Asheville is poised to be a center for sustainability innovation

ASHEVILLE, NC – Today North Carolina management consulting firm InnovoGraph is launching Sustain NC – a community innovation group defining and tracking regional progress through research and strategy. Sustain Asheville and Sustain WNC will have local and regional focus.

Sustainability-oriented innovation addressing climate change and human opportunity is adds critical value to state economies. Sustain NC reforms our innovation assumptions, adding to North Carolina’s past community welfare record and other trend-setting strategic innovation examples our state has produced, like the North Carolina Progress Board and more recently, GroWNC.

Asheville management consulting firm InnovoGraph has proposed a sustainability-oriented innovation platform backed by an online social business environment and in-person activities. This solution will support the Asheville and larger Western North Carolina innovation and opportunity ecosystem (IOE). Given the Paris climate talks and UN Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, sustainability-oriented innovation represents a major new market. For example, the International Energy Agency reported last year the global transition to clean energy alone would cost $44 trillion and save $115 trillion in avoided fuel costs by 2050.


Here are some current InnovoGraph programs and Sustain NC projects in development:


Smart Grid DEEP / Smart Cities & Towns – North Carolina’s Smart Grid, Distributed Energy, and Efficiency Program and Smart Cities infrastructure renewal program.


Open Strategic Innovation for Communities (OSIC) – OSIC supports online and face-to-face community innovation covering any program or project development tasks.


SustainLeaders – a professional development and awards program.


Asheville City Center – Design thinking initiative around the City of Asheville properties across from the Basilica of St. Lawrence… and there’s also the Catholic Diocese property on the 100 block of Haywood Street.


Swannanoa Leadership OSI Tournament / Swannanoa 2025 – Request the Sustain NC article “Passenger rail to Asheville? Add more value with sustainability innovation” to see one set of potential community innovations for Swannanoa, NC.


Asheville Sustainable Tourism Strategy – Sustainable Tourism Strategy has many applications in cities like Asheville. Passenger rail to Asheville is one of the sustainability systems thinking linkages as most tourists are currently driving here.


Sustain Asheville – Each NC city and town would have a Sustain Charlotte or Sustain Weaverville program management office or contact.


Sustain Western NC, Sustain Central NC, and Sustain Eastern NC – The NC Federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities programs that ran between 2010 and 2013 like GroWNC plus regional municipal planning organizations and clean air agencies provide baselines for these regional sustainability innovation centers of excellence.


These combinations of community innovation are meant to add citizen weight accelerating sustainability innovation (new value creation) into every aspect of North Carolina civilization. Sustain Asheville and Sustain WNC targets the western part of the state, however there is no reason there can’t be Sustain Central and Sustain Eastern groups to better connect North Carolina around our strategic outcomes.

Sustain North Carolina’s people and our necessary environmental services, now and for the future.


About the Sustain NC Developer

Grant Millin is the Sustain NC Innovator. Grant Millin is a management consultant and owner of InnovoGraph LLC. InnovoGraph offers strategic innovation services. Grant was the North Carolina project manager for the historic Hydrogen Road Tour. His family owned Asheville’s once historic T.S. Morrison & Co. general store during the 1980’s.

Grant has a Master of Project Management and Master of Entrepreneurship degree including studies for an MBA with Western Carolina University. He has a BA Interdisciplinary Studies, Independent Degree in Sustainability and Security Studies from UNC Asheville. He is a GroWNC consortium member, City of Asheville Community Energy Plan task force member, as well as a Leadership Asheville graduate:



Contact: Grant Millin, Innovation Strategist and Owner

InnovoGraph LLC – Strategic Innovation Services and Management Consulting



                        InnovoGraph makes strategic innovation work.


Posted in Asheville, Climate Change Innovation, Innovation and Opportunity Ecosystem, Open Strategic Innovation for Communities.