Solutions to community challenges

When resources are limited, efficiencies matter. In our What Works Solutions Library, the Island Institute has collected examples of innovation from communities in rural Maine and beyond. We have interviewed community leaders and problem solvers who have worked to address local challenges, and we document their process so leaders from elsewhere can read, learn, and act. Our goal is to ensure that action can be initiated when one community learns from another.

Choose from the topics below to learn about the challenges communities are facing and how they are confronting them.

For specific tools and resources related to the pandemic, visit our Coronavirus Resource Page.

Addressing a Changing Climate

The climate crisis is changing the world. Warming waters, sea level rise, and the reduction of carbon emissions are important to communities of all sizes. From modifying waterfront infrastructure to investing in renewable energy, communities are already working at a local scale to tackle a global challenge.

Address a Changing Climate

Enhancing Local Capacity & Leadership

Limited access to resources and a lack of economic opportunity are among the challenges that can restrain community capacity. However, when local leaders are empowered to make positive change in the places they care about, challenges become easier to address. Network building and leadership programs are some of the methods that can be used to increase local capacity.

Implementing Community Infrastructure

Due the logistical challenges attached with rurality and the lack of incentive for private investment, certain communities face hurdles when implementing the infrastructure that other communities take for granted like high speed internet or affordable energy.

Preserving Livelihoods

Economies that rely on natural resources and small businesses can be fragile in the face of shifting ecosystems, and unpredictable alterations to policy and legislation. The diversification of income, entrepreneurial preparedness, and grants and loans are some of the tools that can be used to preserve livelihoods.

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