Investment In Our Communities II 8.10.09Presentation Transcript
Who gave them permission to stand aside? The Call for Community Stewardship Midwest Rural Assembly August 10, 2009
“ The future just ain’t what it use to be…” Yogi Berra
The “how-tos” of becoming a successful community are radically different than just a few years ago.
Why? Global Trends effect us too…
Technology has created incredible opportunities, and challenges
Now, most people and businesses can locate virtually anywhere
GEOGRAPHY matters less, but PLACE matters more
Great communities today are built, not born
Key quality of life characteristics are now developed, not inherited
What does this mean? ? It means our best excuses no longer hold water.
It occurred to me I had it wrong…
Communities have worked hard to build success…to identify “what” they had to do to be successful
Successful projects don’t necessarily make a successful community
We learned it wasn’t the WHAT successful communities did, but HOW they did it that set them apart.
HOW do you build a successful community?
Collective: Communities can afford to have only one, common strategic direction.
Strategic : It doesn’t make any difference how fast you are climbing if your ladder is on the wrong wall!
Sustained: There are no short-term solutions to our long-term challenges
Civic Effort: Implies an attitude of “we are all in this together”
What do I see in communities today?
The issues and opportunities facing communities in the 21 st century aren’t so neat and pretty anymore.
A shorter term focus…and a lack of patience
Communities with fuzzy identities
Communities are struggling with the same issues…
We can’t get on the same page.
We can’t seem to work together.
Civic involvement has become a spectator sport.
The true responsibility of stewardship has been lost.
What do I see today (cont.)…
We need new, civic entrepreneurs to emerge…
We call them stewards…
“ Stewards are more than leaders…they are special leaders who are committed to the long-term well-being of our communities. Stewards cross boundaries, take an integrated approach, and build coalitions for action. They have 360 degree vision . Stewards operate at the center of tough issues, not on the edges. Stewards are risk-takers and are passionate and energetic . They are people of vision .”
Help them to create their destiny….then plan from the future
“ I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth . No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.” — President John F. Kennedy America’s most notable statement of Destiny..
Center for Community Stewardship… Blackduck 2020 Seventh Generation Initiative
Who are we anyhow?
The community was slipping away from us
Resting on our lead
A community without a rudder- “we can’t seem to get on the same page”
A community that has no idea how to work together
What has been done…
Help the community acknowledge that we are the ones who control our future
Challenged to define one common destiny
Encouraged people to become a community in the truest sense of the word
Challenged people to act
How we got to the destiny
Listened for over a year to community members
What are we passionate about?
What can we be great at?
What will bring us prosperity?
Presented and listened at over 100 community meetings
Completed a community perception survey and published “Which Way, Bemidji”
Challenged leaders to lead…to be true stewards
Bemidji’s Shared Destiny…
Through intentional, collective action, Bemidji will be:
A healthy community, successfully balancing regional center amenities and small town beauty and character;
A vibrant economic center recognized for its innovation, creativity and knowledge;
A social, cultural, recreational and educational magnet;
An embracing, culturally diverse community;
A people committed to shared prosperity and long-term community stewardship; and
The star of the north, a national model of community success.
Destiny drivers will get us there…
The performance of our students (PK-16) will rank in the top five in the state by 2015
Bemidji will have the lowest incidence of drug and alcohol abuse in Minnesota by the year 2015
We will have a multi-purpose event center in Bemidji by 2008
Bemidji will have access to the best technology in the world
We will plant 10,000 trees per year for 10 years in the community
Bemidji State University/Northwest Technical College will have five centers of excellence that will drive the regional economy
The SE Lake Bemidji area will be the centerpiece lakeshore development in Minnesota
The regional airport will be developed into a regional economic engine
We will have the best trail network in the state by 2015
Lake Bemidji will be the cleanest urban lake in Minnesota
Downtown Bemidji will be the vibrant center of community life
By 2010, our hospital will be selected as one of the top 100 hospitals in the United States
We will create 200 high skill, good paying jobs per year…for ten years
We will have five clusters of economic innovation by 2008
The Twin Cities area will have a four lane access to Bemidji
We will have a community-wide legislative agenda and a Bemidji Day at the Capital by 2006
Over the next year, community leaders and organizations will sign a “Declaration of Interdependence”
Has it worked?
People are focusing on our destiny
Bemidji Green Up! planting trees
Bemidji Education Council Formed
Bemidji City and Townships Work Together!
Bemidji Bio Looks Toward Our Economic Niche
The Airport is Becoming an Economic Engine for the Region DreamCatcher Aviation to locate customization services to Bemidji airport Sunday, January 08, 2006 By Brad Swenson Staff Writer An airport means more to a regional economy than just allowing vacationers to come and go, Bemidji Regional Airport officials say. It can provide a campus for high-paid aircraft industry jobs, such as the manufacturer that will locate at the Bemidji Airport, Airport Manager Harold Leeuwen said Friday.
The Regional Event Center has Legs for the First Time in 15 Years
The community came together behind a common legislative agenda….
And on and on…
Interdependence Day Celebration Held in Bemidji with over 200 leaders in Bemidji committing to working together
Bemidji DDA says “Bemidji Leads! has given us permission to dream again” and they are reinventing downtown Bemidji
The arts community is looking to start a dialogue at how to be the arts and cultural center of northern Minnesota
At last count, over 400 stewards are acting on improving the Bemidji community as a result of the buzz started by Bemidji Leads!
Governor calls Bemidji Leads! Spot-On Gov. Pawlenty offers praise for ‘Bemidji Leads!’ Saturday, January 07, 2006 By Brad Swenson Staff Writer Bemidji, as a regional center, needs dynamic local leadership that embraces challenges in order to succeed, Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Friday. And, after hearing a pitch about “Bemidji Leads!”, the community’s group of stewards and the destiny they have laid out for Bemidji, Pawlenty said it exists here. “ Bemidji Leads! is Spot-On . Do not underestimate the power, the potent power, of what it means to have positive, dynamic leaders at a community and local level,” Pawlenty said at a Northwest Technical College-Bemidji lunch which drew about 80 community leaders.
“ It wasn’t that long ago, when there were some real questions about the future direction of this community. There was a question whether Bemidji was going to be moving in a positive direction or whether Bemidji was going to be a community that was not going to be able to meet that challenge. There was sense of maybe discouragement or a sense of things not going in the right direction, maybe not having the right kind of energy or vision for the future — and it was a worrisome thing.”
“ Now when I come here, you get a different feel. There’s a sense of teamwork, there’s a sense of kind of a dynamic and hopeful and optimism. You can see it as you move around the community. Bemidji has strategic vision, and forward-looking leadership.”
Bemidji Leads! Honored
2008 Recipient of the National Excellence Award from the US Chamber of Commerce/Alliance for Regional Stewardship
2008 Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations
Bemidji has figured out the power of…
Agreeing on where we want to go
Aligning our resources to get there
Learning to work together
Expecting stewardship from our leaders
Somewhere in the past three years, Bemidji Leads! went from being a project to being a movement
The dirty little secret….
Any community can do as much as Bemidji……and more.
The CCS is set up to help
Our motivation at the Center for Community Stewardship…
“ Every community has enough leaders to run a small nation, but they’re not leading. They are hiding out, living comfortable lives giving little or no attention to the current and future problems of their community. Who gave them permission to stand aside?”