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Asset-Based and Collaborative Strategies for Community Economic Development
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Asset-Based and Collaborative Strategies for Community Economic Development



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  • Multicounty Rural Transportation System- DanInventors & Entrepreneurs Clubs Dan- LauraCommunity Funds & Foundations LauraRoschold Library Project - Jen
  • LAURAThis is a theoretical framework developed at the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension that I think is helpful in understanding the big picture of how successful economic development relies on a base of effective leadership and human and social capital.ECONOMIC BASE Knowledge workers spread throughout the community Info tech and e-commerce widely employed to connect to the world Higher than average wage scales Active development of knowledge-related businesses Strong networks of businesses in the regionPHYS INFRASTRUCTUREAffordable broadband telecommunications widely available Public access to broadband in multiple locations High quality services attractive to knowledge workers Information technologies deliver quality services efficiently Community technology centers stimulate technology applicationsSUPPORT SYSTEMSTop notch support systems that create a high quality of place Financial mechanisms & organizations actively nurture new ventures Training on information technologies readily available School system weaves IT into its curriculum Close ties to colleges and universities in the regionHUMAN AND SOCIAL CAPITAL High trust level among community leaders and citizens Strong presence of highly skilled knowledge workers Culture nurtures innovation, research, and development Strong work ethic and sharing of ideas Public uses information technologies for multiple purposesLEADERSHIP INFRASTRUCTURE Leaders understand the global, knowledge-based economy Community welcomes new people, ideas, and organizations Local government and non-profits use IT to deliver services Widespread collaboration in and out of the community
  • LAURAMany views of what economic development ISTraditionally- the three legged stool- 1)business attraction, 2)business retention and expansion, 3) entrepreneurship development VERSUSA web or system of interrlated activitiesAny strategy for economic development, is part of a “web” of related activities, people, businesses, and infrastructure that contributes to our economy. I like the web metaphor because it highlights how a community really needs the multiple strands of the economy to keep the economy strong.So, from a tourism perspective its not enough to say we want “tourists.” This means asking some tough questions: If people come, where will they spend money ( if we open up a river for canoeing, are there places for canoeists to stay)? How will they get here? How will they find out about us ( Do we have a website?)? Would tourists consider buying a home here? How will tourism impact our communities (increase in motorcycle traffic for instance? ) Economic development is impacted by many other activitiesTraditional economic development focuses on three main areas”Business retention and expansionEntrepeneurship DevelopmentBusiness attraction- Historically, this has been the emphasis of many economic development programs
  • LAURADescribe what an “asset based strategy” is and how it is different from other strategies. There are a number of asset based economic development strategies that have emerged in recent years – and several that groups and organizations are pursuing on our area- including - “Economic Gardening”- Littleton Colorado, “Enterprise Facilitation”- pioneered by Ernesto Sirolli and “HomeTown Competitiveness” - a model being piloted in the entire state of Nebraska. John McKnight and his colleague John community development researchers with the Asset Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University – developed this to focus on dealing with problems in low income areas. ABCD focuses on the assets of community members including individuals, associations, and institutions. A key measure of success is the strength of relationships between them. Why focus on assets??When we focus only on needs, deficiencies- this becomes the mental map we use to think about our communities and the way we talk about our communities. “We are the second poorest county in Wisconsin” This is not only not a very compelling call to action but creates an environment of apathy. Mcknight argues that the needs based approach leads to a focus on attracting service providers or experts who can solve our problems- this often creates a cycle of dependence. This ignores community members or organizations that could partner to address a problem and strengthen connections within the community..
  • DAN!- Used needs assessment strategyThis will happen..ADD GENERIC GRAPHIC
  • DANOverview of I&E Clubs- serving rural areas by providing much needed support and resources. Wisconsin Entrepreneurs network provision of $100 grants to start clubsMost rely on volunteersFree meetings that are open to the public Based on Gregs research of 30 I&E Clubs in 2009: Clubs- support
  • New agent in 2009. Reviewed files to see what past agents had done.Rosholt stood out – several development plans.
  • Here’s a snapshot of current conditions on main street.
  • Residents contacted me to help with economic development.
  • I called in support form CCED. Their suggestion – explore the municipal capacity for growth, and specific projects.They helped me engage the community in a great tool for economic development – preparedness index.
  • Few respondents, and many of them answered “don’t know” to many questions.
  • Analyzed the grocery store idea.Bill Ryan ran the market profile for 2 and 10 mile radii to measure average dollars spent on groceries.
  • Development group shelved that idea.
  • Here’s where the UWEX support for professional development comes to play.I attended one session of this conference specifically to learn about this initiative.Clear Vision is a county-wide citizen planning initiative facilitated by the National Civil League in order to empower average citizens and experts to take charge of the future of Eau Claire County.
  • The lightbulb went on. I was approaching this from the wrong angle.
  • Kelly Haverkampf shared this with Laura, and it illustrates what I think has been happening.I and my colleagues were using sound economic development science, but Rosholt isn’t ready for it yet.
  • According to the Community Development Model, and my observations of past work, I should focus on the foundation level of community development.
  • In Rosholt, I attended Village Board meetings, called the Village President, attended Library Board meetings, interviewed the library Director, library board members, etc. Kept focus on their goal, not past failures. Appreciative inquiry.
  • Library department had determined need based on circulation and patronage.
  • As a result of the Clear Vision presentation, I suggested that the development group use the power mapping tool to identify key people in the project.


  • 1. Asset Based Collaborative Strategies for Rural Community Economic Development Cooperative Extension Conference “Connections and Engagement” October 19-21, 2010 Madison, Wisconsin Laura Brown, CNRED Crawford County Jen Stewart, CNRED, Portage County Dan Kuzlik, CNRED Oneida County Bill Pinkovitz, Center for Community & Economic Development
  • 2. ◦ Welcome ◦ What is asset based economic development? ◦ Examples on the ground:  Multicounty Rural Transportation System  Inventors & Entrepreneurs Clubs  Community Funds & Foundations  Rosholt Library Project ◦ Tools for knowing our assets ◦ Questions and sharing What to Expect
  • 3. What is economic development?
  • 4. What is economic development? “The process of retaining, expanding, and attracting jobs, income and wealth in a manner that improves individual economic opportunities and the quality of human life.” Asset based economic development focuses on what’s working in our communities and the resources we already have
  • 5. The Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) considers local assets as the primary building blocks of sustainable community development. ABCD builds upon existing community strengths to build stronger, more sustainable communities for the future. •Individuals •Associations •Institutions
  • 7. Building a Multi-County Rural Transportation System
  • 8.  Free, open meetings  Education about the right steps to take  Information and assistance with grants and research  A supportive environment  Peer learning  Using and growing business networks About I&E Clubs
  • 9. Inventors & Entrepreneurs Clubs
  • 10. Inventors & Entrepreneurs Clubs
  • 11. Inventors & Entrepreneurs Clubs
  • 12. Inventors & Entrepreneurs Clubs “More than eight in ten of the club facilitators surveyed (83%) reported jobs had been created in their region as a result of participation in the club.”
  • 13. Community Funds & Foundations “Creating Stronger Communities by Matching Personal Generosity with Economic Needs”  Philanthropic, non profit organizations  Traditionally not economic development  Rely on Transfer of Wealth
  • 14. Community Funds: Capturing Community Wealth Crawford County Community Fund • Crawford County 10 year TOW: $220 Million • 5% Capture: $11 Million • Yield: $550,000 for community & economic development
  • 15. Capturing Community Wealth
  • 16. Capturing Community Wealth
  • 17. Capturing Community Wealth
  • 18. Critical Issues  Understanding economic needs, opportunities, and strategies for economic development  Growing financial capacity  Engaging youth & younger professionals  Increasing understanding & awareness about the Fund  Relationship Building- collaborations & outreach  Growing community without tragedy
  • 19. Village of Rosholt Economic Development
  • 20. Village of Rosholt Main Street 2010 Empty grocery store Vacant building Empty hardware store Churc h TavernTavern Cafe
  • 21. Rosholt Development Group  Local residents interested in their community  Conducted a community visioning session ◦ Need a grocery store ◦ Need to expand the library
  • 22. Results: Only 6 respondents. Little enthusiasm for follow-up.
  • 23. Explored Grocery Store Idea Center for Community and Economic Development 10 mile radius ring map
  • 24. Explored Grocery Store Idea Center for Community and Economic Development 10 mile radius ring map Conclusion: A grocery store is not a viable business in Rosholt.
  • 25. Clear Vision Eau Claire County • Use Community Development Tools • Power Mapping • One-to-One Interviews
  • 26. Total Community Development Model in the Global, Knowledge-Based Economy
  • 27. Total Community Development Model in the Global, Knowledge-Based Economy
  • 28. Power Mapping Clear Vision Eau Claire • Identify key human assets –Stakeholders –Decision-makers –Lions, tigers, snakes and scorpions –Sources of information –Common ground
  • 29. One-to-One Interviews Clear Vision Eau Claire • A leader in the core group connects with identified human assets –Establish relationship –Learn their story –What is their interest in topic? –Help them gain clarity –Gather information • Creates a network of human assets to draw upon
  • 30. Development group chooses new focus
  • 31. Tools for knowing our assets Asset – Power Mapping Appreciative Inquiry The Role of Data –
  • 32. Power Mapping – Human Assets  Newspaper owner  Library director  Local energy cooperative (source of funding, funding know-how)  Local residents who had completed successful projects in the past  Connection with Village Board
  • 33. Appreciative Inquiry Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry – Focus on the Positive • In every community, organization, or group, something works. • We should carry forward what is be BEST about the past. • What we focus on becomes our reality. • Simply asking questions influences us • People are more confident and comfortable moving into the future (the unknown) when they carry forward parts of the past (the known). • Reality is created in the moment • It is important to value differences. • The language we use creates our reality.
  • 34. Appreciative Inquiry
  • 35. HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW Community, Customers, Potential Customers, Visitors, Potential Visitors, Residents, New Residents, Workers, Labor Force, Commuters, Congregation, Students, Constituents….
  • 36. It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” Mark Twain
  • 37. “I’ve lived here all my life and I know what this town needs”
  • 38. “I’ve lived here all my life and I know what this town needs” “Nuthin ever changes around here”
  • 39. “We just moved here from the Twin Cities and we know just what this town needs”
  • 40. Using secondary data to identify assets, opportunities and changes within your community AND Focus discussion on real issues.
  • 41. He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp- posts for support rather than illumination Andrew Lang (1844-1912)
  • 42. Lafayette County, Wi a) 12 b) 123 c) 413 d) 758 The County is projected to lose an average of -22 people per year through out-migration between 2000 and 2035. How many people moved into Lafayette County between 2007 and 2008?
  • 43. Lafayette County, Wi a) 12 b) 123 c) 413 d) 758 (5 percent) The County is projected to lose an average of -22 people per year through out-migration between 2000 and 2035. How many people move into Lafayette County between 2007 and 2008?
  • 44. Lafayette County, Wi 758 people may not sound like many, but in ten years that’s equal to almost half of the county’s estimated 2010 population of 16,149.
  • 45. Lafayette County In what percentage of the Lafayette County families with children under 18 and both mother and father present in the home do both mom and dad work? a) 59% b) 66% c) 81%
  • 46. Lafayette County In what percentage of the Lafayette County families with children under 18 and both mother and father present in the home do both mom and dad work? a) 59% b) 66% c) 81%
  • 47.  Are you involved in any asset based economic development efforts?  Have you encountered the need based mindset in your community?  What other tools have you used to determine local assets?  What are your successes? Challenges? Questions and Sharing
  • 48. Thank you! Laura Brown, CNRED Crawford County Jen Stewart, CNRED, Portage County Dan Kuzlik, CNRED Oneida County Bill Pinkovitz, Center for