On September 27, 2014, the first display board presented by the Design Team: Web to the Webster Community in South Dakota, spelled out the following sentence in bold: GATHER THE DOERS. About 50 people were in the room that day and, surprisingly, none of them got up and was scared when they saw the design: the community's first request for sustainability team! Usually, when someone asks for volunteers, the room will calm down, everyone will look down, people will walk to the back of the room for extra coffee, and the seconds will turn to the clock. . But this group of Webster residents has done something unusual. They listened, they participated, they were engaged and they felt empowered to invest in a process created to improve their hometown. Five years later, this community is still engaged in the vision process of its community to get things moving, big and small.
I really enjoyed my three days at Webster as part of the design: the sustainability team and realized that I had also been reinforced by the expression "Gather the makers". These words excite me! I think of the powerful potential that can be put to good use in our communities because of the passions that live in me and others around me. Our passions are those things that we hold dear and that we are motivated to implement for the good of others and ourselves. Living in small communities, we see passionate Practitioners almost every day and move things around us. Actors are encouraged to involve themselves in something bigger than themselves in order to animate the community spirit; celebrate our successes; learn from our failures; share the story; meet when support is needed, support our youth, raise our children, raise money; strengthen our faith; be encouraging; lead; answer to a need; And the list continues.
In general, we (the community) tend to believe that creating a call to action for Gathering Stakeholders requires a formal structure; a request for volunteers; a community-wide understanding of a need, mission or common purpose; and permission of someone from an authority to start a project. In reality, the process of creating a culture of practitioners in the community is really very simple …
STEP 1: Give yourself permission to start something that you are passionate about.
A small group of entrepreneurs from Brookings, South Dakota, have given themselves permission to declare their hometown the "creative capital of the world." They turned their passion into action and created business, activities, conversations and opportunities to turn around their public statement that Brookings was the creative capital of the world. They did not ask anyone's permission. They just implemented their ideas (successes and failures), printed t-shirts, created a website and became the individual actors that this community needed to self-proclaim. Because of their passion, others now believe in this popular movement and become actors who change the culture of their community.
You do not need special skills or resources to bring together those who do, but give yourself permission, make the jump, put your passion to work and keep participating … keep investing … keep inviting … keep listening … continue to give power! Your community will love you and others will be empowered to become Doer as well. #Irrural
About Paula Jensen
Paula Jensen's passion for personal and professional life is her passion for community development and leadership. Paula resides in her home town of Langford, South Dakota, whose population is over 318 years old. She is a grant writer and community coach for Dakota Resources, based in Renner, South Dakota. Dakota Resources is a 501c3 community development financial institution that aims to stimulate financial and human investment in rural communities that invest in their communities. Contact her at [email protected]
- Gather the makers – 22 November 2019
- Why nothing is ever done in this city! – 12th of October 2019
- Wishing vs hoping that your city will improve – 27 July 2019
- What is the life expectancy of our community? – 22 June 2019
- We have already tried this and it did not work! – May 26, 2019
- If they want to lead, give them the power to lead 27th April 2019
- Do all the small towns die? Can you save a small town? – March 23, 2019
- Is your company on the map? – 23 February 2019
- The secret ingredient of a winning team – 26 January 2019
- The stereotype of the small town: Old White Guys in charge, stuck in the past – December 22, 2018