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Building Resilient and Sustainable Economies

The 2020 IEDC Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas will focus on building resilient and sustainable communities that thrive.  In one way or another, all communities, no matter the size, are focused on five main areas: leadership development, talent development, supporting entrepreneurship, fostering economic opportunity and diversity, and economic transformation. This year’s conference will align these five priorities with its conference tracks and highlight interconnected dimensions of “resiliency.” 

Economic Transformation

Economic development strategies must, first of all, aim to make local economies resilient in the face of pervasive technological change and disruption. Technologically resilient economies will be positioned to withstand the macroeconomic forces of globalization and automation, including the offshoring and automation of an increasing amount of service industries.

Fostering Economic Opportunity and Diversity

Local communities must also focus on increasing their resilience in the face of new economic and social pressures. What opportunities and challenges lie ahead in expanding economic opportunity and diversity in the face of such speedy change? What lessons of the past can be applied to future plans in order to ensure a more inclusive plan for the future?

Workforce Development

The most economically resilient communities will be those that most effectively address the looming education and workforce development challenges. Building human capital resilience starts with creating a sustainable commitment to the K-12 pipeline, and continues into investments in adult workforce retraining. 

Leadership Development

Economic developers must continually “sharpen the saw” by refining their skills in order to anticipate the changing realities. In the years ahead, EDOs will be increasingly challenged to adapt to disruptive transformations and maintain a skilled pool of EDO leadership. 

Supporting Entrepreneurship

Resilient cities and towns, finally, must create conditions in which businesses of the future will take root and expand. This requires ensuring that the community is open for business and that it offers a welcoming and attractive setting for entrepreneurs with local amenities, resources, and policies that support growth. 

Join us in Dallas as we explore how to build resilient and sustainable communities that thrive!