By Thea Skinner
Triplicate staff writer
Community representatives began developing a vision for achieving economic prosperity during a two-day workshop that ended Saturday.
The Future Scenario Planning Workshop Sessions in Smith River on Friday and Saturday marked he return of David Beurle, founder of Innovative Leadership Australia, and Connie Loden, director of the Heart of Wisconsin project. The workshops brought decision-makers together in effort to foster cohesiveness among them.
A surprise visit by David Hand, co-president of Data Center West Inc., offered to support technology needs in the community. Data Center West uses software programs centralized at one hub computer facility for all institutions in a community.
"Just because a town is not in the center of the Silicon Valley does not mean they need to be behind in the technical world," Hand said."The money is already being spent to manage current technology networks. A move to consolidate would jump Del Norte many years ahead of other communities and save money."
Hand's visit was intended to educate the city, county and schools about the benefits of a centralization plan and how the national trend of a global economy can be started locally.
"Our goal is to grow the Medford data center and use it as a model for a smaller data center in Crescent City," he said. "The feasibility to open a smaller data center in Crescent City sooner rather than later will be dependent on cooperation of current data processing departments."
On the economic front, Beurle said, "The fact that there was a workshop was a great success."
There was almost a unanimous decision that the development of community cohesion and an entrepreneurial environment, along with the physical appearance of the community, were the key drivers that would move the community toward economic prosperity.
Amenities to accommodate the identified drivers need to be created, he said.
"This was the start of a bold vision for the future of what they want," Beurle said. "There was a high degree of engagement and a collective consciousness asking: How do we manage the balance of our local values and create economic prosperity to support those that are disadvantaged? It was very powerful."
Loden also thought that community representatives made progress during the workshop.
"Many people expressed that the time is right to move forward toward making the Land of Plenty scenario be the reality ¬Ė using entrepreneurship, leadership and young people as key drivers to make it happen," she said.
Since a plan for economic prosperity is successful when communicated at all levels of a community, a publication will be distributed to residents describing how to move toward economic prosperity.