BRB2I had the pleasure of attending another event put on by the Kansas Sampler Foundation last week.  This is a grassroots group that is dedicated to the advancement of rural life in Kansas, and giving us the tools we need connect and improve our rural communities.

Last week Janet Wade, Anne Otte and I attended Big Rural Brainstorm in Newton where 177 rural advocates gathered to talk and share and create initiatives that would improve the lives of rural residents.  There was a wall “bank” where communities could post looking for help or information and on the other side a place where people could post what skills or experience they had to share. We met in small groups with specific topics and helped each other brainstorm creative solutions to our rural issues.  We talked about technology gaps across the generations, how to get the coveted 21-39 age group to get involved, stemming the tide of negative talkers, and how to attract medical professionals to your community.  One presenter asked the group to help them update their logo. The city of Burdett asked us to brainstorm ideas for their mini-golf course.

The enthusiasm and passion was contagious!  After a particularly interesting “storm session”, I created and led a rogue group of Chamber and Tourism professionals in a discussion about innovating small town Chambers of Commerce.

I came home invigorated about the work that our Chamber and tourism board does and I look forward to implementing some great ideas we came home with!