Community Development Society

News and Information

How We’re Reinventing Professional Networking for People who Improve Cities

By: Katie Rispoli Keaotamai, CEO, Ticco

            Our communities are facing tremendous challenges. Drastic changes in population, a lack of affordable housing, homelessness, public health crises, declining investment in infrastructure, and a loss of historic character are just a few. As community development professionals, we aim to enhance the quality of life in our communities through revitalization, services, and community programs.

            I’ve worked alongside professionals in community development for several years—most recently as a result of my collaborations with real estate developers and property owners looking to reinvest in downtown areas. In my experience, professionals in the community development space are both caring and passionate—and I want to further their impact.

            I’m proud to be introducing Ticco, a new online community for early-career professionals who are improving cities across the United States. At Ticco, we understand that in order to collectively prepare our communities for the challenges that lie ahead and address today’s obstacles, collaboration and knowledge-building is key.

            With Ticco we invite early-career professionals in fields like community development to take their networking to the next level. By reviewing applicants and only admitting individuals whose work aims to enhance life in our communities, Ticco is cultivating a network of professionals who share passions and priorities. As a result, Ticco’s network enables the next generation of leaders in community development to easily identify and collaborate with their peers across disciplines in cities nationwide.

            For example, Ticco’s functionality offers the most effective search available for professionals who work with cities and the built environment. With over 20 intersecting professions (design fields, urban planning, and historic preservation for instance) represented, Ticco allows members to search the network, filtering by name, location, profession, specialty, and personal interest. We want our members to build real relationships on Ticco—and not just collect “connections” that are superficial in nature.

            Ticco members get to know each other through Discussions, an area of the platform where our editorial team takes input from members and creates prompts which ignite thoughtful conversation and debate. Through Discussions, participants are able to truly dive into the challenges their communities are facing, and identify peers who share and expand their perspective. In addition to Discussions, Ticco plans to roll out engaging in-person gatherings—like outdoor adventures and urban explorations—for members within the year.

            With rapid technological shifts and other impending challenges, our communities will require great leadership and advocacy to succeed in the decades ahead. At Ticco, we know that it’s critical that we help today’s up-and-coming practitioners develop the skills and relationships they’ll need to lead going forward. We hope you’ll consider becoming a part of this community so we can support you in your professional journey.

Applying to Ticco

            If you have between 2 and 15 years of experience and are working in the United States, we encourage you to apply to Ticco and take advantage of our unique, cross-disciplinary networking opportunities to help form a foundation for your successful career. We’re happy to offer Community Development Society members the opportunity to apply directly by using code “SpringCDS” when prompted in our 15-minute online application through May 15, 2019.

About the Author

Katie Rispoli Keaotamai is the Founder and CEO of Ticco. Katie has spent the last seven years completing work that intersects with construction, historic preservation, urban planning, and placemaking. She has managed large-scale, complex projects and in all of her work has focused on the importance of community participation.

Prior to becoming CEO of Ticco, Katie served as Executive Director of We Are the Next where she provided programs that introduced teens and young adults to cities and the built environment. She holds a BA in Art History from California State University, Long Beach and a Master of Heritage Conservation from the School of Architecture at the University of Southern California.

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