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Podcast Episode # 115 - Change from Within: Deb Brown's Blueprint for Rural Prosperity

Small Towns, Big Dreams, and Deb's No-BS Guide to Getting There.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
3 min read
Podcast Episode # 115 - Change from Within: Deb Brown's Blueprint for Rural Prosperity

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Episode # 115 of the Econ Dev Show Podcast is out.

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In this episode of the Econ Dev Show podcast Dane talks with Deb Brown, co-founder of SaveYour.Town.

Deb shares insights from her decades of experience working with rural communities. She explains how inclusive community engagement through activities like vacant building tours can generate excitement and empower community members to create change.

Deb emphasizes the power of positivity and storytelling to shift mindsets from despair to envisioning new possibilities. Her "idea friendly" method involves gathering a crowd of supporters, building connections, and testing small ideas to build momentum. Deb stresses the importance of involving all community members, especially youth, in decision-making and seeking their input on what they want for the community's future. She provides examples of how small-scale efforts like pop-up shops and placemaking projects have catalyzed economic growth.

Ultimately, Deb argues that rural development must be community-driven and bottom-up rather than relying on external solutions. Her inspirational approach focuses on harnessing a community's assets through grassroots action.

Ten Key Takeaways:

  1. Engage the whole community inclusively - have conversations to understand what all groups want, especially youth.
  2. Use storytelling and positivity to shift mindsets from despair to envisioning possibilities.
  3. Spotlight assets like vacant buildings through tours and events - turn "bugs" into features.
  4. Empower community members to take ownership of solutions through grassroots efforts.
  5. Test small ideas frequently to build momentum and learn fast.
  6. Gather a crowd of supporters and build connections to turn ideas into action.
  7. Take small steps and foster quick wins to show change is possible.
  8. Involve newcomers and welcome their ideas to stay open to new solutions.
  9. Adapt solutions by starting hyper-locally and niche ideas to any town size.
  10. Focus on inclusive processes, not big external fixes - change comes from within.

Listen Now

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Dane Carlson Twitter

Founder/Host of Econ Dev Show. By day: Economic developer in Galveston County, Texas.


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