Special Projects and/or
Reports from Task Forces

Social Services Task Force Highlights Demographic and Social Trends
Urban Design Framework Plan
Task Force Outlines Plan for Region's Technology Development

Nine Counties. One Vision. Teaches Citizens How to Strengthen Their Voice and Make a Difference

Recently, more than 120 community-minded citizens from East Tennessee participated in the Regional Neighborhood Leadership Forum.

The forum, jointly sponsored by Nine Counties. One Vision. and the East Tennessee Regional Leadership Association, was a day-long event that provided attendees with great ideas to improve their communities and inspired them to continue their work.

The morning was devoted to skill building. Three sessions taught participants the skills they need to work more effectively with government officials, civic groups, businesses and each other. With these new skills, these leaders will be able to implement community improvement projects with more successful results.

These sessions also helped participants understand their learning, thinking and working styles. They learned how to relate to other people, improve effectiveness in groups and look at different ways to solve problems and find solutions. Participants learned that the only way groups can effectively work together is if they become a “performing community,” one that accepts and supports differences, communicates openly and with respect, and works together for the common good.

The afternoon was devoted to a panel discussion that highlighted community success stories from around the region.  The examples of successful collaboration ranged from creating a police advisory board, to building a new road, to creating a community vision. 

Among the needed elements for success, panel members said, are smart partnerships and collaborations. Developing the right partnerships, whether in our own neighborhoods or across the region, is essential for solving complex community issues and improving our communities’ quality of life.

A good example of successful partnering is the Regional Neighborhood Leadership Forum. Nine Counties. One Vision. partnered with the East Tennessee Regional Leadership Association, which is a program of the East Tennessee Community Design Center, to give the region’s citizens skills needed to make a difference in their communities. Because of lessons learned and shared in community events such as the forum, individuals are given the confidence and leadership knowledge that help them make an impact on the viability, beauty, preservation and progress of their communities.

Over the past five years, one of the biggest success stories of the Nine Counties. One Vision. process is the fact that our citizens continue to be given a voice to be heard and the skills and knowledge to make things happen. It is so important for the people of this region to use what they have learned, take action, and stay involved with the decision-making that affects the evolution of their neighborhoods, communities and region.