership for Civic Change, Smart Communities provides directions for strategic decision-making and outlines the key strategies used by thousands of leaders who have worked to create thriving communitities. Smart Communities offers leaders from both the public and private sectors the tools they need to create a better future for all the community's citizens. Using illustrative examples from communities around the country, Smart Communities shows how strategic decision-making processes can be traced to the effective use of seven key leverage points:

  • Investing right the first time
  • Working together
  • Building on community strengths
  • Practicing democracy
  • Preserving the past
  • Growing leaders
  • Inventing a brighter future

This important resource is a unique contribution to the literature. It offers community leaders the information they need to build a civic infrastructure and to create community readiness that will help prevent problems before they begin.

Smart Communities offers hope to those who are striving to make significant inroads to their communities and addresses vital issues such as poverty, race relations, and offering a good start to all children.


Suzanne W. Morse is the president of the Pew Partnership for Civic Change, a national nonprofit that identifies and disseminates solutions for the nation’s toughest challenges.  Smart Communities seminars are offered nationwide to assist community leaders in improving their chances of success.
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