52businesses is working with Elizabeth Townsend Gard and Ron Gard to develop the Law/Culture/Innovation Initiative (LCI) at Tulane University. LCI is part of the Social Innovation & Social Entrepreneurship program. The Gards’ goal is to connect undergraduates and law students to community needs while simultaneously studying the operations and workings of the initiative in order to better understand the culture surrounding legal and business decisions in social and entrepreneurial ventures in New Orleans.
We’ve got a lot to do this week. Our focus will be on developing a business plan, solidifying the organizational structure of LCI, determining the layout and purpose of the LCI website, refining branding and messaging, and discussing potential partnerships.
Ron Gard is owner and CEO of Limited Times LLC, which is developing the Durationator(r) technology. He holds both a J.D., with specialization in business enterprise, and a Ph.D., with specialization in economic cultural theory, from the University of Arizona. Ron has taught, studied, and written about cultural economics, enterprise, and infrastructure at Tulane University, University of New Orleans, the University of Arizona, and the California State University at Northbridge. He is also a non-resident fellow at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society.
Elizabeth Townsend Gard is a tenured Associate Professor of Law and the Glazer Professor in Social Entrepreneurship at Tulane University, where she specializes in intellectual property with emphasis in matters of copyright. She holds both a J.D. and an LL.M. from the University of Arizona, as well as Ph.D. in European intellectual history from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Ron and I have been working on putting together a new program at Tulane University. We call it the Law/Culture/Innovation Initiative. It’s part of the Social Innovation Social Entrepreneurship program, and our goal is to connect students (including law students) to community need, and at the same time study and understand the culture surrounding legal and business decisions in social and entrepreneurial ventures in New Orleans. It’s a bit complicated to explain. (We are hoping Jason and Colin, and their team will help us come up with a catchy mission statement, etc. this week). But it grows out of our own experiences of having a project that turned into a business that started at the university. We wanted to create a resource that would help people like us… and we have ambitious plans. (Ask Jason, Colin and Hannah!)
Our first day was awesome. We began at 9 am. We had a bunch of questions that we had answered by email, and they began by going through that sheet. We had great, long, deep discussions that were wonderful. What was great was that they really listened, and we saw a safe place to really explore our dreams for this pet project.
What do we hope to get out of a week? I think we have about a million goals. But you know, a website, one year plan, five year plan, a full working initiative, maybe a logo… we are really at the beginning of this project. We also have a great number of partners already, but we are very very excited to expand.
Will post more later this week. They are here (at our home) all week.
-Elizabeth Townsend Gard
Today was day two. We were mapping out all of the elements of our Initiative–on paper, on Mindmeister…it was going ok. Jason and Colin explained that we needed to do this homework before we started the afternoon. The program was very helpful in getting us organized, that is for sure. Then, Dennis Lomonaco came in. He’s from Story Block Media and Colin and Jason had him come in the afternoon. We told them what we were doing and then bam!!!
He made it all work…it was like a story savant. We suddenly had the idea of case studies, the concept of growing and trees, and then he just somehow turned it all around. We now have the Innovators’ Almanac as the key for the Initiative, using plants and weather as a metaphor. We had a “company” and a “product” even though we are a project in a university.
I am not describing this well. He’s a magician, a witch, an amazing amazing thing that articulates and understands what you are doing and then makes it fundamentally better–not just branding but the structure itself. It has been an amazing afternoon.
We are excited to see what day three brings…
-Elizabeth Townsend Gard