The Indiana Communities Institute, through the ICI Academy, offers a variety of training options including: short, free webinars; more in-depth online or hybrid workshops; and in-person courses. Our training is rooted in research, focused on policy, and proven through practice. ICI, using hands-on educational experiences, aims to help community leaders address modern planning and development challenges in pursuit of building stronger, more sustainable neighborhoods, towns, cities, and regions. 

See below for more information on our ICI Academy offerings. Please check back often for updates or sign up for our e-newsletter. For a complete list of upcoming events, visit our calendar.

One-Hour Webinars

The thought of wealth conjures many typical images, but in the context of communities the concept goes far beyond fast cars and private planes. Every community is filled with resources related to eight different capitals. The Comprehensive Community Wealth Approach is a theoretical model that can support practical efforts to map assets, identify issues, prioritize goals, and allocate resources in support of people-first and place-based community economic development.

Get to know the types of wealth in your community and consider how various decisions impact them now and in the future.

NOTE: The January 27 Comprehensive Community Wealth Approach, An Introduction webinar is full, but you can join our waiting list for that day’s event by contacting Angie Popplewell at apopplewell@bsu.edu. Due to the strong demand, we have also added a second CCWA Intro session. You can register to attend the newly-scheduled April session below.

This session is a preview of two in-depth and in-person workshops on local finance scheduled for late summer/early fall. Indiana Local Government Finance, Parts 1 and 2 are sequential trainings covering the mechanics of Indiana taxation and how it relates to community economic development.

Topics include: spending, rates, levies, revenues, incentives, and budgets. Begin making sense, especially during these uncertain times, of tax dollars and community budgets during the one-hour webinar.

  • February 5, 2021 | 10-11 a.m. Eastern Time | Online Webinar

    This session is currently full.

Data is important, but knowing where to find it and how to best use and share it can be a daunting undertaking. Our series on data provides a helpful equation for avoiding pitfalls and maximizing information in pursuit of comprehensive community economic development.

The webinars include the following:

Digging for Data: How to Find Relevant Data

Deciphering Data: How to Interpret and Contextualize Data

Designing Data: How to Use GIS to Tell a Story with Data

Community economic development is a wide-ranging and dynamic practice pursued by a variety of organizations. Organizational Leadership, scheduled for July, is an opportunity for community economic developers to explore how their organization functions within the larger ecosystem. It also examines how effective your organization is at using capital, human, and infrastructural resources while considering how organizations and individuals can have an even greater impact.

This session provides a preview of the upcoming workshop and plants the seeds for additional discussion.

Every community has a story. Why it matters and how it’s told relates to concepts such as engagement, pride, and place attachment. A good story is authentic and integrated—it impacts residents and influences visitors.

What is your community’s story? Consider the possibilities during this one-hour webinar.

Engaging community members is more important, and more challenging, than ever. Simply hosting a town hall or settling for insights from the usual suspects no longer suffices.

This webinar provides rationale for inclusivity in community economic development and offers innovative and safe ways to effectively seek opinions while maximizing interest.

Whether just beginning a career within the broad field of community economic development or a long-time practitioner, the tools deployed during this course will help participants recognize their own unique working style and evaluate their professional strengths. The expert-guided process, centered on CliftonStrengths, allows honest exploration of current and future career opportunities to ensure full talent maximization.

This course involves five (5) online modules: four modules completed individually in advance (during March) and one “live” session involving the entire cohort (April 7). Included in the introductory price of $195 is the book (StrengthsFinder 2.0), assessment, videos, materials, and analysis.

  • Four Individual Modules and One Live Session with Cohort | $195 - Includes Book and Course Resources 
    March 2021 | Individual Sessions | Online on Your Own
    April 7, 2021 | Live Session with Cohort | 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Eastern Time
  • Available spots now full. Representatives from IARC, ILARC, and MAR should contact Geoff Schomacker (gbschomacker@bsu.edu).

This day-long, online, and interactive session is designed to give community economic development organizations a home-field advantage when it comes to addressing housing issues. A trendy topic, housing policy is often considered within a limiting geographic scope and/or without proper quality of life context. Tips, tools, and guidance for how to address housing needs through a regional approach and broader-based strategy are shared. Thanks to generous support from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, this training is offered and no cost. 

 

  • June 8, 2021 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Eastern Time | Online Workshop -
  • Register now, Free Event:   This workshop is now FULL.    Please email Angie Popplewell @ acpopplewell@bsu.edu to be placed on a waiting list 

There is a lot of talk about community resiliency in the face of disaster. What if a community could not only survive a crisis, but thrive in its wake? This series of three online workshops shares lessons learned from COVID-19 and other challenges in hopes of enabling efforts to not just bounce back after a disastrous episode, but bounce back better.

 

Disaster Financial Resiliency for Local Units is led by faculty from Ball State's Miller College of Business and other experts with public-private financing experience. It is focused on local public fiscal resiliency. The session will offer a history and the mechanics associated with financial management during, after, and before the next crisis. 

 

Disaster Resiliency Leadership for Local Units is led by experts with experience in local and state government disaster response.  They'll offer insights on what can be done at the beginning of a crisis to start the recovery process, the language and players involved in disaster response and recovery, and practices to prepare for the next crisis. 

 

Disaster Resiliency Communication for Local Units -

This session will focus on the power of messaging during a crisis, how to integrate partner communications, and the steps toward being prepared for the next disaster. 


Organizational leadership is an opportunity for community economic developers to explore how their organization functions within the larger ecosystem. It also examines how effective your organization is at using capital, human, and infrastructural resources while considering how organizations and individuals can have an even greater impact. This is a hybrid workshop and includes a one-day, in-person session augmented by pre-work done online. Thanks to generous support from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, Organizational Leadership is offered at a reduced rate of $25 (to cover the cost of food).

 

Offered annually for more than 35 years, our week-long Indiana Economic Development Course—the official “basic course” for the International Certified Economic Developer Certification—offers intensive training in the basic concepts, methods, and strategies of economic, industrial, business, entrepreneurial, workforce, and community development. It is a comprehensive educational experience in the theory and practice of holistic approaches to building and sustaining vibrant communities.    Learn More

Indiana Local Government Finance Part 1 is the first of two sequential trainings covering the mechanics of Indiana local government taxes and spending and how it relates to community economic development. This two-day course is designed to give the staff in any kind of organization involved in community economic development a functional understanding of local public finance. The special discounted rate, made possible in partnership with the Economic Development Administration, includes instruction, materials, and provided meals. Day 1 will be from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm and Day 2 will be from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

 

November 15-16, 2021 | Ball State University Alumni Center, Muncie, Indiana | $50 (normally $395 and made available at a discounted rate in partnership with the Economic Development Administration) Register Now: https://commerce.cashnet.com/BALL_EMS030

 

Indiana Local Government Finance Part 2 is the second of two sequential trainings covering the mechanics of Indiana local government taxes and spending and how it relates to community economic development. This two-day course is designed build off of the first session and dig deeper into topics related to budgets, rates, development incentives, and more. The special discounted rate, made possible in partnership with the Economic Development Administration, includes instruction, materials, and provided meals. Day 1 will be from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm and Day 2 will be from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

 

January 19-20, 2022 | Ball State University Alumni Center, Muncie, Indiana | $50 (normally $395 and made available at a discounted rate in partnership with the Economic Development Administration) Register Now:  https://commerce.cashnet.com/BALL_EMS030

 

This new course provides an introduction to local and regional government and opportunities for community development. More information will be added soon.

  • Coming 2022

Economic and demographic shifts continually and increasingly test communities of all sizes. To remain relevant and to thrive, community leaders must tackle challenges and pursue opportunities in a comprehensive and creative way. These ongoing changes and the need for new approaches demonstrate the value of community development. It is necessary for community leadership, both official and unofficial, to undertake the training required to build capacity and help pursue strategies that put people and places first. 

Experts with decades of community development experience lead participants through seven core sessions over 2.5 days with exercises and conversations facilitated throughout. This training is designed for elected officials, community leaders, engaged citizens, and anyone who is passionate about where they live and dedicated to making it even better.

Questions?

For inquiries about any of our course offerings, please contact us