On Thursday, October 21, and Friday, October 22, leaders from Del Norte and Adjacent Tribal Lands, Humboldt, and Mendocino will convene virtually for the first-ever Redwood Coast Region Economic Development Summit.

Future Forward is a two-day virtual economic summit designed to foster innovative thinking throughout our region. It is a collaborative effort organized by the Humboldt County Office of Economic Development, Arcata Economic Development Corporation and College of the Redwoods, Redwood Region Economic Development Commission, and North Coast Small Business Development Center, West Business Development Center, the Crescent City/Del Norte Chamber of Commerce, and other leading institutions across our region. Our goal is to identify shared economic opportunities and strengthen collaboration amongst our businesses, economic development professionals, and emerging leaders.

On Thursday, October 21, we will hear from keynote speakers addressing relevant topics for our region, including Julian Mocine-McQueen from the Million Person Project, Ish Herrera and Patrick Atwater from CalForward, sustainable economic development expert Dr. Kate Lancaster from Humboldt State University, and our own California State Senator Mike McGuire.

Friday will provide a range of breakout sessions on exciting economic and business development opportunities for entrepreneurs and policymakers across the region, from broadband and green energy to workforce development, sustainable food and fisheries and much more.

This inaugural conference is entirely virtual, with opportunities to start building networks this fall that we hope will lead to visionary solutions and better collaboration across our tri-county region in the months and years to come. The robust virtual platform will make it easy to participate live, watch recordings later, network with other attendees, and participate in virtual exhibits.

This conference centers on three themes:

  • Industries Bringing New Opportunities: Sharing best practices and innovation to foster growth for our area’s leading enterprises, including tourism, agriculture, arts & culture, manufacturing, and cannabis.
  • Infrastructure for Sustainable Economies: Conversations about building and improving the key infrastructure needed in our area, such as transportation, childcare, housing, broadband, healthcare, and green energy.
  • Improving Quality of Life for All: Dialog about how to provide equitable access for all people who call the Redwood Coast “home,” with elements that research shows improve our quality of life, including community development, education pathways, advocacy, and investment for BIPOC communities, and mental health support.

One of the primary goals of this conference is to engage emerging leaders in the key issues of economic development and provide opportunities for collaboration throughout our region by offering 50 spots for diverse emerging leaders representing Del Norte, Humboldt, and Mendocino counties. For $25, emerging leaders will get access to the conference, as well as additional leadership workshops and special swag. If you or anyone you know would benefit from leadership development and networking opportunities across our region, please nominate them to attend! Please submit your nomination by September 24, 2021.

Learn more and register for the conference at bit.ly/FutureFWDHopin. Early bird registration tickets are $60 through Friday, September 24. General admission tickets are $75 thereafter. Attendees will get access to the live event, as well as recordings afterward, and a generous “swag bag” filled with goodies from our sponsors and a printed program highlighting the economic state of our region.

The Redwood Coast Region Economic Development Summit is a collaborative effort between organizations across Del Norte, Humboldt, and Mendocino Counties. Our sponsors include Arcata Economic Development Corporation, County of Humboldt Office of Economic Development, College of the Redwoods, Headwaters Fund, Illuminated Marketing, Humboldt State University Foundation, Blue Lake Rancheria, West Business Development Center, North Coast Small Business Development Center, City of Arcata, Redwood Capital Bank, Papa & Barkley, Redwood Region Economic Development Commission, City of Eureka, Greater Eureka Chamber of Commerce, Wave Broadband, Jitter Bean Coffee, Nordic Aquafarms, and NorCal 4 Health.

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