“We’re building the kind of city we want to live in.”
-Greg Tehven, Co-Founder, Emerging Prairie in Fargo, ND
The quote above is pulled from a terrific article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. I think it sums up what economic development is all about. If you work at a national or international level just substitute the words “country” or “world” for “city” and the same message applies.
As an economic developer, the article referenced above highlights a few truths about our profession. First and foremost, committed, visionary and sustained civic leadership is a required condition for success in economic development. Without the resources and urgency that business leaders bring to the table along with the public infrastructure and smart policies that catalyze economic activity, economic development in your community cannot flourish.
Second, there are many views on the definition of “the kind of city we want to live in.” Technologists and entrepreneurs want a vibrant startup scene that allows companies to grow. Industrialists want infrastructure that lowers costs to manufacture and move goods. Community leaders want to ensure that a rising tide truly lifts all boats – and that no one is left behind in the quest for prosperity. It is the economic development organization’s role to weave these ideas into a coherent strategy that not only takes these perspectives into account, but strengthens each of them by connecting people and ideas.
Finally, the article reminded me of the passion and energy that leaders are bringing to their communities all over America. Our country’s strength does not reside in a singular leader, institution or industry. It resides within our communities right now – and it is our job make sure that we surface it and celebrate it to make sure we are moving forward every day.
One Columbus Update
- Last week, One Columbus, the City of Dublin and the Memorial Tournament hosted the Leaderboard Breakfast at OCLC. Thank you to all who joined us and to our speakers, LPGA champion and 2014 Memorial Tournament Honoree Annika Sorenstam and Resource CEO Kelly Mooney.
- This week, the One Columbus team is in Minneapolis for the IEDC 2014 Spring Conference.
- Back at home, the Columbus Region is hosting the Area Development Consultants Forum. The three-day conference brings hundreds of economic development practitioners together for presentations, roundtable discussions and panels on best practices for the site selection process.