So, what IS the Dakota Resources Learning Network?
In a nutshell, the Dakota Resources Learning Network is a way for rural community leaders to connect with one another, find valuable resources, make confident decisions and help their communities thrive. Leaders can also turn to experts on topics such as housing, entrepreneurship, community engagement and managing an economic development organization. Dakota Resources brings network members together through:
- A vibrant online community with a resource library
- Two expert webinars per month
- Four face-to-face gatherings
- Six peer-to-peer video conferencing
“Obviously, it’s always best to gather face-to-face, but technology allows us to stay connected between these gatherings,” explains Mike Knutson, Dakota Resources Coach. “I am impressed with how much time and energy people put into connecting with one another. People don’t like working in a vacuum.”
The Dakota Resources Learning Network was officially launched in November 2017. Prior to the Learning Network, Dakota Resources managed separate networks for topics such as housing, leadership and business development. Many members of these networks moved into the Learning Network after it became available.
“We realized we could streamline our organization and also provide a better experience by building just one network that encompasses all our initiatives,” Mike explains. “The goal is to help connect community leaders to each other and to resource providers. We wanted a network where critical information is shared and ideas are exchanged. We are seeing this. In fact, through the Learning Network, communities have built and are maintaining a grants database where they share information about available grants and funding.”
In a way, the Learning Network is like taking the ruralX experience and extending it through the year.
“If you enjoyed the connections and conversations from ruralX, and you wish you had access to that type of networking all the time, that is the idea behind the Learning Network. You can go into the network and have a conversation about relevant rural topics whenever you have questions or need ideas.”
If you would like to hear more about the Learning Network or you’d like to become a member, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.