NCRPC capped off the year with a 50th Anniversary Banquet on November 10 in Beloit.
Approximately 120 people from throughout the region attended the event, which was also hosted on behalf of affiliate North Central Kansas Community Network, Co. (NCKCN).
One of the evening’s highlights was the keynote address by Doug Griffiths, community strategist and author of two best-selling editions of “13 Ways to Kill Your Community.” In his presentation, he outlined seven of the 13 ways in which he said communities may undermine their success — sometimes without even knowing it.
- Forget the water – quality and quantity
- Don’t attract businesses
- Don’t engage youth
- Deceive yourself (Don’t assess your community’s need or values)
- Live in the past
- Don’t cooperate
- Don’t take responsibility
He shared brief anecdotes and lessons learned through his work advising and consulting with communities. Regarding engaging youth, he shared that the nature of youth is to go off and explore. The goal is not to keep them from doing that, but to give them a reason to want to return.
“We have to stop being so negative about our communities,” Griffiths said. “We also need real engagement. It is not a matter of how you’re going to be effective but how you’re going to stay relevant.”
Griffiths closed by challenging the audience when it comes to taking responsibility. “If we want a solution, we have to go back to community building and helping each other,” Griffiths said.
Another highlight of the evening was the presentation of the inaugural Lifetime Public Service Award to John Cyr. He dedicated his career to the region, much of which was spent as NCRPC Executive Director, and he is passionate about rural development and North Central Kansas. The NCRPC Executive Board plans to present an award annually to an individual, group or organization that has been distinguished by contributions to communities in the region over many years.
This article appeared in the Quarter 4 2022 NCRPC Newsletter.