Front Porch Forum
P.O. Box 64781
Burlington, VT 05406-4781
"It's very much about relationships . . . it's the lack of civic engagement . . . our work is showing us that if you help people solve that problem, what starts to happen is they start to seek information to get involved in making decisions in their local community."
Michael Wood-Lewis, in April, 2009 interview.
"Helping neighbors connect:" Private web- and email-based news communities for 130 neighborhoods in and near Burlington, Vt.
Download/play QuickTime video
Private online communities among neighbors thrive around Burlington, Vt.
By Bill Densmore
Michael Wood-Lewis took undergraduate engineering and graduate business degrees, added a dash of career experience running non-profits, and then formed Front Porch Forum, in Burlington, Vt. Now the service has expanded to dozens of communities throughout Chittenden County.
In a 30-minute interview video interview with the Media Giraffe Project's Bill Densmore , conducted at a Bennington, Vt., restaurant on Jan. 28, 2010, Wood-Lewis explains why he started FPF, why it's a for-profit, and why its more than 12,000 users use it, how he makes a living, and how he could see FPF expanding elsewhere.
Download slides of Wood-Lewis' Jan. 28, 2010 talk in Bennington, Vt.
- In Dec, 2009, Wood-Lewis proposed a grant-funded project to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. View his public application HERE. If that doesn't work, try HERE.
- Wood-Lewis provided this excerpted statement about himself in 2008 to the Case Foundation:
"My wife, Valerie Wood-Lewis, and I, Michael Wood-Lewis, have always been active in community. She is a public school teacher (on leave now) with a Master of Education degree. My career has covered varied ground... inventor, writer, manager, entrepreneur. Most recently, I was the executive director of a three-state trade association (25 employees) for five years. We both have been active in various organizations, on boards, etc. She was a "teacher of the year" in Washington, DC prior to our settling in Vermont, and I was honored as Vermont father of the year in 2005. I earned an MBA and MS in engineering."