Home of Future Thinking 2019

Do your economic development duties extend to lots more than business attraction and expansion? Are you working on revitalizing your downtown or making your city a place that attracts and retains young people?  Do you want to learn from strategies successfully employed in other communities?

For the past two years, API and APEG have hosted groups from the region to attend the invitation-only Home of Future Thinking (HOFT) event to learn more about how to build a “Micropolitan” community as you build its economy.  (Micropolitans are communities with 10,000-50,000 people.)  This year the organizers are allowing us to extend their invitation to teams from individual communities in our region that would like to attend.

This year’s gathering will focus on best practices to create a physical revitalization or transformation in small communities.  Some communities have successfully repurposed old buildings and attracted new investment. HOFT will examine the tools, federal and state programs, and processes to turn boarded up properties into exciting places that attracts new residents and additional investments. The event will highlight examples of success and identify the pitfalls to avoid. In addition, organizers received foundation funding to explore questions from past participants. This year HOFT will report on the research progress from the efforts ignited at the first two conferences.

  • How are Micropolitans trying to increase social and economic opportunity within their boundaries?
  • How are successful smaller towns attracting and retaining talent?
  • How are they intentionally developing the next generation of leaders and innovators?
  • What kinds of economic growth reduce income inequality?
  • How are successful Micropolitans supporting entrepreneurs and providing assistance that leads to new business formation and increased social and economic opportunity?

The event will be held November 19 and 20 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina at the recently reimagined Rocky Mount Mills. The event is free and $200 travel/accommodation reimbursements are available to the first 70 registrants, with an expectation that at least two people are registered from an interested community.

If your community is interested in sending a team, please contact John Molinaro at jmolinaro@apppart.org and he will send you registration details.