Cross-posted from

An AccelerateUs: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Local Industrial Revolution conversation. 

How do you get the news about your local businesses out to everyone when everything changes every day?  How do you keep a few hundred business owners up to date on a fire hose stream of new regulations, new requirements, new procedures and ever-changing health information.  And how do you do all that when you have only yourself on staff… and you’re part time?

Theodora Skeadas, Executive Director of Cambridge Local First, did that by leveraging technology and building airtight systems for managing it.



You can watch our conversation above, or listen to it on Soundcloud here.  You can also pick up this and other AccelerateUs interviews on Stitcher or Spotify as part of the Building a Wise Local Economy podcast.  This conversation does include a good deal of screen-sharing, so the video might be more helpful.

Theo is one of my newest colleagues, but you can’t meet her and not be impressed.  This interview gives you a great dose of her energy, her calm determination and her ability to do impressive things, fast.  It also gives you a good look at:

  • A new software platform that made posting and maintaining a live map-based directory of businesses and what kinds of services they are offering a whole lot easier than some of us might have expected
  • A great tool for combating the complaint that “there’s nothing open!”
  • A really effective system for maintaining about the most transparent web-based community update process I’ve seen anywhere.

You can learn more about Cambridge Local First, and see the live business directory, here.  You can learn more about OpenDataSoft, the company that powers the directory, here.

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