ota-pollen logosOTA, a network of community leaders focusing on immersive community events, and Pollen, an online network of civic-minded connectors that shares in information and resources, have announced their merger.  The joining of forces comes as the to organizations broaden both their scope and their geographic reach under a combined set of grants totaling $3 million from the Bush Foundation.

Over the past five years OTA has formed a movement dedicated to ‘connecting the disconnected’ throughout North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. Led by South Dakota native Hugh Weber, the OTA series of events brings together the region’s best and brightest along with world thought leaders to share insights and expertise, develop relationships and create limitless possibility.

Pollen, over the past five years, has grown to become the Twin Cities’ largest digital network of civic-minded connectors. The content is crowdsourced and created by a crosssector community focused on elevating the personal and professional growth of its members. Longterm Pollen volunteers, and cofounders of the literary arts magazine Paper Darts, Jamie Millard and Meghan Murphy, recently transitioned to become the organization’s main leadership stewards.

The combined organization will bring numerous high-quality events to communities in all three states they serve. “Where there is inspiration, there will be resources for action. We want to make the Midwest a prosperous space for dreaming and for doing,” said Meghan Murphy, creative executive director, OTAPollen. “We will seek out the most talented writers, illustrators, photographers and makers to competitively compensate them as they capture the inspiring stories of leaders throughout our region.”

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Miguel Danielson