In today’s crowded digital marketplace, innovation is needed to help ensure good ideas win. LGND is striving to do just that. With an elite team of world class communication, design, and technology experts, LGND is working to transform the way we consume information on a national scale.
The founders Mike Aleo and Matt Lockwood are hyper-qualified. Mike was the Art Director for the Obama Administration and Matt was Chief of Staff for Google Maps and Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s speechwriter. In partnership with Patrick Sims of Hamilton Place Strategies and Andrew Dolan of DC-based incubator called 1776, they combined their respective backgrounds in policy, design, communication and technology to form an agency that is able to translate complex issues and ideas into stories that resonate across a broad spectrum of audiences.
The project that brought the team together was the Distressed Communities Index (DCI)—a geographic representation of communities left behind in the economic recovery. The DCI used data analysis, mapping technology and interactive visualization to help people understand and compare the health of communities around the country based on a set of economic metrics.
A viral response to the tool and its insights—including a feature on the front page of the New York Times and over a thousand articles around the country—was critical in building the legislative momentum and pressure that resulted in the passage of the Investing in Opportunity Act as a part of 2017’s broader tax reform package. The legislation gives those same distressed communities visualized in the DCI a mechanism for attracting private investment needed to spur economic vitality and growth across the country.
Following the success of the DCI, the LGND founders knew they had something special. So, in order to scale their vision, they began recruiting strategic partners. Impact Hub’s own Mary Spacapan was quickly enlisted to oversee the creative team—working with Mike to design and implement the firm’s creative vision and strategy.
While many agency teams working on national policy are based exclusively in Washington, D.C., LGND has developed a model that enables them to leverage the strategic and creative talents of experts across the country—Mary directs the creative team from her HQ in Santa Barbara, California. “Working remotely allows me to leverage my experiences to tell the stories of people in communities around the world and to inspire meaningful connections between people and policy,” Mary said.
This innovative approach has enabled Mary and the rest of the LGND team across the country to work on projects with massive national reach and scale. The company’s work has been featured in Times Square through the project they created for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s project, Food Truck Nation; they’ve helped synthesize and bring to life data and recommendations on the nation’s opioid epidemic for the National Academies of Sciences; they were honored with the task of creating the keynote speech and accompanying visuals for the opening of the PeaceTech Lab Summit at the US Institute of Peace; and they stand as the agency of record for Aireon, the world’s first satellite-based air traffic control system, which as it happens, launches some of their satellites via SpaceX rockets at nearby Vandenberg.
The company continues to push forward with fierce momentum and an emphasis on creating a welcoming, collaborative experience. Mary noted, “There are very few organizations that amplify the voice of their employees. LGND is the platform for our individual dreams. It allows each of our hearts to have a seat at the national table.”