Celebrity Ask Strong Towns: Local Conversations Organizers Jim Hodapp and Jordan Deffenbaugh



Strong Towns is an international movement to change the way North America’s towns and cities are built. And this means it’s not enough for us to give you interesting things to read and think about. We need to inspire and empower you to take action in your communities.

One of the most powerful ways you can share the Strong Towns message, and organize to advance the mission of a financially strong and resilient place, is through Local Conversations. These are groups of readers and members who share a common geography and meet locally—either online or in-person—to discuss how Strong Towns concepts can make their unique place stronger.

Got questions about how to start a successful local Strong Towns group? We’re bringing you a special opportunity to ask a pair of experts. The featured guests in the July 2019 installment of our Ask Strong Towns: Celebrity Edition webcast are two Strong Towns members who have organized exceptionally active and successful Local Conversations: Jim Hodapp and Jordan Deffenbaugh!

Jim Hodapp is the organizer of the Strong Indy group in Indianapolis. Hodapp launched Strong Indy in 2016 out of a deep concern for the built environment and financial state of his city, and a desire to, in his words, “do something, anything.” To his surprise and delight, 15 people—mostly strangers—showed up to an inaugural meeting, and the group has made a splash since, participating in traffic calming and placemaking efforts and rallying support for a catalytic development project on a long-vacant lot.

Jordan Deffenbaugh is the organizer of Strong Towns Sioux Falls in Sioux Falls, SD. Deffenbaugh has one big, emphatic piece of advice for getting people to come to a meet-up: “LEAD WITH FOOD.” A community potluck last year proved the springboard to grow Strong Towns Sioux Falls beyond the point of “two guys meeting in a coffee shop” into a bonafide activist group. Since then, the group has met weekly, undertaken grassroots placemaking activities, and received some positive local press.

On Tuesday July 23rd at 12pm CDT, Strong Towns members are invited to a very special Ask Me Anything event with Jim and Jordan. Participants in this edition of Celebrity Ask Strong Towns are invited to log on live for a conversation with these two rock-star organizers and Strong Towns Community Builder Jacob Moses, followed by a moderated digital Q&A period. Members, please look in your email soon for your exclusive invite, or email team@strongtowns.org.

Not a member? Join the movement now to join this webcast and ask your questions live. A recording of this live conversation will be released in the weeks following for non-members.