Last week I wrote about the Thriving by Design conference. Hosted by Growth & Justice and One Minnesota, this meeting was part of a process to find out what are the top policy concerns and hopes for Minnesota residents. It was very interactive session where we looked at priorities and policy intersections – or policies that had an impact of other policy concerns. It was fascinating.
Spoiler alert: broadband came out on top. I won’t go into the value of the numbers but broadband had top priority and interconnectedness scores. Not necessarily the top for either – but combined, it was the top. (And I did not tip the scales!)
I remember being in the room in the nascent days of the Minnesota Broadband Coalition. Many organizations were interested enough to join the meeting but when asked to rank their top policy concern, broadband came up second, third or farther down the line. So it’s interesting to see how the Thriving by Design team has been able to quantify and embrace the interconnectedness as part of its importance.
Broadband is problem for those who don’t have it – and an answer to many questions for those who do. Having broadband solves more than the issue or not having it, it opens the door to better opportunities for education, healthcare, civic engagement and economic development. It is a priority because of its interconnectedness.
To learn more mark your calendar for January 14, that’s the morning Thriving by Design will hold a press conference at the Minnesota State Capitol.
Also – and only because someone asked while I was there. There was distribution of rural/urban/suburban folks in the room. Not everyone left a zip code – but for those who did here’s the break down:
- 22 from urban areas (TCs)
- 5 from suburban areas (most around TCs)
- 7 from large towns (think Mankato)
- 11 from rural areas (4 from New London!)