BiographyDella G. Rucker writes, speaks and consults with people who are trying to figure out how to change their community to avoid risks and capitalize on new economic and community realities.
Della has provided consulting services for local governments, nonprofits and property owners for about 20 years. She specializes in two areas: planning for comprehensive local economic revitalization, and constructive public engagement. She has worked in both capacities in about half of the U.S., in environments ranging from the very urban to the very rural.
Della has managed development of fiscal impact models, led contentious public meetings, pushed committees through hard choices and listened to the fears and frustrations of hundreds of public servants, entrepreneurs and dedicated advocates. She has also written and/or managed production of everything from comprehensive plans to heritage tourism brochures.
Della’s involvement in online public engagement technology stemmed from both her consulting experience (where she was the first US planning consultant to push two separate online public engagement platforms to work together) and her time as Managing Editor of Engaging Cities, an online magazine focused on the intersection of urban planning, online technology and open data. In her Engaging Cities role, Della curated coverage of the emergence of civic technology and open data and introduced nearly 40,000 readers worldwide to technology-driven community innovations from across the globe.
Today, in addition to her writing and speaking through Wise Economy Workshop, Della is also the co-owner of Econogy, an innovative system of companies that solves problems in experiential learning, local economic development and community engagement by creating intelligent connections between them. Econogy’s operations include student-driven consulting, asset-based community development implementation, peer-based small business operations continuous improvement, and leadership training and evaluation for emerging professionals.
Della is one of about 10 private sector persons in the United States to hold the industry-standard professional certifications in both planning (AICP) and economic development (CEcD). At various points in her life, Della has also been an English teacher, a Main Street program charter board member, a historic preservation consultant, and a small town journalist.
Della is the author of The Local Economy Revolution: What’s Changed and How You Can Help, Crowdsourcing Wisdom: a guide to doing public meetings that actually make your community better (and won’t make people wish they hadn’t come) and editor of Why this Work Matters, all from Wise Fool Press. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and the University of Cincinnati.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Local Economic Development
Asset Based Development
Open Data Technology
Public Participation Technology