13895075_10209270240569721_1944948618504514269_n (1)Keynotes are generally one hour in length (although this can be adjusted) and are prepared for you — it’s not the same keynote you’ll hear down the road. Each presentation has been designed for your community, because that’s important.

Workshops are done in groups you design – who do you want at the workshop? What topics do you want to cover? How can Deb be of the most assistance to you and your group(s)? Generally workshops range in length from one hour to half a day. Do you want to do two one hour workshops in one morning with two different groups? That can be arranged.

Webinars vary in topics, and we often recommend you just work with Becky McCray and I both at This cost varies, and they can work through it with you.

Embedded Community Experience – this is where the rubber meets the road and you’ll receive the most bang for you buck. Deb will actually come to your community and the first day, do a walk through of your town (or drive through) and ask a lot of questions. The next day is the keynote presentation on the topic you request. The last morning she will sit down with groups you want her to work with, meet with your board, have a hands on workshop and hammer out what needs to be discussed.

What does an Embedded Community Visit look like? You’ll meet Deb at the airport and drive back to town – and in this informal get together, a lot of questions are asked, answers are shared and the process of the embedded community visit begins. If she drives into town, sharing a meal is another great way to get together informally.

Usually next up is a walk through (or drive through) town and you’ll have the opportunity to see your town in a way you don’t normally. Because Deb brings fresh eyes, she’ll see things that you may miss. Usually over dinner there’s more discussion and conversation.

Because research has been done and your key players have been talked, Deb will have an idea of the types of things you’d like to hear more about. You’ll receive this in a presentation style event. Sometimes it’s strictly a presentation, sometimes it is interactive – depending on your community! There is often a handout provided (online) that you can download at your leisure. Sign up for the weekly newsletters as well – there’s lots of information you will be able to use. There is a private Facebook group you will be able to participate in and learn from. Finally, you may wish to consider the Megaphone or Insider membership at

In an embedded community experience you’ll begin the process of Gather Your Crowd and learn how to use the Idea Friendly method. You are encouraged to bring together positive people to crowd-source the future of your town. The old way of deciding the future was done by organizations and government, our new way is done by everyone. The old way had someone in control, our new way is to get as many people as possible trying new things. Next you’ll learn how to Build Connections and Take Small Steps.

Deb says, “If it sounds informal, that is because it is. Intentionally. Because I want you to have practical steps you can put into action right away. I’m not there to help you create a master plan that then goes back on a shelf to be dusted off 5 years later and rewritten. I also want everyone in the community who wants to participate to be valued and welcomed. Each embedded community experience is tailored to the needs of your community and what works for you.”





Once or twice a year I take on a community and project at a reduced cost. Are you doing something ridiculously cool and I want to be involved? Small towns are my passion, and I want to help. Don’t hesitate to ask for what you want, and let’s talk! … Deb

Cell phone: 641-580-0103


Facebook: /buildingpossibility

Twitter: @debworks

Instagram: @debrainiowa






Are you looking for funding to bring us to your community?  You can try these resources: 

Laura Jane Musser Fund

You’ll have to dig to find any local-only sources, like community foundations, local economic development funds, tax set-asides designated for community or economic development or your local utility companies. Electric companies especially may have some economic development funds or know where to find some. 

We will continue to add more resources as we are introduced to them!