A collaboration between the City
of Muncie, Ball State University’s Entrepreneurship Center, and
the In Place Impact Muncie Initiative has resulted in a free
class aimed at fostering innovative solutions to make a positive impact on the
Starting Sept. 13, 2022, the In Place Impact Muncie
Initiative will begin offering a free 12-week “Impact X class” taught by Christiana Mann,
assistant lecturer of hospitality innovation and leadership at Ball State; Mike
Martin, a local entrepreneur and artist; and Kory Gipson, Common Market
co-owner and community listener.
Though not college accredited, the class will be held on
Ball State’s campus. The program, which originated at the College of Charleston’s
School of Business, is specifically held at Ball State so the community feels
welcome at, and a part of, the University and its beautiful campus.
The class will ultimately help participants develop
realistic and meaningful impact-focused innovations to address social,
economic, and environmental issues within the Muncie community.
“The goal when you walk
out of the class is to have a ‘pitch deck’ that you could walk onto the set of Shark
Tank with, and be prepared to answer those tough questions,” Mr. Martin
Mr. Martin had
originally taken the Impact X class at the College of Charleston to help
formulate his Common
Market concept, located in
Muncie at Eighth Street and Hoyt Avenue. While taking this class, Mr. Martin became
acquainted with Stuart Williams, the founder and CEO of In Place Impact, and
started working on bringing Mr. Williams to Muncie to meet with city,
community, and business leaders.
With the COVID-19
pandemic in full swing, Mr. Martin and Mr. Williams began a series of virtual
meetings with city officials aimed at bringing In Place Economics to Muncie.
Mr. Williams was finally able to visit Muncie in person for the first time in
March 2022, when he invited the public to an open forum to learn about In Place
Economics. This led to Muncie mayor Dan
Ridenour agreeing to conduct an
initial “Government In Place Index,” in which the city goes through a thorough
evaluation about its inclusiveness in hiring, economic vibrancy for all
residents, and the environmental impact among many other factors designed to
take a genuine look at Muncie’s impact as a city.
“I wanted a way for
everyone to participate in the future of Muncie, and have their voice heard,”
Mayor Ridenour said. “When I say everyone, that’s what I mean. This program
helps create space for all residents to participate in the program.”
The goal of In Place
Economics is to create a circular economic model that empowers all residents of
a community. One requirement of the program—certification training for local
government officials and business owners—is now complete. Michele Owen,
communications director for the City of Muncie, was among those who completed
the training and is currently carrying out the city’s Government In Place
The other requirement for certification is the offering
of a free community class, which led to the partnership with Ball State’s
“One of the reasons that
we require that the consultants do the free community class is that this has
always been a huge barrier to entry for the most marginalized segments of a
community,” Mr. Williams said. “At the College of Charleston, where we
initially launched the program, we’ve had hundreds of people take class, and
the vast majority being minorities and women.”
will be limited for the Impact X class at Ball State. For more information about
the class and registration, email firstname.lastname@example.org.