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Livability Lab – Muskegon’s 100 Day Challenge


On September 10th, the Community Health Innovation Region (CHIR) will convene Livability Lab, Muskegon’s 100-Day Challenge, a day-long Summit. We are calling together individuals and groups from every sector throughout our county to mobilize around a common vision. We have chosen as our vision the ability for all residents to have the opportunity to achieve economic self-sufficiency to ensure that our community will not only thrive, but that all residents and families have the opportunity to individually prosper. It is, an audacious vision.

The United Way’s new ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed) report and Mercy Health’s recent Community Health Needs Assessment, reflect that fully 45% of local residents either live in poverty or struggle daily to meet basic needs while working multiple jobs. The Summit is an opportunity to come together and not only identify but initiate strategies that confront barriers to upward mobility and well-being for our residents and growth for local business and enterprise. There are many factors: educational achievement, health, transportation and others that have separated us as a community.


The 100-Day Challenge is a best practice approach used to initiate community change. The process aligns around a specific vision and then identifies all of the various factors that get in the way of achieving that vision. Our goal is to engage a diverse group of local stakeholders and residents who will pursue solutions to these barriers. The barriers themselves are identified by reviewing local data and engaging in community conversations.

Teams will be formed around individual challenges that emerge from Summit discussions. These teams will work together to define, design and take action to achieve ambitious and measureable results. The Challenge process allows participants to create innovation – to use the opportunity to address issues that we know exist but too often don’t have the time or ability to confront. Each team will be asked to schedule a bi-weekly series of rapid-response meetings over the following 100 day period after the Summit concludes. During the 100 days, groups will target solutions and initiate strategies to address their chosen barrier issue (root cause). Each team will receive staff support as well as some resources to assist their process.

At the completion of the 100-day period, we will reconvene in December for a second one-day Summit Celebration event. At this event, each action team will be asked to report out on their progress. The Muskegon CHIR will be inviting local and state funders and investors to join us at the second Summit – particularly where the goals of funders or investors might align with the strategies teams bring forward.


Muskegon is going through a transformative period that presents an important opportunity for all of us to lean in during this important time of change. The 100-Day Challenge:

  • Takes on issues that get in the way of community-wide success;
  • Creates a safe, community led “innovation zone” to experiment with new ideas and get results!
  • Creates energy, capacity and momentum so we are able to tackle the big issues;
  • Supports the emergence of new leaders for our community;
  • Deepens local collaboration to achieve a greater good.


To support the 100-Day Challenge, CHIR leadership we will be working again with the Michigan State-based ABLe Change design team. From launch to report-out, our staff will work with you to support team processes and report meeting notes into and through a common framework. Throughout the process we will be identifying data and also best national practices to help each team move forward. Team members will also receive an ABLe-developed participant launch guide as well as other materials to inform the process and help your team achieve success.


Want to get involved?

  • Now and through the summer we will be busy interviewing stakeholders and residents about the process – invite us to a staff meeting or let’s talk one-on-one about the Challenge. We are anxious to answer questions and to get your input on barriers that you’ve identified and possible ideas for change!
  • Complete a CHIR Vision Feedback Questionnaire (see how to information below).
  • Share data – do you have a survey or material that you believe could inform our process? Please share!
  • Circle the date and come out and participate in the launch in September.
  • Join a challenge team or invite a member of your staff or colleagues to participate.
  • Lead a challenge team. Do you have an idea – an innovation that fits the goal? We are looking for seed teams to start the process early or, for individuals interested in leading a team.

Want to know more about the Livability Lab and how you can get involved and complete a survey?   Please reach out to Vondie 231.571.3889, or Michael Ramsey 231.672.3234 with any and all questions – we look forward to working with you!