The mayor of Peoria constituted the Peoria Sustainability Commission (PSC) in late 2008 with the mission “To transform Peoria into a community that promotes social equity, green economy, and a healthy environment through policy development, incentives, and initiatives to sustain a quality way of life.” The Commission utilized a unique breakthrough model, which brought together members from diverse backgrounds, functions, expertise, and viewpoints to form a shared vision. The group started with fewer than ten leaders within the community but has now grown to more than 30 members and continues to attract the movers and shakers in the region. The PSC was divided into six subcommittees, which formulated ideas and recommendations targeted towards improving sustainability for their focus areas and enlisting the help of the business community. The Peoria model diverges from traditional models in that it deployed actionable strategy and eliminates silos inherent in most commissions. The core objective was to develop an action plan, commission structure, and seeking feedback and guidance from stakeholders to inspire new ways of thinking. The critical changes identified included moving the PSC focus from a local Peoria-centric model to a regional model and to modify the Commission structure to cross-functional teams to better adapt to future development in the social, environmental and economic areas. The action plan, structure, targets, and PSC achievements are presented in this paper.
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