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col•lab•o•rateintransitive verb : to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor.

Des Moines is great at embracing new opportunities.

Collaboration remains one of the best opportunities for young professional organizations in Des Moines. It is something more and more community leaders are looking for and may have a larger impact than you think.

There is no doubt Des Moines is near the top of the list in terms of having some of the most developed and diverse YP groups in the country. If you can dream it, I can just about guarantee you there is a group in Greater Des Moines for you to join. Heck, before I moved to Des Moines I didn’t even know YP groups existed or could be nearly as effective as many are.

This past week I had meetings with three different area YP groups and the same discussion came up with all three. Des Moines number of YP groups per capita has got to be off the charts. However, the next question was always: Where is the collaboration?

The next logical question you are most likely asking yourself is: Why collaborate? Young Professional groups in Des Moines already have a strong influence in Des Moines, which is one of the reasons there are many of them. Just imagine what kind of affect a collective, cohesive voice could have.

I remember when I was first learning about the young professional and networking scene in Des Moines having lunch with Zach Mannheimer, Executive Director of the Des Moines Social Club. He said something along the lines of Des Moines having the opportunity to set precedence…

Sure there are many groups in larger cities. But how much of an impact does each of those groups have in a city like New York or Chicago? Mannheimer went on to say this opportunity for Des Moines was to truly bring these groups together in a way no one else has… yet.

I couldn’t agree more. Sure you will see different organizations team up for an event here or there or work on a project together. But what is needed is the opportunity to make a truly collective voice. And trust me, there are strides being made and efforts to truly unite groups around Des Moines. In fact, as much as I love discussing this, I can’t say I even know the right solution to fulfill this opportunity.

Maybe you do.

- Jason Wells


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