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Building ASC, including the construction of this website and its accompanying features is a collaborative effort.  Please help by communicating what you would like added to the website here.  Volunteer to help develop the website here.

Consistent with ASC philosophy and values, ASC is building this website and developing its technologies collaboratively, in response to the needs and interests of our community members.  Consequently, this website’s architecture, content, and features may change frequently and unevenly, especially as we begin its development.


ASC is a laboratory for participatory democracy.  ASC seeks to achieve a society where the people are confident there is “nothing about us without us.”  To achieve that goal, ASC is an innovative think-tank for the study of collaboration and a vehicle for the application of emergent collaborative approaches to address social conditions most in need of improvement.


A SMART Collaboration LLC (ASC) is a Pennsylvania Public Benefit Limited Liability Company formed in January 2019.  ASC originated in 2018 as an initiative of the Green Justice Philly coalition of environmental justice organizations formed in response to the Philadelphia Energy Solutions restructuring of the Philadelphia refinery in 2012.


ASC is individuals, organizations, and proto-organizations that seek to empower people through innovative collaboration.  We are everyone who acts in good faith to understand and accommodate fairly the needs and desires of all stakeholders within our community.  We hope that we are you.

We “walk our talk” by explicitly identifying our shared values and applying those values in the ways we interact with intentionality to reach out to those whose interests or philosophies may conflict but who are willing to engage in search of common cause for community benefit. 


What is a “proto-organization?”

A “proto-organization” is a group that works together for a shared purpose but does so without operating within a formal legal structure.  

  • Transitional proto-organizations are early-stage organizations that have not yet taken legal steps necessary for their intended formation.  For example, a business enterprise may be a “company-in-formation” proto-organization during the time when arrangements are made for attracting management and financing prior to incorporation or completion of a partnership agreement before taking the venture forward.  
  • Situational proto-organizations exist when a project is delayed or blocked by external forces.  For example, because Mayor Kenney has not yet made appointments to the initial Philadelphia Public Financial Authority (PPFA) board of directors, the City Solicitor cannot file with the PA Secretary of State to incorporate the PPFA.
  • Intentional proto-organizations choose not to become a legal entity.  For example, the Green Justice Philly coalition of environmental justice organizations for which ASC began as an initiative never wanted or needed to become anything other than a coalition.  The Philadelphia Public Banking Coalition has not found reason to formalize itself.  In the tradition of Benjamin Franklin, Philadelphia has a long history of informal citizen collaboration.

ASC supports proto-organizations of all three types by providing platforms for collaborative activities, access to technologies, and practical guidance regarding best practices.  ASC members may use such ASC resources to enhance their capacities.

ASC also engages in research and development for understanding and promoting the potentials of proto-organizations.  All ASC members are encouraged to participate is these meta-efforts, separate from their collaborations to achieve specific goals or to further a movement.


ASC provides to everyone without charge its tools, frameworks, and platforms to assist collaborations.  Individuals and proto-organizations are invited to use ASC resources for free.  ASC member-volunteers will provide assistance to the extent they are available.

ASC demonstrates and develops these collaborative techniques by pursuing selected collaborative initiatives.  Such initiatives may be supportive of activities led by organizations other than ASC, for example, the PPFA Working Group.  Or, an initiative may include a project originated by ASC, like the City Council Public Comment experiment.

ASC is directed by the interests of its members and informed by its practical experience to research, develop, and disseminate information and knowledge related to collaboration.  Lessons learned and ideas shared then become part of the resources employed by ASC initiatives and shared with everyone.


Whoever you are, whatever your situation, you can make a difference for your community by being a part of ASC.  You can learn about the ASC direct Initiatives and the work of the groups that are using the ASC collaboration resources, and you can become engaged in those campaigns and movements.  You can start and lead your own collaborative effort, thereby creating another case study that adds to the ASC knowledge bank.

You can register your membership in ASC, thereby joining the ASC community and standing for collaborative approaches.  You can join the evolving conversations about everything related to the ASC values, mission, vision, and theory of change.


And, of course, any donations you can make to support the work of ASC or for an ASC initiative will be greatly appreciated.


ASC wants to nurture broad collaborations.  We value inclusion and diversity.  Since collaborations are based on relationships, we want at the table interested people of all ages, genders, races, national origins, educational backgrounds, life experiences, economic conditions, sexual orientations, and political persuasions.

Nevertheless, a group formed by ASC members defines its own participants, their roles, and their collaborative processes.  ASC provides opportunities for people to work together and tools to make such work efficient and effective, but ASC does not dictate what a collaboration does or how it operates.  

ASC promotes purposive activity as distinct from social networking.  While a spirit of comradeship is a desirable byproduct, ASC work is directed toward achieving practical goals rather than enriching the social life of our participants.  ASC is action oriented.

Each ASC initiative is clear about its overarching purpose and its specific goals. 

“Power to the people” is our goal, and ASC works to put power in the hands of its members so they can change our community.  “Knowledge is power;” so, ASC helps people acquire and share authoritative information.  “A seat at the table” is essential for meaningful public participation; so, ASC promotes collaborative engagement.  “Nothing about us without us” is demanded by the people; so, ASC facilitates inclusive decision making processes.  ASC believes that legitimacy is built on shared knowledge, meaningful participation, and collaborative decision making.

What We're Working

Regardless of Your Background, we Have a Diverse Set of Initiatives to Get Involved With!
PPFA Working Group

The PPFA (Philadelphia Public Financial Authority) is a prospective organization authorized by Ordinance #210956-A on March 17, 2022.  The PPFA is intended to be a precursor to a public bank. The PPFA is designed to identify and close gaps in the availability of credit and capital for historically and currently disadvantaged communities.

The PPFA Working Group is designing programs and policies to achieve the goals for democratizing money in Philadelphia.  We seek to nurture a financial ecosystem that provides monetary resources on fair terms to underserved stakeholders.

Tukhone Preserve

"Tukhone" is a Leni Lenape word that means "the bend in the river."  The Tukone Initiative seeks to preserve for nature the land within the bend at the western bank of the Lower Schuylkill River south of the Passyunk Avenue bridge.  Hilco owns 80 acres of land here that cannot be developed commercially because of contamination from the former refinery.

The spirit of Tukhone is preservation and restoration of urban habitat that is an equitable archipelago for people within a healthy environment.


"CAMP" is the "Community Air Quality Monitoring Program" Initiative.  Citizen science empowers concerned people to perceive their environmental conditions more accurately.  ASC seeks to democratize information and enable people to "see the invisible."

ASC is focusing on the neighborhoods adjacent to the former refinery where people were subject to industrial pollution for generations.   NIH and EPA grants provide resources for air quality monitoring by CAMP in Grays Ferry.

Public Participation

"Nothing about us without us" is a slogan that expresses a passionate desire for a seat at the table.  ASC wants to make meaningful public participation our lived experience.

As critical as representative democracy is for our society, participatory democracy is just as important.  ASC sees opportunities for collaboration instead of confrontation.

Despite active public opposition by the environmental justice (EJ) community, Air Management Services (AMS) issued an operating permit for SEPTA to build a power plant in Nicetown, thereby violating the civil rights of people for the corrupt benefit of the fossil fuel industry.  Renewal of the permit is the subject of an AMS virtual hearing on July 27, 2023.  Join the EJ community in seeking meaningful public participation in the permitting process.

SMART Collaboration

Collaboration is our shared interest.  People working together is the essence of society.  So everybody collaborates all the time in many ways.

Nevertheless, collaboration is challenging.  How can we collaborate most efficiently and effectively?  How can we collaborate in ways that are "SMART?"  How can ASC facilitate its own collaborations and nurture the collaborations of others?

Join the ASC conversation.  Explore the intellectual challenges.  Design the practical applications.

Financial Freedom For All

The PPFA Paves the Path Forward for Equal Financial Opportunities to Foster Success & Long-Term Growth for Everyone.

*Currently in Development, We’ve Gotten Started on Bringing the Right People Together to Create the Change we Need.
Active Board Nominees

25 of the Most Talented and Experienced Figures Providing the Insight we Need to Transform the PPFA from Vision to Reality.

Volunteers & Activists

Through Rallies, Conferences, Protests, and More, Our Community has Come Together to Let Our Government know We Demand Change.


For a Cleaner Community

The Tukhona Reserve is Focused on Preserving the Nature of Philadelphia, Creating a Sanctuary Environment for Future Generations to Cherish and Enjoy.

* The Environment is a Precious Commodity that is Limited – We have to Go Above and Beyond Now to Preserve What’s Left for the Future. 
Volunteers joined the cause
Ways to Support & Work on Our Mission

Learn More About the Tukhona Reserve, and What We're Doing to Ensure It's Future. Volunteers and Donors are More than Welcome!


Seeing the Invisible

We get Weather Reports, Daily News, and Constant Information Directly to Us through Social Media & Technology. But Where is the Information on the Very Air we Breathe? Seeing the Invisible Helps Answer that Question, Providing Our City with Vital Information on the Health of our Atmosphere and Environment - Making Sure that We Are Safe, and Have Breathable, Healthy Air to Sustain Our and Nature's Lives into the Future.

This is a Research Project Lead by Peter Winslow & Team at Drexel University. Learn More About how to Get Involved and Push the Needle Forward on Informing our Community on Important Health Hazards & Risks. 
Money in Federal Grants
Researchers & Volunteers

New Era of Democratic Collaboration


Save Lives,
Save the Community

We can always use a helping hand - get in contact with us to help us create a closer, happier community!


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