Free ‘Impact X Class’ offered to cultivate innovation, Muncie community solutions — Muncie Journal
By BSU Marketing and Communications—
MUNCIE, IN – A collaboration between the City of Muncie, the Ball State University Entrepreneurship Center and the In Place Impact Muncie initiative has resulted in a free course aimed at fostering innovative solutions to positively impact the community local.
Beginning September 13, 2022, the In Place Impact Muncie Initiative will begin offering a free 12-week “Impact X Course” taught by Christiana Mann, Assistant Lecturer in Hospitality Innovation and Leadership at Ball State; Mike Martin, a local entrepreneur and artist; and Kory Gipson, Common Market co-owner and community auditor.
Although not accredited by the college, the course will take place on the Ball State campus. The program, which originated at the School of Business at the College of Charleston, is held specifically at Ball State to make the community feel welcome at the university and its beautiful campus.
The class will ultimately help participants develop realistic and meaningful impact-driven innovations to address social, economic, and environmental issues within the Muncie community.
“The goal when you walk out of class is to have a ‘pitch deck’ that you can walk all over. shark tank with, and be prepared to answer those tough questions,” Martin said.
Mr. Martin originally took the Impact X course at the College of Charleston to help formulate his concept for the Common Market, located in Muncie at Eighth Street and Hoyt Avenue. While taking this course, Mr. Martin got to know Stuart Williams, the founder and CEO of In Place Impact, and began working to bring Mr. Williams to Muncie to meet with leaders from the city, community and businesses.
With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, Mr. Martin and Mr. Williams have begun a series of virtual meetings with city officials aimed at bringing In Place Economics to Muncie. Mr Williams was finally able to visit Muncie in person for the first time in March 2022, when he invited the public to an open forum to learn more about In Place Economics. This led Muncie Mayor Dan Ridenour to agree to conduct an initial “Government of the Sitting Index,” in which the city goes through a thorough assessment of its inclusion in hiring, economic vibrancy for all residents and environmental impact among many other factors designed to take an authentic look at Muncie’s impact as a city.
“I wanted a way for everyone to participate in the future of Muncie and have their voices heard,” said Mayor Ridenour. “When I say everyone, that’s what I mean. This program helps create space for all residents to participate in the program.
The goal of In Place Economics is to create a circular economic model that empowers all residents of a community. One of the program requirements – certification training for local officials and business owners – has now been completed. Michele Owen, director of communications for the town of Muncie, was among those who took the training and is currently doing the town’s incumbent government index.
The other certification requirement is offering a free community course, which led to the partnership with Ball State’s Entrepreneurship Center.
“One of the reasons we require consultants to take the free community course is that it has always been a huge barrier to entry for the most marginalized segments of a community,” Williams said. “At the College of Charleston, where we originally launched the program, hundreds of people took classes, the vast majority being minorities and women.”
Space will be limited for the Impact X class at Ball State. For course and registration information, email [email protected]
About the state of the ball
Founded in 1918 and located in Muncie, Ball State University is one of Indiana’s premier universities and an economic engine for the state. Ball State’s 21,600 students come from all over Indiana, the country, and the world. The 790-acre campus is large enough to accommodate top-notch facilities and 19 NCAA Division I sports, but our welcoming and inclusive campus is small enough to provide the friendliness, personal attention and access that characterizes the University. Destination 2040: Our flight path establishes Ball State’s ambitious goals for our second century. We want!