• Robert Thelen

Proud Husband Part-1

My beautiful wife, Sarah, has been far too busy to post recently, but I wanted to brag a little about what she has been working on recently.


First, she has been working with a very cool non-profit, Forward Cities. They are focused on helping medium sized cities across the US use data to help their citizens live better lives. Sarah is working on helping create an asset map for one of their newer partner cities. Working hard to help EVERYONE get a great job, start a business (if they want), and build a better future for their family.

Forward Cities is a national learning network of cities committed to advancing inclusive innovation and economic development in their communities. Launched in 2014, Forward Cities started in partnership with four cities: Cleveland, Detroit, New Orleans, and Durham. It built on this work with a similar multi-city learning collaborative in North Carolina called InnovateNC and through a recent merger with CEOs for Cities, a seminal U.S. urban leadership network, Forward Cities has grown to a network of over 30 member cities nationally and expanded its capacity-building, convening, and communications support for cities.

In addition, she is working with Duke University and building out a new rubric for admission to their MPP program. For this, Sarah is using her Human Centered Design chops to get ideas and turn them into actions. She has interviewed SO many people to help figure out WHAT Sanford (the MPP school) IS and WHO do they want to admit. What is really cool about this work is that it is a problem EVERY company and EVERY organization has - Who makes an ideal recruit.


Also, Sarah is working at least 5-10 hours a week on Rownd, our crazy start up. She keeps us honest and directs our community relations and research aims. She helped us get the Innovate Durham opportunity where she is our representative to the Durham Fleet management department!


That all does not include the fact that she is 5.5 months pregnant, working on getting all of the baby stuff organized, building a house, riding and caring for a horse, and being a loving wife/wonderful person!


Part 2 coming soon ! (preview: Sarah's work to end Veteran homelessness)




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