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Home > What's next with economic development? My report from Missouri ….

What's next with economic development? My report from Missouri ….

missouri-ecdeve.pngTwo weeks ago, I was featured as the closing speaker at the 2009 Governor’s Conference on Economic Development, the 51st annual event of this type. Governor Jay Nixon addressed the crowd on Thursday, Sept 10th, noting in his keynote that:


To compete – and win — in the 21st century, we must encourage entrepreneurship and small-business growth; enhance our workforce; and embrace emerging science and technology as critical industries of tomorrow.

I followed up with a closing keynote on Friday that took a look at the trends occurring with small business, workforce trends, and the rapid pace of innovation in various markets : particularly, energy, the environment, and what I’ve come to call “manufacturing 2.0.” Here’s the session description:

What Comes Next: And What Should We Do About It?

Is there a future out there? Definitely yes, but a constant drumbeat of negative news can cause people to lose sight of what will happen as we return to a period of economic growth.

That’s where Jim Carroll comes in — this noted international futurist, trends & innovation expert spends his time with globally innovative leaders. He’s gained keen insight into some of the key trends which will impact industries, organizations and careers in the next few years to come, in a wide variety of industries from health care, to technology and manufacturing, to the skilled trades.

Jim is a passionate believer that we live in transformative times — and in five or ten years, will look back at this time with awe at the new industries, products, careers, and opportunities that were developed.


Jim Carroll will challenge you to focus on the opportunities of today and tomorrow, rather than the challenges of the past.

There have been quite a few economic development related talks as of late ; it’s my belief that with the downturn, a lot of people have lost sight of the transformational change that is occurring in many industries, particularly with leading edge innovation and future trends, and what local economic development officers might be doing to capitalize on those trends.

Area Development Magazine, a publication that focuses on this area, noted recently that “it’s impossible to succeed at economic development and be a pessimist.”

What I’ve been doing is to help to bring a sense of optimism to those in the room.

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