FLSE Institute Co-Sponsors

Financial Sponsors: 

The Center for Community Engaged Learning and Research


As an interdisciplinary and university-wide resource, CCELR will focus its community-based learning and research efforts in four main areas: pedagogy and curriculum, research, community development, and institutional change.  To these ends, consultation services will be available for faculty, departments, colleges, staff, community-based organizations and students who wish to develop new courses, learn innovative teaching and research strategies, and create and sustain meaningful working relationships with community partners across Ithaca, New York City, and beyond.



Entrepreneurship@Cornell works with all campus schools, colleges, and organizations to help create and promote entrepreneurship education, events, commercialization, and experiential learning opportunities. Our vision is to support a diverse group of university-wide activities that finds and fosters the entrepreneurial spirit in every Cornell participant – in every college, every field, and every stage of life. We invite you to learn more about the rich offerings of this university-wide initiative by exploring our Web site or contacting us at eship@cornell.edu.

The Iscol Family Program for Leadership Development in Public Service


This program is intended to give undergraduate students inspiration and direction in translating their knowledge, idealism, and optimism into concrete action to build better communities for families and children.

The Park Foundation


The Park Foundation is dedicated to the aid and support of education, public broadcasting, environment, and other selected areas of interest to the Park family. Scholarship programs have been established in Mr. Park’s name at the two institutions with which he was so close — Ithaca College and North Carolina State University. The two scholarship programs emphasize academic excellence, leadership, and community service — in keeping with Mr. Park's values. Public broadcasting is a particularly meaningful recipient of funding because the Foundation had its origin in the world of communications. More recently, the Foundation's interest in environmental causes has been refined to focus on issues of freshwater, particularly in the eastern United States. The Foundation also seeks to meet the basic needs of low income and underserved people in Tompkins County, NY, to alleviate the impacts of poverty, and supports efforts to help Tompkins County become a fully sustainable community – environmentally, socially and economically.


(organizations donating time, people or resources to the institute): 

Alternatives Federal Credit Union


AFCU is a regional Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) whose mission is to build wealth and create economic opportunity for underserved people and communities.

Buffalo Street Books 


The purpose of the Buffalo Street Cooperative at Buffalo Street Books is to provide an excellent bookstore to the community of Ithaca NY and the surrounding area. We believe that independent local bookstores are a valuable community resource and can serve as the heart of a vital and vibrant literary community, as well as the anchor to an economically viable downtown. The members of the Buffalo Street Books Cooperative represent a community dedicated to fostering and supporting literary arts and a love of the written word.

Building Bridges Initiative 

Building Bridges Toward Socially Just and Ecologically Sound Local Economy: A collaboration of organizations including the Dorothy Cotton Institute, Sustainable Tompkins, Natural Leaders Initiative, CCE Environment Program, Whole Community Project, CCE’s Green Jobs Program, Ithaca College’s Committed-to-Change Program, Groundswell Center, Alternatives Federal Credit Union (AFCU), the Multicultural Resource Center, Center for Transformative Action (CTA) and Dryden Solutions. The initiative identifies  “equity” as the preferred driver of both economic development and ecological sustainability, and prioritizes jobs for low-income people both in the city and in rural towns. The ultimate goals are eliminating structural poverty and racism, creating a local economy that works for everyone, and protecting the ecosystems that sustain the region. 

The Cayuga LION (Local Investing Opportunities Network)


LION is not a loan or investment fund, and it does not make collective investment decisions. Our membership consists of local citizens who want to invest their money locally, thereby putting their investing money to work within our community. Keeping funds local facilitates greater economic self-sufficiency, job growth, economic development, and a dollar-multiplier effect whereby a dollar kept within the community can be spent many times over for a far greater benefit than a dollar invested away from our community.

Challenge Industries


Challenge is dedicated to supporting individuals with disabilities and other employment barriers in developing their skills, interests and talents to meet the ever changing needs of today’s workplace and be productive and contributing members of their community. 

Cornell Design for America 



The Cornell DFA community is currently a small group of dedicated students that are all passionate about social innovation. We are all willing to go the extra mile to discover ways we can improve our lives here in Ithaca, NY.


The Cornell PopShop 


POPSHOP is a new kind of working space and learning environment. A month long experiment designed to enlist the local start-up community to do epic work in the service of making the world a better place. POPSHOP is a space for programmed exchange and chance encounters, a launchpad for start-ups and shenanigans. It’s about filling in the gaps between people, projects and disciplines; it’s about welcoming the new and making connections between seemingly unconnected things. 


eLab is a virtual incubator and accelerator dedicated to building sustainable, just and resilient local economies. eLab links our community’s time, talent, technology, and treasure in support of several vulnerable businesses initiated by low-moderate income individuals, including women and people of color.

Energy Independent Caroline 


Energy Independent Caroline is a collaborative effort between residents, Town Board, and other interested people to effectively use our natural resources to achieve energy independence from fossil fuels on a municipal & residential level. Our mission is to produce power for electricity, heat, and transportation from renewable resources. To accomplish this, we initiate renewable energy projects while educating Caroline residents about energy issues in order to build commitment to reducing energy consumption.

Finger Lakes Reuse 



Finger Lakes ReUse is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping our community benefit from reuse by reducing waste, relieving poverty, and teaching job skills. They operate a ReUse Center open to the public seven days a week (accepting and selling quality used furniture, salvaged and surplus building materials, housewares, and home electronics,) provide Deconstruction Services as a green alternative to demolition, and a computer reuse program. The eCenter accepts computers and refurbishes them for reuse.


Grants Champion


Grants Champion has helped dedicated people raise money for programs and businesses that really make a difference. Jana Jane Hexter, President of Grants Champion, has written more than fifty successful proposals and raised over $22 million for her clients in the last few years. Her clients include school districts, higher education institutions, and human service agencies throughout the U.S.

GreenStar Cooperative Market 


GreenStar Cooperative Market is a consumer-owned, democratically-run cooperative corporation, committed to providing wholesome food and quality goods to our members at the lowest practical cost, through operation of one or more retail stores and related activities. All profits are returned to the cooperative, rather than to individuals. Member labor is a significant and valued component of GreenStar's workforce.

Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming 


The Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming is an agriculture education nonprofit based in Ithaca, NY, operating under the Center for Transformative Action and EcoVillage at Ithaca and serving the broader Finger Lakes area. Our core work is nurturing the next generation of farmers and cultivating knowledgeable “food citizens” through experience-based educational programs. We inspire people and promote positive change in collaboration with, and with support from diverse donors, experienced area farmers, local educational institutions, granting agencies, a broad range of non-profit and for-profit organizations, and the efforts of dedicated volunteers. Read more here

Local First Ithaca

Local First Ithaca brings people, businesses, and organizations together to create a successful local economy that uses resources, experience, and inclusiveness to create a thriving and livable community. Read morehere

Miller Mayer 


Miller Mayer is the largest local law firm in Ithaca. Our size has allowed us to develop expertise in specialized areas and enables us to provide prompt and cost-effective services to our clients. We offer a full range of legal services typically not available in a small town firm and the same type of legal talent and skills that many “big city” firms offer, but with the advantage that we live and work in the community.

Natural Investments



Natural Investments is committed to helping motivated investors create portfolios that reflect their own social priorities and concerns, generating healthy returns while cultivating opportunities to make a difference. We combine the expertise and experience of twelve financial advisors, each of whom is walking the talk in their own personal lives, active in their communities and using sustainable technologies in their homes.


Natural Leaders Initiative 


The Natural Leaders Initiative (NLI) supports and develops one of Tompkins County's greatest untapped resources -- the large number of "everyday" or "natural" leaders working within their own families, neighborhoods and communities to build a stronger, more inclusive, more socially just and ecologically sound community for us all. 

New Roots Charter School 


New Roots Charter School is a high school in Ithaca, NY and serving students from several counties. Their vision is to empower young people as citizens and entrepreneurs that create just, democratic communities, and thriving green economies that restore the natural world that sustains us. Excelling in both traditional and innovative curriculum areas, our students will learn actively, think critically, and solve problems creatively and collaboratively, developing the knowledge and skills to redesign our communities for social, economic, and ecological sustainability. We will support all students in defining and realizing their goals and aspirations, and in recognizing their ability to take leadership in improving the lives of their families and community. We will put the best available tools-and the power of informed optimism-in the hands of tomorrow's leaders.

Peaks Over Poverty 

Referral Institute 

The Sustainable Enterprise & Entrepreneur Network (The SEEN) 


The SEEN is a growing community of businesses, organizations, and individuals working together to achieve ecological, social, and financial success. The SEEN hosts monthly events on topics relating to the triple bottom line: people, planet, and profit.

Singlebrook Technology: Technology for Change 


Singlebrook designs and develops web and mobile applications that empower their clients to make a difference. They are a certified B Corporation which means social values and sustainability are embedded in their corporate DNA. 

The Society for Social Entrepreneurship and Collaborative Action


The SSECA promotes social entrepreneurship and encourages collaborative action among change makers on Cornell's campus.

Strebel Planning Group 



The Strebel Planning Group takes a “whole person” approach to the business of money. At The Strebel Planning Group, we take the time to get to know you. Your lifestyle, family and business aspirations become the foundation of your financial plan, which guides you step-by-step toward achieving your goals. We see our role as a facilitator to help you grow, preserve and position your wealth in a way that is aligned with your core values and heartfelt goals.


Sustainable Tompkins



Sustainable Tompkins is a citizen-based organization working towards the long-term well being of our communities by integrating social equity, economic vitality, ecological stewardship, and personal and civic responsibility.


TFC Associates (Training For Change) 


TFC Associates is a consulting and training firm based in Ithaca, New York. They provide consulting services to businesses, government agencies, human service organizations, educational institutions, and community groups. TFC designs and conducts skill-building workshops, learning activities and courses in a wide variety of subject areas. We also provide meeting management and facilitation, lead planning and problem-solving processes, team building sessions, revitalizing retreats, and leadership intensives. The core of TFC’s work is in helping groups and individuals increase capacity through making connections, developing alliances, negotiating conflict and bridging differences and building skills in ways that express their values ethically and progressively while accomplishing their goals.

Think Topography 



Think Topography is an information and communications design company. Services include: project management; communication planning; business management systems; content management systems; mobile / web development; custom software; brand management; consulting services.