How do you activate and inclusively connect an innovation community in a small, growing Rocky Mountain West city?


InnovateUM was designed to be a celebration of innovation in Missoula, Montana, serving as a beacon for those interested in furthering an inclusive and creative innovation economy that benefits all. Holly launched the celebration and grew its impact over the course of three years. The first year was dedicated to “turning on the light” and gathering community. The second year had a tactical focus. And the third year catalyzed the community into action!

In the third year, Holly brought a co-creation lab to the celebration. More than 180 participants, comprising a wide array of backgrounds and experiences, rolled up their sleeves to conceptualize a new innovation corridor for the community. The results were so compelling that the City of Missoula, University of Montana and Missoula Economic Partnership have decided to collaborate on an innovation ecosystem initiative called ONE, which Holly is directing, that aims to bring the corridor and much more to life.