• Sarah O'Brien

What is Collaborative Development?

Updated: Mar 28

Local governments, destination marketing groups, business networking organizations, community impact-based nonprofits and development bodies that help provide avenues to enhance communities were all designed on a foundation to effect community change. But when was that foundation created? And what principles was that design based on?  I’ve seen first-hand that the biggest needs and the greatest challenges facing every community, rural and urban, require collaboration, shared vision, strategic communication and collective resource sharing. The need to empower stakeholders and leaders to effect change through partnership engagement, strategic resource allocation, and economic and cultural cross-sector connectivity has never been greater.


Collaborative Development Collective is uniquely positioned to inspire, create, and innovate through our passionate focus on improving the way community development takes place. Our mission-driven commitment to transform the organizational foundations and enhance access to existing resources for the public sector is based on the critical need for reform. By highlighting and capitalizing on what is right in front of us we empower communities to define collective success.


Diversity, data, and sustainability should drive public sector decision making. Unfortunately, towns, counties, destinations, cities, regions, urban areas and those responsible for community development were foundationally programmed for a definition of success that is decades old. The organizational foundations of these groups are not set up for today’s definition of success. Many don’t understand what success means to the people they serve and how the continued top down approach is failing everyone involved.


We want to lead the way. We need a revolution. We must work towards a holistic government and community development overhaul. We need to focus on the authentic and cultural landscapes, on the unique and inspiring stories, on diverse heritage and modern preservation practices, on fiscally sustainable development practices, and we have to learn to say no. And most importantly we have to rebuild trust in elected and non elected officials, government institutions, and the media in order to empower the people to engage, we can't be successful without them. We want to provide the paint brushes for everyone to paint the vision a new era in local government, urban planning, downtown revitalization, historic preservation, destination management, and community enhancement through economic development. We have to redefine everything we do.


Communities must work collectively. Engage for Impact. Let us help you leverage, evaluate, plan, promote, collaborate, and create a path for everyone to paint a new vision of community success.



Sarah O'Brien lives in Smithville Texas and has worked in local government. community development, destination management and downtown revitalization across the State of Texas. She is a motivational speaker, consensus builder, and visionary problem solver who helps organizations and communities understand their purpose and achieve collective impact.

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