Earlier this year, we surveyed our audience and invited readers to share their ideas on how to make Des Moines Greater in the next 35 years. The response was overwhelming. We shared more than 75 ideas in an anniversary publication celebrating Business Record’s 35 years, and are now continuing that effort and canvassing the community for diverse ideas and solutions to the challenges facing our community. This website contains those ideas – some concrete and tangible; others big and in need of digesting. We hope this collection of ideas inspires you to make Des Moines Greater. Below is a brief Q&A that should answer any additional questions about Greater, and as always, if you have questions, email chrisconetzkey@bpcdm.com.

Chris Conetzkey | Business Record Publisher




What is the mission of Greater?

In short, we are leveraging the reach of the Business Record to establish a new platform that will enable more voices to share the diverse set of ideas and solutions that we need to address the region’s challenges and opportunities. We want to help make the region Greater.

So, the name. What does it mean?

It’s a play on Greater Des Moines, and our belief that it will require effort from every part of the region and a variety of people to accomplish our goal of improving and making the region, well … “greater.”

Why are you launching Greater?

We can only be better as a community if we know what we need to improve, and if we make sure we’re listening to all aspects of the community for solutions. This region is full of great ideas. And great ideas can come from every corner of the community. The Business Record is uniquely positioned to help amplify ideas and solutions.

How will you amplify the ideas?

In addition to the ideas already posted at www.makedmgreater.com, we’ll continue to canvas for new ideas and opinion pieces that we’ll feature in the Business Record, in our enewsletters, at a new event series (more on that later), and via our social channels.

What do you hope to accomplish with Greater?

We want to help people more intimately and comfortably address challenges in our community, but instead of just pointing at problems, we want to use the Greater platform and potential solutions to take a hopeful approach to solving the issues. Ultimately, we want to help connect community leaders, and those with big (or little) ideas, to other people and institutions who can work to help solve our community challenges.

What does it look like to be “Greater” anyway?

Becoming Greater likely won’t be able to happen on the backs of a few. It will come as a result of the inspiration and drive of the many leaders from all areas of our community.

You’ll hear whispers of that theme on this website as you read a piece by Matt Anderson about enabling more doers for smaller projects. And you’ll hear it in Tiffany Tauscheck’s piece about channeling “new power.” And from Kristi Knous who stresses we can no longer rely exclusively on the single philanthropist or company for giving needs. And from Izaah Knox who writes about developing a diverse future. And in Chuck Current’s piece about building a bigger tent.

We believe that in order for Des Moines to truly be Greater we need to tap into the ideas and solutions from all parts of the community. We need to shine a light and give a voice to the people and businesses within the community that perhaps aren’t always spotlighted but are each working intimately to improve their own corner of the region, while simultaneously pushing and inviting the community as a whole to offer solutions to be Greater.

How did you gather the ideas already on the website?

We launched Greater by asking the community to submit their ideas for making the community greater. Collectively more than 80 ideas were published in our our 35th anniversary magazine, which featured lessons from the past 35 years on one side, and the ideas for the next 35 years in the other half. See the magazine here.

What if I have an idea?

Glad you asked. Anyone can submit a short idea through our form. Submit an idea here.

What if I want to write a longer piece?

If you’re interested in writing a longer piece, simply submit your short idea and select the box “I’m interested in writing a longer piece.” The Business Record staff will review the idea and work with you to refine your thoughts for a longer piece if appropriate.

What if I know someone who should write an idea?

Great! The goal is to spread the word and get a variety of people submitting ideas. You can nominate a writer via our form. They’ll get a nifty note from us saying you nominated them to write. Nominate a writer.

What if I’m already working on an idea that will make the region Greater?

Fantastic. This platform is specifically for ideas, but if your idea is already in the action stages and you are already working on an initiative, we of course would be interested in hearing about it and sharing it with our audience in the Business Record. If you’re interested, please reach out to Business Record editor Suzanne Behnke at suzannebehnke@bpcdm.com to discuss a potential story.

What will you be doing going forward?

We’ll continue to canvas for ideas to share both in the weekly Business Record, online and through a new event series that we are launching.

What will the event series look like?

Stay tuned. But, our goal will be to break the community into a variety of sectors so we can bring forth community generated ideas and discuss them in a live event format. You can bet this series will be interactive and give you a chance to participate in making Des Moines Greater.

How else will the Business Record work to make Des Moines Greater?

This is a beginning for us. Right now we hope to share unique ideas and discuss issues in this community, but we fully intend on evolving the Greater brand and infusing the ideals into our newsroom’s coverage of the business community. Have an idea on how we can use Greater? Shoot a note to Business Record Publisher Chris Conetzkey at chrisconetzkey@bpcdm.com.