It’s time to share the story of Imagine Durant with a wider audience. Tamarack Institute’s Conference, Collective Impact 3.0 on May 9-11, 2017 will give me a chance to tell the story of collective impact through the lives of Imagine Durant’s leaders, Executive Director and 4 Voices of the city.

Imagine Durant has a history of what I call Placecaring – nurturing conscious Intentions and Values and Vision. And over the last 4 years it has focused the meaning of Placecaring on creating a unified Vision. But what is more – Imagine Durant has energized this focused Placecaring with strategic Placemaking – developing the actions and systems to implement their unified Vision.

Durant is located in the southeast corner of Oklahoma, about 1.5 hours north of Dallas, Texas. It has a population of about 16k on a normal day and more than 50k on an event day. For a seemingly small city it has impressive assets and resources that generate a thriving economy: the Choctaw Casino Resort, Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival and Southeastern Oklahoma University. Plus it boasts an Alliance Hospital, first class highschool, and police and fire facilities. Durant has a habit of capturing rewards – like the Promise Zone – and producing leaders like Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, Entrepreneurs of the Year, 30 under 30 NFP Leader.

The story of Imagine Durant started in 2013 with 2 leaders of the city – one who is now the Chief of the Choctaw Nation and the other who is President of First United Bank. Chief Gary Batton and President Greg Massey had been investing in leadership training for themselves and organizational development for their organizations. They asked: “What would happen if we made these investments at the scale of the city? Could we pay forward our learnings to the city we love and appreciate?”

In the process of answering that question they invited Integral City to visit and make some suggestions for how to move forward.

In October 2013, I made a Discovery Tour of Durant to survey its potential for change.

We used several tools to learn about Durant’s Placecaring and Placemaking potential:

  • Meeting the 4 Voices of the City
  • Asking 4 Questions that Release Potential in a City
  • Guidelines for Dialogue
  • 12 Intelligences Observations