Keeping Pace with Trends

April 16, 2018

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.

In order to keep up with issues facing any industry today you have to study, engage with national and international associations, and reach out to your peers. This is as true in manufacturing, logistics or finance as it has been in medicine. It is also true for community leaders and economic development professionals.

I applaud the efforts of local and state leaders who are studying their development and growth policies and inviting peers and thought leaders to the area to learn, take actionable advice and gain perspective. This is certainly true across the Columbus Region and Ohio. While we are primarily focused on generating economic opportunities and building community capacity, it is also true that the world around us is changing.

Just like you would scan the conference agendas of an industry to help determine the emerging issues in a profession or a business sector, you can do so in economic development. To understand the broader issues facing our communities today, it is worthwhile to scan the agendas of great organizations like the International Economic Development Council, the Urban Land Institute, or the National Association of Industrial and Office Parks. I looked at the American Planning Association’s website and was quickly drawn to their list of trending issues as an example of some things that impact our community partners:

  • Disaster resilience: Housing and economic development
  • Planning, harassment and equity
  • Climate change, credit ratings and investment
  • Opioid/heroin crisis and land use
  • Autonomous vehicles: Ready, set, wait-a-minute

This list should inspire and motivate all of us. Anyone who ever thinks that working within and on behalf of communities is boring should look hard at the list above.

Let’s have a great week and meet these and our other challenges together.

-Kenny McDonald

One Columbus Update

  • More than 400 attended last week’s One Columbus Investor Update featuring management guru Tom Peters.
  • This week, the One Columbus team is hosting companies considering the Columbus Region. Next week, we’ll travel to Europe to meet with companies.