Imagine inviting local business people to have coffee every Wednesday at nine am and there is one or two speakers that spend six minutes presenting a premise, talking about and then a conversation between the speakers an audience occurs for 20 minutes. You’ve just imagined what 1 Million Cups is like. The Children’s Museum in Brookings, SD was the location (and will be for many more). Scott Meyer from 9 Clouds led the process. Myself and Jim Gartin, Economic Development Director from Fargo spoke.
Jim talked about open source economic development and supporting businesses already in place, and helping them grow. The days of chasing smokestacks appears to be in the rear view mirror. I’ve been to Fargo, and they are doing great things up there. The idea of helping local businesses grow as your primary method of economic development is intriguing to me. I’ve seen too many economic development people keep their cards close to their chest and get all excited when they bring a new manufacturer to town. The concept of open sourcing economic development is not a normal one in that field I wish Jim much success and hope I get to spend more time on a stage with him the future.
I told a story about 12 empty buildings and what happened to them in the course of one year. It started with a Tour of Empty Buildings and ended with 10 of the 12 buildings having businesses in them. It’s a true story and has happened in Webster City. It’s also the story of one of the chapters called Open Your Eyes in my book Building Possibility: 7 Principles. Six minutes is a good amount of time to tell a story — you get the facts straight, share the excitement and get to the point. It reminded me of the 140 Character Conferences led by Jeff Pulver!