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The Listening Project

The Listening Project: Listening to the Community, Looking for What Matters is an annual effort by ideastream to identify “the things that matter most” to residents of Northeast Ohio. It also helps ideastream monitor the role and value of its programming.

This year, ideastream is partnering with the Baldwin Wallace University Community Research Institute (“the Institute”) to augment the ideastream quarterly Listening Project surveys. The Institute will field four additional surveys using Listening Project themes and questions. The Institute’s surveys will be conducted among a representative sampling of 500 respondents from the Northeast Ohio region, spread across demographics such as age, geography, race and annual household income. The Institute will conduct analysis of the data results both of its surveys and those administered by ideastream.

The Listening Project Survey

In the past couple of years, the rise in tensions between police and minority communities, as well as growing sentiments of disenfranchisement within those communities, has brought greater awareness to the disparities faced by people living in different parts of Northeast Ohio. As a result, racism and segregation has become one of the top six community challenges brought up by residents in the 2015 Listening Project survey.

Beyond policing issues, what other factors are fueling these sentiments? ideastream would like to know what you think about issues of race and segregation in Northeast Ohio.

Take the survey now!


Yearly Reports

ideastream was formed in 2001 to “strengthen our communities” - a mission that depends on dedicated listening to the people of Northeast Ohio. Every year, ideastream has carried out The Listening Project to find out what matters most to area residents. Through a series of surveys and conversation forums, The Listening Project elicits the ideas, hopes, frustrations, and points of pride of hundreds of participants. This feedback is used to shape the content, programs, and services that ideastream delivers to the community.

Neighborhood Connections Food Discussion

On December 3, 2015, Civic Commons ideastream® held a community discussion focusing on food options across Northeast Ohio at "Neighbor Up," a Neighborhood Connections hosted gathering of community members to exchange ideas and discuss challenges in the area.

Collinwood Food Options

ideastream met with residents of the Collinwood neighborhood of Cleveland to talk about the good and the bad about diet and food in their community.

Summer 2015 – Community Perception

This Listening Project survey took place from July 1 – September 30, 2015, and focused on a challenge consistently mentioned in previous Listening Project Assets and Challenges surveys: Northeast Ohio residents’ negative perception of the region. Despite sharing many similar attributes to other post-industrial cities, Northeast Ohioans feel that their fellow residents are particularly down on their region with a lack of pride in the community. This survey was designed to dig deeper into this phenomenon and attempt to understand the root causes of this negative self-perception.

Healthy People, Places and Future: Summit County | July 29, 2015

July 29, 2015

Community leaders gathered to discuss issues and topics regarding health in Summit County. [View the Cuyahoga County discussion here.] Panelists on this Listening Project panel discussion include:

Healthy People, Healthy Places, Healthy Future

June 15, 2015

Community leaders gathered to discuss issues and topics regarding health in Cuyahoga County. [View the Summit County discussion here.] Panelists on this discussion include:

Spring 2015 - Assets and Challenges

This Listening Project survey took place from April 1 – June 30, 2015, and was a reprisal of the Summer 2014 survey; it focused again on regional assets and challenges in addition to participants’ personal assets and challenges. The survey garnered 150 respondents (compared to 105 respondents in Summer 2014) who answered four questions. Participants responded to four questions, with each question seeking the top five responses. Because of this format, this survey did not generate written comments and quotations from participants to be included.

The Listening Project | April 16, 2015

Community leaders gathered to discuss issues and topics regarding education in Northeast Ohio. Panelists on this Listening Project panel discussion include:

- David James, Superintendent, Akron Public Schools

- Carlos Latimer, Assistant to the Director for Internal and External Affairs, Cleveland Public Library

Spring 2014 - Parks and Lake

This Listening Project survey took place from April 1 - June 30, 2014 and focused on the region’s green spaces and natural resources. The survey garnered 130 respondents who answered 13 questions. For a number of questions, respondents selected a response from a series of multiple-choice options and had the opportunity to provide additional responses in comments sections. For other questions, respondents rated the importance of each option within a set of options for the given question. And, for a couple of questions, respondents wrote in responses.