"If you build it, they will come." - Field of Dreams

It's fitting to use the classic quote from the movie Field of Dreams here, because it's true.  That is, in fact, the way it works.  If you build it, they most certainly will come.  LinkedIowa is about creating, enhancing, growing, and building connection and community.  May this be a space where Iowans feel welcome to find connection, work on causes, do business, find jobs, find an organization, make friends, and be at home.

LinkedIowa is a space for Iowans and the Iowa-interested.  LinkedIowa is funded by donations and sponsorship.  We have had three events so far, with more to come.  If you are interested in hosting an event in your community, Contact Us.

LinkedIowa was born on LinkedIn, which has the largest LinkedIowa community at this time with just over 12,000 members.  We are growing a new Facebook group, and have a shiny new Twitter handle.  Join in or follow along! 

A team of volunteers have offered to help moderate discussions, and to get involved in some event planning.  We are on the hunt for a new logo; details on that will be posted soon.

Want to meet up with a group at the Iowa State Fair?  RAGBRAI?  Contact Us with your ideas on what we might do... and when!

Where is LinkedIowa?

This is the primary website for LinkedIowa, and the domain re-routes to this page.

Announcements from moderators will be posted, emailed, or Tweeted as each social media platform allows.  They will not be posted on this website, and they may be tailored to the medium and its associated community.

Membership requests for groups where approval will be processes as moderators have availability and may not be immediate.  If you have questions or urgency regarding membership, please contact us at the email address below.

LinkedIowa Events:  Event sponsorship opportunities are open.  Events can be sorted using the buttons to find the right event for you (once events are posted).

LinkedIowa Group on LinkedIn:  You will need to join or be a member of LinkedIn (free) to become a LinkedIowa Group member.  LinkedMembers can just send a membership request for the LinkedIowa Group.  You do not need to put any more information in your profile that what is comfortable for you.  Some people highlight their career, and have detail beyond a standard resume.  Some choose to limit the information they share, or to highlight their volunteer work or causes instead of their work.  

LinkedIowa Group on Facebook:  Facebook offers a more robust discussion capability, so it may be a spot for deeper discussion or for more participatory conversation than the LinkedIn space.  Facebook is also more of a social platform, so it may attract a much different crowd with different goals.  Facebook is free as well.

LinkedIowa on Twitter:  This is a brand new account!  Use the handle @LinkedIowa to follow along, or to Tweet us things we can re-Tweet.  We also recommend the hashtag #linkediowa for, well, hashtagging.

Tools, Resource, & Links:  Scroll down to the "LinkedIowa Tools" section below for a LinkedIowa resource library.  This will be expanded later in 2016.

LinkedIowa Contact Info: or (202) 556-0317

LinkedIowa Administrator:  Vanessa R. Burnett, Founder,

LinkedIowa Events, Sponsorship, Planning, & Hosting

Sponsorship and hosting opportunities are open for events around Iowa as an investment in connection and community.  Donations are accepted to help support current and future events.

If you or your organization is interested in sponsoring an event, just contact us for specifics.  Any person or organzation is welcome to host or sponsor an event.  LinkedIowa can promote group events through the LinkedIn group email feature and in our other locations.  You may wish to offer training, a demonstration, or a workshop adjacent to a lunch or happy hour that your organization either plans or sponsors.  We do ask that there be no entry fee for LinkedIowa group members for the primary event, although members may cover their own food and beverages.  For example, you may like to sponsor a lunch that your organization will pay for, and offer a training on your product for a fee after the free lunch.  Those who are hosting or sponsoring the event may wish to use the as a marketing opportunity, and they are welcome to do so.

If you are interested in getting involved, moderating, hosting an event, sponsoring an event yourself, or something else, please contact us.

Kind Lines for Connection & Networking Events

Any LinkedIowa event is for connection and networking. 

  • The goal of LinkedIowa from the beginning has been to hold space for connection and community.  LinkedIowa events and forums will continue that mission.
  • If you are coming to network, please bring business cards and/or have promotional materials handy or for display on a table if available (although rare).
  • Networking event attire is typically business casual, or whatever you wear to work, or whatever you are comfortable in for professional networking.  Or whatever fits the weather!
  • Please do not add LinkedIowa members to your business' email list unless you specifically ask members for permission.
  • One of the purposes of networking - and certainly of LinkedIn - is to do business. As with anything in LinkedIowa, if folks are icky about promoting or pushing something, please contact a moderator. 
  • Whether you are a natural networker or whether this puts you out of your comfort zone... join us anyway!  One thing about Iowans is we are generally friendly.   :)

Prior Events

Details on the first three LinkedIowa events are posted below, in case you would like to get a bit of history.  All events after January 2016 will be posted under Counterfear Events or shown in the Event Archive.

LinkedIowa: New Year, New Connections:  January 19, 2016.  Ankeny, IA. 41 RSVPs.  This event turned into a small group "hello" because the weather was super cruddy.  I didn't cancel the event because the forecast didn't look very bad.  I figured that at least a few folks would turn out, because Iowans can handle a little snow.  I have been in the big city for far too long, because I was impressed to see that Iowans easily handle more than snow.  Once it was clear how bad the weather had become, the large majority of folks who had RSVP-ed for the event didn't show up.  They went home.  Hopefully safely.  The folks who arrived were moderators, or were from right down the street. 

LinkedIowa Pre-Holiday Time-Out Gathering:  December 22, 2015.  Ankeny, IA.  13 RSVPs.  This meet-up was a bit atypical for a networking event.  The group was small enough (8-9 total) that we were able to have a conversation between all of us, and everyone got to meet everyone else. 

LinkedIowa First-Ever Networking Event:  July 23, 2015.  Des Moines, IA.  52 RSVPs.  We had just over 30 people attend this one, in beautiful weather.  It was a great kick-off event, and we received very positive feedback about having had the get-together.

LinkedIowa History

LinkedIowa started because someone held space for the idea, and the community.  My brother, Ben Burnett, started the group on LinkedIn, because he thought someone should hold the space... for a community could grow, and for people to make connections.  As I planned my move home to Iowa in 2015, I mentioned that I would like to find or build a state-wide networking group so I could get up to speed on things that were happening.  More importantly, I wanted to get connected.  I wanted to meet people, and find communities.  I keep hearing about all of this cool stuff happening in Iowa (like this), so I wanted to find a way to tie in to all of that. 

Ask and you shall receive.  Who would expect that your own brother would have created exactly the networking group you wanted to find?  Years before?  I am now the LinkedIn Administrator for the LinkedIowa group, but the mission is the same.  We are holding space to create connection and community.

LinkedIowa Stories

If you have a story that comes out of a connection you've made through the LinkedIowa community, we'd love to hear about it!  Use the contact us form, and make sure to specify the LinkedIowa Community.

My LinkedIowa Story - You're Experiencing It As You Read!

I'll start by sharing my own story.  In 2013, I had an idea about building a website that could serve as a kind of library for many different kinds of resources that related to community resilience and so on.  I found a ton of websites on different subjects, but nothing seemed to serve as a way to bring practical stuff to every day people... that wasn't limited in some way, either by the organization itself (i.e., who was paying), or by the technology.  I was looking for a Content Management System (CMS) where I could put my blog, resource links, and website content all under one roof - and one domain (blog sites often end up under a separate domain, because of the CMS used for the blog).  I wanted a consistent look and feel; I didn't want my website to look disjointed.  I wanted the platform to be easy to use, tailored to a style that would fit my goals, resilient, and open to some code alterations to meet my specifications.

I found it - totally by accident - in 2015, through LinkedIowa.  Ryan Young of Visionary Services Inc. had posted an article on the LinkedIowa LinkedIn group page, and I checked out his profile because I was in the market for a web designer. - what you are reading now - is now hosted by Visionary, a local Des Moines company.  The Visionary team has been excellent to work with - from website concept to design to finish.  Visionary also worked with me on developing tailored CMS code to meet specific capablities for the goals of  Visionary has done additional design work as well for other busines products related to the website design. 

Because of LinkedIowa, this business's website is 100% created and hosted in Iowa.  You never know what you'll come across when you are networking.

LinkedIowa Tools:  Resources & Links

As content grows on the Counterfear website, items tagged with "LinkedIowa" on the website will automatically be displayed below.  For LinkedIowa events, go to to Calendar of Events.

If you would like to search by a specific topic, go to either the Full Resource Collection page or The Blog pages and use the tag buttons.

iowa & linkediowa
BOOK: Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative

Get a FREE PDF of this book at the link above.  More about the report and initiative at this site: Disaster Resilience in America: Launching A National Conversation.

BOOK: Lucid Dreaming, Plain and Simple

"Lucid Dreaming - Plain and Simple:  Tips and Techniques for Insight, Creativity, and Personal Growth," by Robert Waggoner and Caroline McCready.  From the website:  "Aimed at beginners, Lucid Dreaming, Plain and Simple shows the reader how to enter and fully experience the lucid dream."  Iowa author Robert Waggoner has been the co-editor of the online magazine The Lucid Dreaming Experience for the past ten years.  Waggoner has been a lucid dreamer since 1975, and has logged over 1,000 lucid dreams.

BOOK: Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self

"Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self," by Iowa author Robert Waggoner.  From the website, "Lucid Dreaming offers exciting insights and vivid illustrations that will intrigue not only avid dreamworkers but anyone who is interested in consciousness, identity, and the nature of reality."

BOOK: Stress-Free Sustainability, by Adam Hammes

"Stress-Free Sustainability:  Leverage Your Emotions, Avoid Burnout, and Influence Anyone," by Adam Hammes, an Iowa author based in Des Moines.  Interview here.

Global Insurance Accelerator

The Global Insurance Accelerator based in Des Moines, Iowa "is a mentor-driven business accelerator designed to foster innovation in the insurance industry by supporting startups targeting the global insurance industry."


GoDaddy is a website domain and hosting company - among other things - and has offices in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Counterfear LLC owned domains are all managed through GoDaddy, as a company doing business in Iowa.

Gravitate (Co-Working in Des Moines, IA)

A coworking and entrepeneurial space in downtown Des Moines, IA.

List of Co-Working Communities in Iowa

Check out this list of co-working communities in Iowa, assembled by Gravitate, "the entrepeneurial center of gravity in downtown Des Moines."

Startup Drinks (Iowa)

"StartupDrinks is an interactive networking event for entrepreneurs & startup enthusiasts interested in connecting with great people building innovative things.  Monthly events [in Iowa] are held in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City."

The Lucid Dreaming Experience - Online Magazine

Iowa author Robert Waggoner has been the co-editor of the online magazine The Lucid Dreaming Experience for the past ten years.  Waggoner has been a lucid dreamer since 1975, and has logged over 1,000 lucid dreams.

Vault Co-Working (Cedar Rapids, IA)

From the site:  "Vault is a community of founders, innovators, entrepreneurs, starters and creatives. In short, we're big idea people, and we're building the bright future of Iowa together."

Your Go-To Guide to the Iowa Caucuses

Basics about getting to the 2016 Iowa Caucuses, how to register on-site, and participating.