On November 8, 2023, the Southeast Enterprise Facilitation Project held a BOLD Stakeholder Event to discuss the progress of various community initiatives. The event provided insights into the current reality of various building blocks, the Make Meaning Gallery Walk, and World Café Conversations. I wanted to share the essence of the discussions and outline the key takeaways.

The Thriving Community Blueprint: Building Blocks for Success

The Thriving Community Blueprint was highlighted as a crucial tool for leaders. This blueprint serves not only as an economic and community development framework but also as a means to effectively with stakeholders. Leaders were encouraged to identify priorities within the blueprint, map ongoing projects, and name the resources doing the work.

Current Reality: A Snapshot of Community Initiatives

Once understanding the Blueprint, stakeholders then called out current or ongoing initiatives in each building block of the blueprint. From New Business Attraction to Infrastructure Development, the community is actively engaged in various projects. Notable efforts include industrial park developments, workforce development programs, housing solutions, and public policy implementations. The commitment to enhancing the quality of life, fostering community engagement, and promoting economic growth was evident.

Make Meaning Gallery Walk: Identifying Impactful Roles

Next, the Make Meaning Gallery Walk encouraged stakeholders to reflect on impactful roles within the community. Themes such as basic needs, education, agriculture, and community engagement emerged as focal points. Recognizing the significance of collaboration, the gallery walk helped to identify priority roles and the key leaders or organizations associated with them.

World Café Conversations: Addressing Challenges and Opportunities

The World Café Conversations, our last activity, delved into the challenges hindering progress and the desired outcomes for the region. Participants identified unclear vision, the need for available land, and resource constraints as notable pains. On the flip side, the community aspired for healthy businesses, a sustainable workforce, regional destination status, positive connections to the community, growth, and quality of life improvements.

Strategies for Success: Eliminating Pains and Creating Gains

To eliminate or reduce identified pains, participants proposed practical solutions. Developing internships, increasing outreach, attracting and retaining talent, and fostering collaboration between schools and businesses were among the suggested strategies. Moreover, reshaping mindsets towards community investment, prioritization, and embracing change emerged as key components to foster gains and achieve community aspirations.

Conclusion: Building a Thriving Future Together

In conclusion, the Southeast Enterprise Facilitation Project’s BOLD Stakeholder Event showcased a community deeply committed to building a thriving future. By leveraging the Thriving Community Blueprint, acknowledging current realities, and engaging in meaningful conversations, community leaders and stakeholders are poised to overcome challenges and unlock new opportunities. The blueprint provides a roadmap for sustained growth, ensuring that the Southeast region continues to flourish economically, socially, and culturally.

We are thankful to the community, business, and school leadership that attended and shared so freely. Thank you to Dakota Resources for facilitating the conversation and pulling out of us a greater shared vision for our SEFP Region. The SEFP Board is now working to boil down the insights into future goals and action plans for the organization.

You can read the full report produced by Dakota Resources here >>> Stakeholder Event Transcript SEFP_Nov 8 2023




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