Connect Your Community Like Never Before

Posted on March 30, 2017

Paula Jensen
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Join one or more of the
Dakota Resources’ Learning Networks
and connect like never before.

You told us what you wanted: more connections, more flexibility, more partners and more opportunities to learn.

The good news?

That’s exactly what we want to give you.

Your interest and input is helping us connect more rural South Dakota communities to each other, to resources, and to us, with options to participate even on a small scale. While most of what we’re offering has always been available, we are doubling down on our learning networks and making them even better. Our learning networks are the foundation of our community interaction, and are now more accessible to communities not in a long-term partnership with Dakota Resources.

By joining one or more of our learning networks, your community can focus on one or more topics, such as housing (Home Address Plus), entrepreneurship/business development (Dakota Rising), leadership/civic engagement (Empower!) and financial development.

“Any rural community can become part of our learning networks. We are here to facilitate valuable connections and help communities learn together and support each other,” explains Joe Bartmann, VP of Community Innovation.

The learning networks include a host of resources and tools, including online blogs and forums, an online resource bank, peer-to-peer video conferences, webinars and training, and face-to-face retreats and conferences.

“We are part of a learning network that shares a common goal of wanting to engage more entrepreneurs and support and grow our local businesses. Being involved in the network helps me feel less isolated as an economic development director. I can bounce ideas off people who understand the work. I can share struggles as well as successes. It’s been great for our community and for me personally,” explains Andrea Powers, Executive Director of Southern Hills Economic Development.

While the networks become the centerpiece of Dakota Resources’ community work, communities still have the option for a deeper level of community coaching.

Here are options for working with Dakota Resources:

Any rural community in South Dakota is welcome to join one or more of the learning networks. This is an affordable way for a community team to access a network of peers and take advantage of action-oriented opportunities including retreats, conferences, video conferences and webinars specific to their challenges and opportunities.

Communities that are ready and committed to changing the way they organize and make decisions through a guided year-long process may want to add community engagement and professional coaching to the mix. There are three levels to choose from, each designed to help communities better understand their needs and how to meet them.

All communities are also invited to add “on-demand” coaching and facilitation options to their learning networks membership. Even non-members can purchase on-demand coaching and facilitation.

“The more communities that become part of the networks, the more opportunities there are to learn from one another and share similar struggles and successes. I’ve witnessed the seeds for real projects, like DeSmet’s townhouse project, take hold during a networking event that revolved around housing,” says Mike Knutson, Community Coach for the Home Address Plus Learning Network. “Networks are revolutionizing the way businesses do business and the way people get things done. There is power in the personal relationships developed by the network. Community leaders take ideas home with them and help each other overcome obstacles and create successes.”


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