A Futurist's View of Rural Minnesota
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A Futurist's View of Rural Minnesota



Delore Zimmerman of Praxis Strategy Group, Grand Forks, ND provides guidance for rural community leaders about development trends and the steps communities must take to increase their investment ...

Delore Zimmerman of Praxis Strategy Group, Grand Forks, ND provides guidance for rural community leaders about development trends and the steps communities must take to increase their investment attractiveness. He is part of a webinar series (Realizing Our Broadband Future) hosted by the Blandin Foundation



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    A Futurist's View of Rural Minnesota A Futurist's View of Rural Minnesota Presentation Transcript

    • The Future of Communities inAmerica’s Resurgent HeartlandA Futurist’s View of Rural Minnesota
      Delore Zimmerman, Ph.D.
    • The Heartland is made up of places whose economy and traditions are deeply rooted in farming, mining, forestry or fishing but are now finding their way in the globally competitive, network-centric economy. It’s a religious, family-centered archipelago of regions where civility, education, a focus on marriage and children, and accommodations to create a balance between work and family are commonplace.
      The resurgence is due to the fact that the pillars of the Heartland economy – food, energy, and manufacturing – are and will be in high demand in the global economy.
      America’s Resurgent Heartland
    • Today’s Webinar
      • The Resurgent Heartland
      • Thinking About the Future
      • Leveraging Trends Working in the Heartland’s Favor
      • High Performance Community Strategies
      • Building Communities of Aspiration
      America’s Resurgent Heartland
    • Today’s Webinar
      Foresight Exercises
      Trends and momentum that our community can align our efforts with to create opportunities
      Target opportunities that our community can focus on to have the most economic impact
      Tell a compelling story that will commit people to the possibilities
      America’s Resurgent Heartland
    • Historical Contributions of the Heartlandto the Nation
      Cheap food - average cost today is 10% of disposable income for Americans
      Migration to urban centers of educated workers
      Work ethic
      Sense of patriotism & civic responsibility
      Religiosity & family values
      Frontier opportunity - the national outlet
    • Repository of the Entrepreneurial Spirit
      “Almost all the farmers of the United States combine some trade with agriculture; most of them make agriculture itself a trade.”
      Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
    • Changing Role of the Heartland
      Economic function is no longer primarily the production side of agriculture
      10% of rural people today live on farms
      14% of rural workforce employed in farming
      The heartland is urbanizing
      Micropolitans growing and acquiring more urban amenities
      Approximately three-fifths of non-metro residents are micropolitans
      One in 10 Americans live in micros
      Rural (non-core) areas that are growing are high amenity areas and places with critical mass in terms of infrastructure and skilled people
    • Migration Trend 1960-2000
    • Regionalization Marches OnMetropolitan & Micropolitan“ruralplex”
    • America’s Residential Preferences
      Pew Research Center 2009
    • Overall Rural Economy:
      Reliance on Government + Manufacturing
      Natural resources
      Professional and business services
      Education health care and social assistance
      Financial activities
      Retail and wholesale trade
      Transportation warehousing and utilities
      Leisure hospitality and other
      Earnings percent of total by sector
    • Occupation of Civilian Employed Population 16 years and overMetropolitan, Micropolitan, Outside Metro/Micro
      Source: The American Community Survey (ACS) 2008
    • Points of Departure for the 21st Century
      Rural areas emerged from the 1990s having experienced a strong economic rebound. These gains, however, were highly concentrated. 40 percent of rural economies, namely those with scenic amenities, proximity to metropolitan areas, or ability to transform themselves into commercial hubs, accounted for nearly all growth.
      CAPITALIZING ON RURAL AMERICA: CRAFTING A COMPETITIVE FUTURE. A Study by SRI International for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines. 2005.
    • Amenities-driven
      Black Hills Region, South Dakota
      St. George, Utah
      Wenatchee Valley, Washington
      Bozeman, Montana
      Heartland Growth NodesRegions that Are Thriving
      Technology-driven (re-emerging hubs)
      Red River Valley, ND/MN
      Sioux Falls, South Dakota
      Des Moines, Iowa
      Greenwood, Mississippi
    • A Short History of Technology:
      Red River Valley Corridor
      Food processing
      Biotech Services
      Digital imaging
      Business solutions software/systems
      Polymers & coatings
      Wireless technology
      Off-road vehicles
      Crop &
      Farming &
      & Finance
      1870’s 1950’s2000
    • Forces of Renewal
      Nationwide people heading to smaller towns and cities
      Housing prices on coasts reach critical level
      Social trends strongly pro-rural
      US population growth will increase interest in rural and small town areas
      Technological evolution permits dispersion and accelerates opportunities
    • Forces of Transformation and Renewal
      Foresight Exercise
      What do you believe will be the one trend or force of transformation that most impacts your community in the foreseeable future?
      What existing momentum can we build on to create opportunities for the future?
    • Looking Ahead
      • More of the same?
      • Transition and transformation?
      • Disruptive change?
      The rate of change is accelerating.
      “ Because of the explosive nature of exponential growth, the twenty-first century will be equivalent to twenty thousand years of progress at today’s rate of progress; about one thousand times greater than the 20th century.”
      Ray Kurzweil
      Inventor, futurist, author
    • The Velocity of Change?
      50 million users
      • 3000 BC to 1966 knowledge factor of 1
      • 1966 to 1996 knowledge doubled
      • 1996 to 2006 knowledge doubled again
      • Radio = 30 years
      • TV = 16 years
      • Computer = 12 years
      • Internet = 4 years
    • Just 3000 days ago
      Couldn’t Google much of anything, a Blackberry was just a fruit, Amazon was only a river
      Hybrids were plant varieties
      Off-shoring was for oil rigs and banking
      Housewives were desperate only on daytime TV
      Homeland security meant a home security system to most people
    • The future is already here.
      It’s just not widely distributed yet.
      “we have no idea, now, of who or what the inhabitants of our future might be. In that sense we have no future. Not in the sense that our grandparents had a future, or thought they did. Fully imagined cultural futures were the luxury of another day, one in which ‘now’ was of some great duration. For us, of course, things can change so abruptly, so violently, so profoundly, that futures like our grandparents’ have insufficient ‘now’ to stand on. We have no future because our present is too volatile. We have only risk management. The spinning of the given moment’s scenarios. Pattern recognition.”
      from Pattern Recognition
      William Gibsonauthor, coined term cyberspace
    • Network Society
      Information Society
      Industrial Society
      Agricultural Society
    • Flows of the Network-Centric Economy
      work flows to nodes of technology and talent in the global information and logistics infrastructure
      trade flows between value-added regional and global enterprise networks
      financial and human capital flows to where it’s wanted and stays where it’s treated well
    • Spatial Consequences of Network-Centric Economy
      • Robust sectors of cities and regions become integrated globally
      • Hinterlands become increasingly disconnected from their own metro centers & often the global economy
      • -> metro areas connect to hinterworlds
      • Declustering is enabling some types of economic activity to move to the periphery
      • Fewer, smarter firms drive regional economies
    • Global Population Reaches 9 BillionMega-cities of 10 million + by 2050
      More mouths to feed
      More energy users
      More demand for goods and services
    • US Population Exceeds 400 million by 2050
      Source: Bureau of the Census, CensusScope
    • Most of the nation’s rapid population growth, and an even larger share of its economic expansion, is expected to occur in 10 or more emerging megaregions: large networks of metropolitan regions, each megaregion covering thousands of square miles and located in every partof the country.
    • Minnesota
    • 21st Mid-Century Diversity
      Minorities, now roughly one-third of the nation's population, will become the majority by 2042, and grow to 54 percent by 2050.
      Hispanics are projected to nearly triple their numbers -- rising from an estimated 46.7 million today to just under 133 million by 2050, out of a projected total U.S. population of 439 million.
      The black population is expected to rise from 41.1 million, or 14 percent of the nation's population today, to 65.7 million, or 15 percent by 2050.
      The Asian population is projected to rise from 15.5 million people now, or 5.1 percent of the U.S. population, to 40.6 million, or 9.2 percent, by 2050.
      The American Indian and Alaska Native population will grow from 3.4 million in 2010 to 5.5 million in 2050, or 1.2 percent
    • Minority Prevalence 2000
    • Agriculture’s Grand Challenges:A Cornucopia of Opportunity
      • Double food production to meet food demands of 9 billion people on the planet by 2050 -- 400 million in the US by 2050
      • Increase production of food to meet growing demand for high-quality food experiences
      • Decrease impacts on the environment
      • Improve human health
      • Improve the social and economic well-being of agricultural communities
      • Increase power of productive economy
    • Organic Farming
      Organic farming became one of the fastest growing segments of U.S. agriculture during the 1990's.
      Growth in retail sales has equaled 20 percent or more annually since 1990. Organic products are now available in nearly 20,000 natural foods stores, and are sold in 73 percent of all conventional grocery stores.
      Certified organic cropland doubled between 1992 and 1997, to 1.3 million acres
    • Other Future Growth Areas
      Specialty Crops – nuts, wine, cheese, etc.
      Direct to consumer marketing (internet)
      Food processed near farms
      Consumer supported agriculture: revival of truck farming and farmers markets & new subscription farming business models
      Turning ag into energy
    • Projected U.S. Agricultural Trade Balance Imports and Exports: 2004-2015
    • Precision
      THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY 2008 - Australian Centre for Precision Agriculture
      • Scaling up sustainable agriculture to meet growing demand for food in the world will depend greatly on precision agriculture’s widespread adoption.
      • Precision agriculture holds potential for higher-value economic opportunities in agriculture and for rural communities.
      & Equipment
    • A Consumption Boom in Emerging Economies
      • Rising incomes and demand in Asian, Indian and African economies would in turn make it possible for other developing economies to increase wages and demand in their economies
      • They would also expand demand for American-made goods and services, allowing the United States to reduce its current account deficit.
    • Success Factors of Heartland Manufacturing
      • Performance first mindset
      • Outward-oriented from the start and have learned to overcome spatial barriers and the challenges of distance
      • Internalized functions often outsourced
      • Benefit from relatively newer infrastructure compared to east coast and rust belt; less stifling regulation than the west coast
      • High productivity and work ethic in the workforce - mechanical savvy
      • Community commitment is high
    • US Energy Consumption Grows
      • Primary energy consumption in the end-use sectors grows by 0.5 percent per year from 2007 to 2030
      • Annual demand for renewable fuels increases the fastest—including E85 and biodiesel fuels for light-duty vehicles, biomass for co-firing at coal-fired electric power plants, and byproduct streams in the paper industry captured for energy production.
      • Biomass consumption increases by 4.4 percent per year on average from 2007 to 2030 and makes up 22 percent of total marketed renewable energy consumption in 2030, compared with 10 percent in 2007.
      Source: Energy Information Administration. Quadrillion BTUs
    • Energy: The Next Frontier
      “Today on any given day there are two groups of buyers in commodity markets: one representing food processors and another representing biofuel producers”
      --Lester Brown, 2/1/06 in the Globalist
    • Global Biofuels
      • Worldwide ethanol production reached 20 billion gallons in 2008.
      • Worldwide production of cellulosic ethanol will amount to at least 16.5 billion gallons in 2020.
    • Agriculture’s Potential Role in U.S. Energy Independence
      Biofuels already account for 2.2 percent of global fuel supplies and about half of all growth in fuel production outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. U.S. renewable fuel production should almost triple by 2020 to meet blending targets. By 2050, according to projections by the International Energy Agency in Paris, 26 percent of the world’s transport fuel will be renewable.
    • Wind could generate as much as 11 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year on the Great Plains, Great Lakes, Rocky and Appalachian Mountains.
      50,000 megawatts in Canada
    • Federal 20% Renewables Mandate for Large Electric Utilities
      $22.6 billion to $37.7 billion savings by lowering electric and natural gas bills
      Creates 91,220 new jobs , many high skilled in rural areas
      $41.5 billion in new capital investment, including $5.7 billion in income to farmers and rural land owners, and finally, $2.8 billion in new local tax revenue.
      Pollution reduction equivalent to taking 25 million to 32 million cars off the road.
      U.S. Jobs Created by Renewable Energy vs. Fossil Fuels, 2020
    • Distributed Community-Based Regional Energy Systems
      Most renewable energy sources are abundant on a regional, oftentimes sub-regional level – e.g. hydro, solar, biomass, geothermal, wind
      An alternative to the national grid is a distributed system
      Wenatchee Valley, Washington
    • Building On the Robust Pillars of the Heartland Economy Foresight Exercise
      Food, energy and manufacturing hold significant future opportunities for rural communities. Describe an opportunity for your community that you feel could get traction in the next 20 years.
      What opportunities beyond food, energy and manufacturing hold promise for your community?
    • “The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones.”
      John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory (1936)
    • Challenge #1creating opportunities for upward mobility and middle class jobs
    • Challenge #2 Finding Our Way in the Emerging Sustainable Development Paradigm
      Sustainability is becoming an umbrella term for health, wellness, organics,
      environmental consciousness, fair trade, simple living, buying local, etc.
    • High PerformanceCommunities
      High performance communities are communities and regions that are capable of realizing their full potential – they are competitive and livable.
      The goal is to create and sustain economic opportunities that produce as much value as possible given available resources, capabilities and the reachable market – whether it is local, regional, national or global.
    • A High Performance Community or Region
      Is connected via telecom & transport & transit
      Nourishes entrepreneurs
      Grows from within focusing on higher-skill, higher- value opportunities
      Focuses on industry sectors/clusters that build on local competitive advantages
      Networks vigorously locally and with business and government from outside the region
      Has a global outlook
      Mobilizes local leadership & collaborates regionally
    • HPC Operating Principles
      • A community like an individual has a work to do.
      • Communities don’t act, the parts do – so empower the parts
      • Success comes from seizing momentum and aligning actions with trends that work in your favor
      • Prosperity is determined by the power of your connections – increasingly those outside the community
      • A compelling story commits people to the possibilities
    • Invest in
      Broadband telecom infrastructure
      Specialized facilities
      Transportation facilitating mobility of people and products
      Water and energy
    • Infrastructure is a Driver of Economic Growth and Prosperity
      Infrastructure ………………………………………………………… Infrasystems
    • Build and cultivate the skills and energies of people, both as entrepreneurs and workers.The growth of a region now depends onthe decisionsof individual entrepreneurs, investors, creative workers to locate there. To them the world is a vast smorgasbord in which various locales compete for their affections and attention.Quality of life and lifestyle factors can attract new people to an area - but opportunity is the prime ingredient.
      Joel Kotkin
    • Entrepreneur
      Interests & Relationships
      Opportunities & Access
      Geographical Preferences
      Quality of
      Quality of Life
      & Infrastructure
      Capabilities & Resources
    • Entrepreneur DevelopmentApproaches
      • Fertile soil policy
      • Business environment that facilitates any kind of growth
      • Small business development
      • Management, technical and financial support
      • Incubation support and facilities
      • Focus on one or more growth-oriented businesses
      • Business ecosystem
      • Build specialized services, resources and infrastructure for target industry
    • Downshifting Boomers Start Companies% of age group that started company in 2005
      Source: Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity
    • Networks
      Reinvention of:
      • business models
      • skills
      • workflow
      • planning
      • procurement
    • In a network economy competitiveness and prosperity are increasingly determined by the power of your connections.
      “Networks are possibility factories.”
      Kevin Kelly, WIRED
    • Local
      Leveraging Flows in the Network Economy
    • Powering Up Networks in Your Region
      High Performance Action SummitsSM
      “Temporary economic agglomerations”
      • Accelerate your development strategy by showcasing your best capabilities and strongest resources
      • Engage regional universities and colleges
      • Build connections with outside collaborators, funders and investors in business and government
      • Engage key players in defining a strategy and action plan for building promising trade and technology opportunities
    • Focus on opportunities that
      build on local competitive advantages
      What our community makes and does
      Skills Mix
      Industry Mix
      Future Forms
      Of Work
      Future Forms
      Of Enterprise
      What our community could make & do
    • Rural HPCs Requires Extra Steps
      • Establish connections with metro markets/capabilities
      • Build on linkages to traditional rural industries, e.g. M&E
      • Repurpose assets and resources, e.g. agri-energy
      • Create collaborative networks of companies, colleges, universities & government
      • Focus support on outward-oriented, tech-savvy firms
    • Greenwood, MississippiViking Conquers the Kitchen Landscape
      • Fred & Margaret Carl and small group of friends
      • Built a global brand – superior product quality processes
      • Aligned strategy with cooking and food trends
      • Boutique downtown --> part of Fred Carl’s dream
      • Restoration of historic buildings
      • Focus on southern hospitality and cuisine
      • Use history & tradition. i.e. the power of locale  Cotton Capital of the World
      • Community, state, federal leaders support  WE
    • High PerformanceCommunitiesof Aspiration………………
    • Resolve
    • Seize opportunity now
      Not houses finely roofed
      Nor the stones of walls well built
      Nor canals nor dockyards
      make the city
      But men able to use their opportunity
      Alcaeus 600 BC Greece
    • “Good things come to those who wait, but only the things left over by those who hustle.”
      Abraham Lincoln
    • Become a possibility factory!
      High Throughput – Combinatorial
      “If you want to have good ideas you must have many ideas.”
      Linus Pauling
      Quantum chemist & biochemist
      Nobel Prize Winner (2 times)
    • Find Opportunities at the
      Crossroads of Industries
      For Example
      Precision Agriculture
      • Instrumentation
      • Data Services
      • Application Services
      & Equipment
    • Mobilize strategic leadership coalitions on multiple fronts
      Risk Capital
    • Emulate The Success of Others
      “ The future is already here. It’s just not widely distributed yet.”
      William Gibsonauthor, coined term cyberspace
    • Make people a priority
      People are sophisticated, decision-makers about place today
      Quality jobs
      Amenities & aesthetics
      Recreation and leisure
      Quality schools and health care
    • Leverage
      #1 Asset
    • Tell a compelling story that commits people to the possibilities
      “I’ll believe it when I see it. I’ll see it when I believe it.”
    • Your Community’s Compelling Story Foresight Exercise
      Write one or two newspaper headlines that describe a winning future scenario or aspirational outcome for your community.
      For Example:
      • Local Windfarm Now Powers 30% of City
      • Area Farmers Supply Organic Produce to East Coast Restaurants
      • School District Inks English Language Deal with Chinese Partners
    • Catch the wind and bend it to your will
    • Thank Youdelore@praxissg.com