Nolan V. Borgman is a Senior Transportation Planner in Metro’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation (OEI) responsible primarily for managing the Unsolicited Proposals Policy and process. Nolan has worked with the private sector and Metro Departments to develop a range of low-cost, high impact innovation pilots and proofs of concept. Before helping to launch OEI, Nolan was a Transportation Planner in the Office of the CEO/Board Relations department staffing the CEO, Deputy CEO and Chief Policy Officer. He graduated cum laude from Occidental College and has studied abroad in Dakar, Senegal and played two seasons of varsity soccer. He loves traveling, camping, music, and Philadelphia sports teams.
Tell us one fun fact about yourself!
I’m in my high school’s athletic hall of fame (Friends Select School for soccer, baseball and wrestling).
How do you bring Coro experiences into your day-to-day work?
A LOT! I am faster to recognize when two worthwhile goals conflict, or when actions and espoused goals don’t align. I make a lot of venn diagrams to explore intersection and connection between things. I speak in questions, and try to be myself and true to myself while remembering that I come to work to try to improve the quality of life of people in cities through transportation. I’m mindful of situational context and dynamics, and try to map things out in my head. I’m purposeful and outcome-driven, and think a lot about process versus product while recognizing the importance of both.
What moment(s) from your time as a Coro Fellow do you think back to most often?
Being on a Tea Party campaign in the South Bay was insane. It was challenging to work against what I believe in, but I loved the idea of testing my beliefs and genuinely trying to connect across differences. I was also published in the LA Times, which really increased my confidence in my writing.
But every experience felt special during that year — visiting the Downtown Women’s Center with Billie Greer; having MWH global fly me out to Walnut Creek to get an assignment and then presenting my market research to executives; debriefing over Settlers of Catan, and burying the hatchet after a long seminar with people who are now my best friends.
If you could go back and give yourself some advice during your time in the FPPA, what would you say?
It’s so cliche but so true: take advantage of having access to industry people, but as someone who is only there to learn and doesn’t have an agenda, per se.