Rethink Iowa™ is a community-led research and design fellowship that explores the relationship between philanthropy, economic health, and economic inclusion of historically disenfranchised communities throughout Iowa.
The Rethink Iowa™ mission is to procure resources and open doors of opportunities for local leaders to design and articulate inclusive solutions for reframing, redesigning, and reinvesting in historically disenfranchised populations throughout Iowa.
Rethink- Iowa™ publishes its findings annually in the “Rethink Iowa™ Impact Guide”. The annual publication serves as a fun and inclusive way to showcase community resources, personal stories, and philanthropic good. Through the publication we gain a local glimpse into the many ways families, businesses, and communities are overcoming social and economic hardships.
The Rethink Iowa™ Impact Guide also serves as a critical part of annual operating funds and helps enable Rethink Iowa™ to accomplish its mission of procurement and investment in historically disenfranchised communities.
Digitally, Rethink Iowa™ is a participatory production of organic media that navigates culture, impact, and equity in the Heartland. Through community design and strategic giving, Rethink Iowa™ monitors, measures, and iterates community-led solutions that help demonstrate our C.O.R.E. Values™.[i]
Iowa C.O.R.E. Inc.[ii] serves as the fiscal sponsor, program administrator, and procurement agent for Rethink Iowa™. Iowa C.O.R.E. partners with local community stakeholders in public-private ventures to design Community-Owned Resources and incubate the Rethink-Iowa™ ecosystem.
Iowa C.O.R.E. Inc. raises funds, increases awareness, and mobilizes leadership talent through the Rethink Iowa™ Fellowship. Annually, Iowa C.O.R.E.™ recruits a cohort of givers, businesses, and servant leaders to exchange best practices, forge deep strategic partnerships, and design impact projects and cooperative ventures. Projects and ventures include but are not limited to hosting collaborative engagements, curating organic media, and designing impact investments.
In 2020, Iowa C.O.R.E. launched its pilot of the Rethink Iowa™ Fellowship in two regions: Central Iowa (Polk County, IA) and the Cedar Valley (Black Hawk County, Iowa). Serial reports in these regions indicate historic segregation and exclusion of underrepresented communities in the economic prosperity of the region.[iii]
Short-term success in Rethink Iowa™ will be measured through curated authentic narratives, cultivated human potential, and equitable policy-making to reduce welfare barriers and improve the wellbeing of historically underrepresented communities in Iowa. Long-term success in Rethink Iowa™ will be measure by community assets and sustainable demonstrations of resilience in underrepresented communities in Iowa.