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Sohodojo and a Midwest-based soywax company Collaborate to Support Statewide Solo and Family-based Microenterprise Network With Hub In Des Moines Enterprise Community

For Immediate Release

21 February 2003, Des Moines, IA USA – Anita Walker, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, announced today that Sohodojo's workshop, Creative Class In The Small: Economic Fire in Rural and Distressed Urban Communities, at the Iowa Creative Economy Unconference, to be held March 5th in Des Moines.

"Sohodojo's workshop is about empowering the creative class 'in the small', how networks of cultural creative social entrepreneurs can fan the flames of local economic heat in rural and distressed urban communities," Walker said. "Sohodojo's ideas contribute a valuable counterpoint to our conference keynoter and special guest, Dr. Richard Florida, whose Creative Class theory focuses attention on the importance of supporting creative class people in urban environments."

Sohodojo is a non-profit, applied R&D lab in rural north central Montana working with creative folks in the public and private sectors, including the North American Rural Futures Institute, to support solo and family-based microenterprise networks, according to lab co-founders Jim Salmons and Timlynn Babitsky. "We're very pleased to be announcing our strategic collaboration with an Iowa-based soywax company," Salmons said.

"By working with the soywax company to create an Internet-based microenterprise network powered by a story-driven and game-oriented marketplace, Sohodojo will make it possible for them to realize the vision they have that revisits and reinterprets the medieval enterprise of the village chandler, or candle-maker," Salmons said. "Internet communication technologies, especially freely available Open Source software technologies, make it possible for a small lab like ours to work with an emerging business like the Midwest-based soywax company to create industry-reshaping technical and business model innovations that will have traditional candle making companies going back to their drawing boards."

"The soywax company has already shaken up the candle-making industry with their soybean-based bio-wax," said Babitsky. "In particular, Sohodojo and this Midwest-based soywax company are targeting solo and family-based entrepreneurs in our nation's Renewal Communities, Enterprise Communities and Empowerment Zones. Our first step in this initiative is recruiting micro-entrepreneurs in the Des Moines Enterprise Community."

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is hosting the Creative Economy Unconference in support of the state's growing creative entrepreneurs.

"It is important that our creative class citizens meet and learn about the ideas of forward-thinking people like Carnegie Mellon's Dr. Richard Florida and Sohodojo's Salmons and Babitsky." Walker said. "These are just a sampling of the many people we've rounded up for the Unconference who will present creativity as it applies to any occupation."

The Creative Economy Unconference will be held Wednesday, March 5, beginning at 10 A.M. For more information and registration, visit:


Press Note: Sohodojo and a Midwest-based soywax company will be conducting a press conference prior to the opening of the Unconference to make a series of strategic announcements in support of Iowa's creative solo and family-based entrepreneurs, especially those living in the Des Moines Enterprise Community. Contact Sohodojo for press conference details.


Timlynn Babitsky
Sohodojo, Inc.
Havre, MT USA
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Sarah Oltrogge
Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs
Des Moines, IA USA

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Timlynn Babitsky
JFS Consulting
Raleigh NC USA

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Allan Cohen
Distinguished Professor in Global Leadership
Babson College
Wellesley, MA USA

Andrew Cohill
Knowledge Democracy Center
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Design Nine Organization
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Perri Morgan
State Director, NC
National Federation of Independent Business
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Michael Moshell
CREAT Digital Media Program
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Visual Systems Lab
Univ. Central Florida
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Gary L. Murphy
President and CEO
Teledynamics Communications, Inc.
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Jim Schneider
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Rick Smyre
Communities of the Future
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