Soft Landing for Coal
Since the fall semester 2013, the group has been engaged in developing an alternative scenario building format for taking the highest aspirations of the state-led Save Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) initiative beginning with the Easter Kentucky Summit held on December 8, 2013 at the Pikeville (KY) Exhibition Center. Through op/ed pieces by members, Michael Childress, Richard S. Levine, and Ernie Yanarella, and Shaunna Scott, the joint working group contributed to widening the scope of policy discourse and policy alternatives to conventional economic development thinking focused on Eastern Kentucky (and the larger Appalachian region). Working from the Mont Fleur Scenarios project developed by an international body of scholars and policy analysts for South Africa in the post-apartheid era, the joint working group worked assiduously to adapt and contextualize both that project and the framework underlying the Soft Landing for Coal game to Eastern Kentucky’s conditions and coal industry legacy. It is anticipated by the end of AY 2013-14, the group will have a working prototype of its Alternative Scenario Building program completed and ready to test out and utilize in an Eastern Kentucky community whose participation in at least two forums will be negotiated over the summer months.