Monday, November 15, 2010

What if...we looked at rural this way?

I'm on a search. A search to find progressive thinkers for rural Kansas. I don't care if you're 8 or 98 or somewhere in between. Actually, you might be from another state and just have some ideas for rural communities anywhere. That's good, too.

I'd like it if you'd send me a summary of your thoughts or ideas. It can be a "what if..." type of response. Your idea might be small, it might be complex. It might be something you've put into practice or something that is just incubating.

What if...we looked at rural this way. Or that way? How could we take things to the next level? What if we mixed ideas through a collective mind meld?

What if...the message was sent loud and clear that rural communities are of value and should be looked at as sources for potential and opportunity?

What if every citizen and every school kid in a small town felt like anything could be accomplished if they worked together? What if the bar was raised for expectations in rural communities?

I'm not looking for traditional thinkers. I'm looking for people who have a personal grasp of rural common issues that can morph technology with common sense resulting in functional grassroots solutions. Are you open minded, positive, a good listener?

I'd like to put a Dream Think Thank together sooner than later. I'd like people from the media, from small business, entrepreneurs, farmers, teachers, preachers, volunteers, angel investors, college students, laborers to be involved. Share your thoughts with me. How would you help create a New Rural? Send your thoughts to marci@kansassampler.org.

Get Kansas! And Power Up.

KE #2 Marci Penner

4 comments:

cort said...

What if...

...rural Kansas communities used technology to pool resources and go after things they can't do alone.

...we made it easy for large companies to put small facilities in small towns to take advantage of local talent.

...rural Kansans embraced things like Rails to Trails to bring in more tourism dollars.

...rural communities took abandoned buildings and turned them into technology incubators for new businesses.

Tomasin said...

We need to get folks into Kansas' rural communities (as tourists and residents) as much as we need to help those communities prosper. Just an idea...
Host a Kansas Road Racing Series and Championship
Select a number of sites across the state to hold road races (5/10K, Half and Full Marathons)
Promoting the splendor of our rural areas and the "Not-flatness" of them as well.
Solicit development dollars and sponsorship dollars to make the series attractive to folks from all over the globe, get the USATF folks involved. There are lots of great races all over the State...maybe connect them somehow to create this championship series idea. This is more "tourist" centered but could grow and also maybe at the race expos there could be the traditional vendors as well as eco dev. type folks.

stan said...

When I was growing up in SEK, the economy of small (300-1000) communities was based on the large number of small farm families. They(we) brought products to town to sell, then we bought products from the local merchants. What if, high tech companies placed a few of their high tech employees, local folks when possible, in these towns and this supported local CSAs and farmers' markets. A bit of reversal of the old economic paradigm? I have persuaded a small IT based company to try this ... CSAs to follow? This also provides local opportunites for the youth who pursue higher education and would prefer to work in a rural area(return home) rather than move to the city.

I support the ideas contained in cort's post.

LOH said...

What if we looked at rural Kansas as a whole, rather than a sum of its parts. What if we tore away county lines, downplayed school rivalries, and shopped each other's towns if there was something truly unique about the stores?

What if we truly lived our Kansas heritage of freedom and got rid of our prejudices and hangups against people who are different than us and welcomed newcomers of all colors, faiths and orientations? Wouldn't that help our communities grow?