Judi Lynn Brown, co-founder and Chief Impact office of CivicMakers, is a creative systems and design practitioner. She is a member of a new generation of progressive and inclusive change-makers who embrace civic technology along with “radically inclusive, participatory governance structures.”
CivicMakers, which is based in the Bay Area, was created to make gathering spaces for those interested in public impact projects and civic innovation. It has since evolved into an innovation and engagement firm that provides “service design, community engagement and digital strategy to government agencies, nonprofits and civic technology companies.”
Born in southern California and raised in Nevada, Judi comes from a working class family where neither parent attended college. She was raised as a Catholic, came out in her mid-20’s and feels “queer activism is absolutely a model for sustainability.” Judi’s early life experiences suggested the “world-saver” path she would later take and her first professional experiences in nonprofit management and corporate philanthropy led her to look for more “creative ways to change parts of systems that currently don’t work for 100% of humanity.”
Prior to CivicMakers, Judi worked as a design strategist with Collective Invention, a social innovation firm working in education and community development. And she also did survey development and evaluation work for Zawadisha, a micro-lending fund for female entrepreneurs in Kenya. Judi she worked on a project involving the first-ever impact-rated municipal bonds, and on homeless issues (as a nonprofit board member).
Insights and Inspirations
- Human-centred design (HCD) is an approach to problem-solving that puts the people at the heart of the design process. It’s all about designing for public impact.
- Civicmakers applies human centered design to disciplines like strategic planning and community engagement. They also use systems thinking because being in the public sector means there’s no designing in a vacuum.
- Judi hates scale. Her ambition is to remain hyper local, digging into the minutia of each community she works with.
Read the podcast transcript here
Eve Picker: [00:00:07] Hi there. Thanks for joining me on Rethink Real Estate. I’m Eve Picker, and I’m on a mission to make real estate work for everyone. I love real estate. Real estate makes places good or bad, rich or poor, beautiful or not. In this show, I’m interviewing the disruptors, those creative thinkers and doers that are shrugging off the status quo, in order to build better for everyone. When I’m not hosting the show, I’m running my real estate crowdfunding platform, SmallChange.co, where you’ll find impact real estate investment opportunities open to everyone. Or you can learn more about me and catch up on some podcasts at my Web site EvePicker.com.
Eve: [00:00:59] Today, I’m talking with Judi Lynn Brown, a self-confessed world saver. She’s one of a new set of progressive change makers in support of radical inclusion. Her early career involved some professional stints that disheartened her, and she decided that non-profits and corporate philanthropy were not for her. Instead, she decided to figure out a creative way to change a system that currently doesn’t work for 100 percent of humanity. And so she co-founded CivicMakers, an innovation and engagement firm that provides design and digital strategy services to support excellent community engagement. Hyper local is big in Judi’s mind.
Eve: [00:01:47] If you’d like to join me in my quest to rethink real estate, there are two simple things you can do. Share this podcast or go to Patreon.com/rethinkrealestate to support this podcast for the price of a cup of coffee.
Eve: [00:02:08] Hi Judi. Thanks so much for joining me today.
Judi Lynn Brown: [00:02:10] Hi Eve. Thanks for having me.
Eve: [00:02:12] Yeah, so I was really fascinated by the company you launched called CivicMakers, which is a great name, by the way.
Judi: [00:02:19] Thank you.
Eve: [00:02:20] I was wondering how long ago you launched it and why.
Judi: [00:02:25] Yeah, thanks for that question. CivicMakers, we’re kind of a unique firm in that we actually started as a meetup.
Eve: [00:02:34] Oh.
Judi: [00:02:35] Right around mid 2014, my co-founder, who I actually met while I was in grad school at Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. He was working for change.org at the time. So he’s kind of in this emerging civic technology space. Prior to that, he had spent seven years in local government, and I was in school studying public administration and really just became fascinated with the concept of reimagining the design and delivery of public services by involving the people who are served in that process.
Eve: [00:03:13] What a unique thought.
Judi: [00:03:15] Imagine that, right?
Eve: [00:03:18] Yes.
Judi: [00:03:18] Revolutionary. So CivicMakers, like I said, started as a meet up, CivicMakers.meetup.com. My co-founder started hosting these events around the Bay Area that were a mix of salons, panel discussions, unconferences with a wide array of topic areas from public broadband to democracy in the workplace. And at that time, after I graduated, I was doing some work with a small social innovation firm that was run by some really incredible women. And I started getting involved, helping Lawrence, who’s my co-founder, with events for CivicMakers in about April, I think, of 2015. By August, we kind of started accidentally getting hired to do services. So, we’re like, OK, I guess we’re a services firm now. Prior to that, we were actually pursuing our work as a civic technology firm. So CivicMakers was going to be a platform that would connect consultants, practitioners, and developers in this emerging civic innovation space. So we pitched to Y Combinator. We went through that whole experience of putting the pitch deck together, trying to find a chief technology officer. And then it just kind of turned out that we were the platform, in fact, because what we love to do is bring people together and provide space for them to imagine their big creative ideas and bring them to life. So fast forward, you know, several years and we’re a seven-person civic design firm. We work primarily with municipalities throughout Northern California. We have some clients in California as well. And it’s all in applying human centered design to disciplines like strategic planning, community engagement. And I get to lead up a lot of our immersive learning experiences, which is really fun for me. So, it’s facilitation and coaching and… Yeah, so that’s the origin.
Eve: [00:05:29] So your business really grew out of a real need because people started hiring you?
Judi: [00:05:35] Yeah, it continues to evolve in that way, right. I think that having that as a foundation, you know, we never put together a business plan in the beginning for our services. The challenge is that we’re very responsive and adaptive. So that means that we are somewhat obsessively going back and examining the services, how we talk about them, who the clients are. You know, we’re also beholden to the public procurement process, you know, so there aren’t always RFPs issued that ask for the type of services that we do, but that’s grown over the years.
Eve: [00:06:17] Just for the sake of our audience. What exactly is human centered design?
Judi: [00:06:22] Excellent question, Eve. Thank you for that. So human centered design is a design process that incorporates human input throughout. This was highly popularized about 30 years ago with firms like IDO, the Stanford d.school, and traditionally has been applied to, you know, technology products. For example, like all the apps that we use, go through a process of empathizing with users, defining what exactly the market is, what exactly the problem is they’re trying to solve, ideating around how to solve that problem in a unique way, prototyping. So, of course, we’re not building it before. We are testing small increments of what a product or service could look like. And then we continue to test that with users. So that’s how that plays out in that technology space or private industry. We take that process, and we apply it to things like programs, policies, procedures within the public sector. So the idea that we’re not just creating programs that exist within the minds of our so-called experts, people who have some letters after their name or have been working in a particular field for a long time, they’re an integral part of that process, but they’re not the only part of the process. So we bring in the end users.
Eve: [00:07:50] So and I also read on your site about something called public impact design. Is that different than human centered design?
Judi: [00:07:59] That’s a great question. Early on, human centered design and design thinking in the public sector is kind of a bright, shiny object right now. It’s gaining momentum. It’s gaining traction. We can’t just take this particular methodology that has worked really well in the private sector, plop it into the public sector and assume it’s going to work well. So, we were playing around with this idea of how CivicMakers uniquely apply as human centered design. And it came up with this. It’s about public impact and it’s about designing for impact. And it’s not just that we use human centered design and the five phases of empathize to find IDA, prototype and test, but that we’re also bringing in systems thinking because we definitely in the public sector, there is no designing in a vacuum. Everything has some kind of reverberation or constraint, right, within a system. And then the other sort of methodology that’s part of that is reflective practice, which is something that a lot of professional fields, such as medical doctors do this where they have to constantly be learning and relearning about their practice, going through certifications, et cetera. So if we are to do that at a public administration level, pause and reflect on what we’re learning as individuals and how we’re applying that in our work, the idea here is that we create change by engaging individuals. That’s reflective practice, helping them collaborate and problem solve creatively with teams. That’s human centered design. And then this third layer is that this is all within, you know, arguably very broken systems. So…
Eve: [00:09:55] Yeah, no, it’s not easy to pause and reflect. I can’t remember when I did that. We are all moving very fast. And it’s that’s got to be pretty purposeful, I imagine.
Judi: [00:10:10] Yeah, definitely. And all of these, sort of, the idea that we’re pausing and reflecting on how we as individuals show up in the work, what are our unique superpowers. Right? How do those map to those of our teams? And then what are we really trying to achieve, those, sort of, systems level view. Even we as a small firm have a hard time living those values, right?
Eve: [00:10:37] Yeah, yeah. You talk about impact. How do you describe impact? What do you see as impact?
Judi: [00:10:45] Yeah, I don’t know that I have a good answer for that, Eve. When we started this firm and in grad school, I actually focused primarily on the concept of impact evaluation. And I did that through the lens of microfinance. And I found that impact can really only truly be defined from the perspective of those who are impacted. Right?
Eve: [00:11:13] Yes.
Judi: [00:11:14] So if we have the World Bank and the IMF and, you know, professors, folks who are, you know, doing extensive literature review and trying to create some sort of standardized framework by which we can measure something like, for example, a quality of life indicators over the life of the loan. We can’t do that in a meaningful way without also being able to source those indicators from people who are served. So, we have a really amazing intern from UC Berkeley right now who’s helping us to develop our theory of change.
Eve: [00:11:54] Mm hmm. I would love to see it. We developed our own little change index, which is our impactful tool and probably out of the same frustration or comments that you just made. I mean, in the physical world, you know, the impact tools we had when we developed this were leads ratings and oh, God, I don’t even know what else. But those those types of ratings for everyday people just make no sense at all.
Judi: [00:12:22] Yep.
Eve: [00:12:22] I mean, they had enough for me, a professional, to understand.
Judi: [00:12:26] Yep.
Eve: [00:12:27] I dug into my urban design background and my understanding of spaces and where people like to be and like to exist in affordable housing and job creation to kind of create a much simpler, more flexible view of what impact might be.
Judi: [00:12:43] Yep.
Eve: [00:12:43] And some of the indices out there were just downright scary.
Judi: [00:12:48] Yeah, and inaccessible, right?
Eve: [00:12:50] Very, very inaccessible. Well, you know, we work with regulation crowdfunding, which demands accessibility. The rule actually says that we need to write everything in plain English.
Judi: [00:13:01] Yep.
Eve: [00:13:02] And so that was kind of the driving force behind our stupid simple index.
Judi: [00:13:08] Yeah.
Eve: [00:13:09] Which actually took an awful long time to develop and figure out how it might work, applied to real estate. Not easy. Yeah. Yeah. I can imagine what you’re doing is even harder.
Judi: [00:13:21] Well I had a feeling, Eve, that this was definitely a topic that we could explore together because…
Eve: [00:13:30] Yes.
Judi: [00:13:30] Right, you accidentally start a civic design firm and accidentally become a human centered designer, and then you have to come up with something to call yourself so that the world knows how to position you within these structures that tell us where people are. Right?
Eve: [00:13:50] Yes.
Judi: [00:13:50] And so I took on this title of Chief Impact Officer, you know, a good six years ago. And I’ve realized that I don’t like any of those words.
Eve: [00:14:03] Yes.
Judi: [00:14:04] I don’t like chief. I am leery of the term impact because…
Eve: [00:14:09] I don’t like titles like Period.
Judi: [00:14:14] And I certainly don’t want to be known as an officer because, you know, I think that word from a public administration perspective, Eve, stay with me here, the idea that, you know, in the public sector, so many of our institutions are designed according to arbitrary hierarchies. Right. A lot of that comes from the sort of command and control this kind of like militaristic aspect of governance. So a lot of the language was
Eve: [00:14:49] Very, very male, you know.
Judi: [00:14:51] Oh. Yes, definitely extractive. Yes. Like, what is it? Divide and conquer. I’m constantly trying to sort of like de-violence or de-militarize my own language because even saying something like front line employees, you know, gives us a mental image of war, right?
Eve: [00:15:15] Yeah, it does. What are frontline employees? That is actually a first for me. I’ve never heard that.
Judi: [00:15:21] Oh, I’m so glad you asked that.
Eve: [00:15:24] I understand it, but it’s…
Judi: [00:15:26] Yeah, these are public facing employees.
Eve: [00:15:30] Oh.
Judi: [00:15:31] These are like the public servants at the DMV that no one is very excited to see, but play a very important role in shaping our cities, right.
Eve: [00:15:41] And so they’re at war with their customers.
Judi: [00:15:44] Exactly. And that’s the image that we’re painting in our heads of public service.
Eve: [00:15:49] Yeah, I worked in a public service job for a couple of years at the planning department.
Judi: [00:15:55] Um hmm.
Eve: [00:15:56] Actually, my boss was the past head of planning for San Francisco, and this was a few years ago and it was the best job I ever had. It was fantastic. It goes both ways. So the public didn’t always treat us very well.
Judi [00:16:11] Right, right. Oh, for sure. Yeah. I love hearing that, Eve. I think that there are many, many, many unsung heroes every day making our cities better. And, you know, I’ll give you an example. We’ve been fortunate enough to be doing this work with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. And essentially, it’s a training program for public facing employees. So those are the bus drivers, the ticket agents, the parking control officers. You know, the ones who drive those little they’re called gopher vehicles around. Everyone hates them, Eve. Even if you’re not getting a ticket, people see those gophers and they turn red. These people have arguably some of the most dangerous jobs because at least law enforcement, you know, they can defend themselves. Our parking control officers, they have stuff thrown at them. They’re yelled at. And so, part of these trainings are around how they can de-escalate potentially violent situations with the public.
Eve: [00:17:23] Wow. So what is impact then?
Judi: [00:17:27] Oh, right, yes, back to that, what is impact? Some of the metrics that I use are things like hugs and high fives. So, stay with me here, back when we used to be able to do workshops in person. I’ve done workshops with state employees for the California Department of Technology. So I’m a human centered design facilitator for their open enrolment trainings that are open to any state employee across the state. And then sometimes I’ll work within their leadership academy. So it’ll be like cybersecurity professionals or IT professionals. And, you know, we think about state government as being kind of, you know, not very human. So if I walk into a room of people who did not know each other, you know, four, five, six, seven hours prior to that, depending on how long the workshop is and we leave the room and people are giving each other hugs and high fives, that’s an indicator of impact to me.
Eve: [00:18:36] Mm hmm.
Judi: [00:18:37] I know it may sound just like you were saying, surprisingly simple, but the theory is that if we create internal bureaucracies that really respect the creative potential of everyone within that bureaucracy, regardless of where they sit, if people within a municipality, I get emails all the time from some of this really amazing work that I’m so humbled to be able to do, which will be like, I was about to leave the city until I was part of this learning experience.
Eve: [00:19:12] Oh, wow.
Judi: [00:19:13] Because…
Eve: [00:19:14] That’s a great result.
Judi: [00:19:16] Yeah. And those are the things, Eve, that I can’t really quantify. Like, I cannot demonstrate the ROI on the culture change work. That essentially is happening when we’re able to do this.
Eve: [00:19:32] I agree. I agree.
Judi: [00:19:34] And I’m sure you struggle with that, too.
Eve: [00:19:36] Well, we have some clearer indicators, but there were always challenges. Things don’t always work perfectly. But there are other returns on investment that are not, you know, indicator list that I certainly am aware of. Like, you know, the return on the pandemic and Black Lives Matters is filtering through. To my life in an unexpected way, as I’m sure many other people are feeling. So, you know, with, what a horrible year, with some really amazing outcomes.
Judi: [00:20:14] Absolutely.
Eve: [00:20:14] So, was that the way to get there? Probably not. But apparently it needed, there needed to be some sort of seismic event to make people sit up and think, right?
Judi: [00:20:27] Yeah, absolutely. That’s an excellent example. You know, there’s offices of racial equity popping up all over the country.
Eve: [00:20:37] Oh, yeah.
Judi: [00:20:37] So now we have equity officers. A few years ago, it was all about the chief innovation officers and the chief digital services officers. I don’t know if creating separate offices is really the way to do this, right?
Eve: [00:20:55] I’ve always felt like when I’m invited to be on an all-women’s panel at a conference, I just feel like it’s being invited to sit at the kid’s table.
Judi: [00:21:04] Yeah.
Eve: [00:21:04] So, you know, treating everyone equally is really the key. Separate office seems, you know, I don’t really fully understand it. But the way I’m feeling it in real estate is that more and more minority real estate developers are coming to us. It’s a pretty significant shift. And I’m loving that. It’s really pretty fabulous, and I’m convinced that’s a direct result of the last 18 months.
Judi: [00:21:34] Yeah. In theory, everyone treated equally. Love that. And, you know, there is a certain amount of reckoning that people who have historically had access, right. There’s a certain kind of empathy and humility that we as people of privilege have to be aware of every day and think about, what are we willing to give up to make up for some of the, you know, inequities that have existed? I started in sustainability, right. So, 10 years ago when I was in grad school to do a sustainable master’s in public administration, it was like chief sustainability offices and chief sustainability officer. Right. But like sustainability should be part of all of the work. Innovation should be part of all of the work. Equity should be part of all of the work. And I wonder if, you know, as part of this work that these offices are doing, if we can find ways to not be, you know, exclusive, like, here’s the all-women’s conference kind of thing, but really strategize how we might elevate and remove barriers, you know, and I think maybe what you are experiencing in real estate is a by-product of that. We do have to be intentional about barrier remover because it turns out we all succeed when we provide others with the same opportunities.
Eve: [00:23:11] So how does your work then translate to the physical environment? I have to ask that because, you know, real estate is what I think about.
Judi: [00:23:19] Yeah.
Eve: [00:23:19] But I mean, I’ve been to plenty of community meetings in my past, first as a planner in a planning department and also as a real estate developer. And they were always very difficult.
Judi: [00:23:32] Yeah.
Eve: [00:23:34] Meetings with very little meeting of the mind, really. You know, they and us, really, that’s what these meetings are typically. So how does this change that?
Judi: [00:23:46] Yeah, I was thinking about this in terms of some of the projects that. So I don’t need the community engagement efforts for our business. My business partner, Cristel, does. She has a background in planning and community development. She actually started her career at Google and then decided she wanted to do more meaningful work. You know, there are constraints, right, because if a planning department or a housing authority hires us to do community engagement. In some cases, they’re hiring us to do the sort of check the box, have a community meeting at 2pm on a Tuesday. That means the usual suspects show up. Like how many working mothers can show up to a public meeting at two p.m. on a Tuesday, right?
Eve: [00:24:34] Well, especially in underserved neighborhoods where often single mothers who are holding down several jobs.
Judi: [00:24:40] So, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And so the pandemic actually going back to what we were talking about a little bit earlier, has made these engagements slightly more accessible. I mean, of course, we still have the digital divide to maneuver, but we were doing a project with the housing authority in Silicon Valley and we were going to have a community meeting the following week before we got the shelter in place mandate, right. And the client would have been happy with twenty-five people showing up to that meeting. We move that online. We used various channels to market it, we made it accessible, we included subtitles, we did some in language facilitation, and we got three times the amount of participation than we had assumed we might get doing it in person. So that’s an example.
Eve: [00:25:45] That’s a great outcome. Yeah.
Judi: [00:25:48] And so how that translates to your point to the physical environment, of course, is that we have more voices saying, OK, if we want this percentage of this development to be affordable, what does that mean? And, you know, because there are some people, there’s like the YIMBYs and the NIMBYs, but like sometimes the YIMBYs are only YIMBYs if it’s like 20 percent affordable housing, but if it’s 40 percent, then they become NIMBY’s, right. So those are the kinds of you know, and then there’s there’s some pretty egregious and painful limitations around the Brown Act and and just some of the constraints that we have with true, meaningful community engagement. But if our clients also get it and they should, because when they engage community authentically into your point, Eve, you know in the planning process, it’s like, OK, we make a decision, we make a decision, we make a decision. And then it’s like, oh, let’s engage community and then community’s pissed off because they’re like, actually, why didn’t you engage us at the beginning, right?
Eve: [00:27:06] Yes. Yes.
Judi: [00:27:07] So our sort of human centered community engagement, like applying that human centered design lens to how we engage community offers to start that engagement much earlier. And it doesn’t have to be with a whole public meeting. Right. We’ve really been experimenting with this concept of civic councils so that there is there is like a learning opportunity. There’s like a co-ownership opportunity. And it’s not just this two-way us against them communication stream, but that we’re actually having deliberative dialogue around what’s going to change in our cities.
Eve: [00:27:48] Because change is scary, right?
Judi: [00:27:51] Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I mean, that’s another thing that the pandemic has shown as though too, right. It is possible for our permitting processes to be online. It is possible for our engagement processes to be online. What would be really nice is if we were able to respond to crises which will just keep on coming, instead of react. So, so much of what we saw was reactive. But we’re also seeing those who are resistant to change. It’s the only thing that is constant, right?
Eve: [00:28:32] I think most people are scared of change. I have to keep reminding myself of that because I love change. I thrive on change. It just drives me. I’m married to someone who has trouble with change. He likes things the same. And I think most people do. And because they can’t visualize what is coming, it makes it really scary. And that’s hard to wrap your head around, I think.
Judi: [00:28:57] Yeah. So the way that shows up in our work, um, well, there’s definitely the built environment, but we do a lot of work around sort of digital infrastructure, digital services. We don’t build those things, but we do some of the engagement around them, right. So whether it is convening community to co-create, lots of alliteration there, digital privacy principles, or helping a municipality internally engage their employees, some of whom have been doing the same paper based process for 30 years, and have that fear they’re going to become irrelevant when their process is digitized. Right. That’s a real scary fear. And if we can get leaders to ask those people, these are not necessarily the quote unquote front line or public facing in some cases, but, you know, like payroll clerks, for example, like that’s still a job in a lot of municipal government. If we can bring them along and ask them, where are you seeing some of the greatest needs or gaps in services? How might we engage your human ingenuity to meet those while we can understand that a lot of your time that you would spend matching up paper-based time cards and doing data entry in a system from 1991 will be freed up. It’s not that they’re going to go away. Right, because…
Eve: [00:30:45] They’re going to do something different.
Judi: [00:30:46] Exactly. And if we ask them, what would you like to do, what are you seeing? As opposed to telling them we’re doing this whole project and it means that you know, 80 percent of your workday is going to change, then I think that we can minimize some of those shocks and some of the fear.
Eve: [00:31:08] So you said that you’ve been very responsive, little company. And I’m just wondering if you thought about how you’re going to scale or if you have a big, hairy, audacious goal.
Judi: [00:31:19] Yeah, I hate the concept of scale, Eve. I mean, maybe hate is a strong word. I am highly critical of the concept of scale because I think some of the magic that we get to co-create with our partner clients where we do that work is due to the sort of hyper localization, is due to the fact that, you know, like I live in San Francisco, I ride those buses with those operators that I’m training. Right. I visit the small businesses that the Office of Economic and Workforce Development is supporting. I think at some point, because we are also just like overachievers, we have a very rigorous internal strategic planning process. And at one point in time, I would say maybe around 2017, when we went from a two-person company to a three person company, we were like, oh, in 10 years we’re going to have 50 employees and we’re going to have offices here and offices here and. I just don’t know that that’s part of what we want to do, because when you reach a certain size, you just don’t have that level of intimacy and relationships. And those are the projects that I feel are most impactful, even if you ask me what I mean by that, and I’ll stumble through not having, you know, the exact metrics in mind.
Eve: [00:32:59] It sounds to me like it’s a little like cloning. Cloning these little offices is, you know, probably the way it might work because you you have an impact in one particular part of the world, but maybe you could do it somewhere else.
Judi: [00:33:12] Yeah, I appreciate that. Some of the scale of the work. Right. In realizing that my superpower is facilitation and co-creating immersive learning experiences. Right. It’s not, like I taught a couple graduate level classes, but I really try to create a space that allows for folks to share their innate knowledge and what they’ve learned about their work. It’s very much about eliminating the power differential between professor and student. And so I had the opportunity to go and test this out in late 2019 because of work that we had done with California Health and Human Services. So they had an Office of Innovation, right, here it is. The Office of Innovation would take people from different departments, train them up an innovation methodology, and then they would work for a year in doing these sort of design sprints with different departments and then they’d go back to their home departments. That model has shifted quite a bit. The Office of Innovation has now morphed into something else because, again, maybe that wasn’t the best approach. But I had the opportunity in working with the Deputy Director of that office to go to Montenegro, which is her home country. And we did a five-day training, immersive training in this concept of digital transformation, which has nothing to do with digital and everything to do with humans, right? So we had teams from Albania, North Macedonia, Bosnia Herzegovina, where else, Serbia and Montenegro. So I had five teams of people from the Western Balkans, of which I know sadly very little about. Right. In terms of their context. And it was sort of scary because, again, the work is very context specific. But, Eve, we had an amazing time and now I have lifelong friends who are ministers of, you know, digital transformation in Serbia. Like I can hit them up on Slack right now. So I do appreciate that. I don’t know that some of the longer term, deeply embedded project work that we do would work elsewhere, but we’re open to it.
Eve: [00:35:42] Well, this has been a delightful conversation. I appreciate that you’re a local girl.
Judi: [00:35:49] Thank you.
Eve: [00:35:50] Local is where your heart is. And it’s pretty fantastic that San Francisco has you.
Judi: [00:35:55] Oh, thank you. We have a multitude of challenges. That’s such a nice reflection. And as part of my project for grad school, I went to Kenya and I interviewed women business owners. This is for another conversation, maybe over cocktails sometime, Eve.
Eve: [00:36:12] Yes, in real life.
Judi: [00:36:16] And I realize that…
Eve: [00:36:17] When the pandemic has been crushed.
Judi: [00:36:19] Exactly. Exactly. And I realized that I don’t need to do that work in Kenya or in, you know, anywhere else that isn’t my beautiful, vibrant and challenging adopted city of San Francisco. So, you know..
Eve: [00:36:39] It’s been delightful. Thank you so much for joining me.
Judi: [00:36:41] Yes, thank you, Eve.
Eve: [00:36:45] That was Judi Lynn Brown. Judi hates scale. Her ambition is to remain hyper local, digging into the minutia of each community she works with. She doesn’t see any other way to continue building on the work she’s doing, human centered community engagement.
Eve: [00:37:08] You can find out more about this episode or others you might have missed on the show notes page at EvePicker.com, or you can support us at Patreon.com/rethinkrealestate for the price of a cup of coffee. A special thanks to David Allardice for his excellent editing of this podcast and original music. And thanks to you for spending your time with me today. We’ll talk again soon. But for now, this is Eve Picker signing off to go make some change.
Images courtesy of Judi Lynn Brown and CivicMakers