In October, North Dakota State College of Science DECA members virtually attend North Dakota's Main Street Summit. This summit is a yearly gathering where people from North Dakota come and talk about both business development and community development.
The speaker that I found the most interesting was the opening keynote speaker, Governor Doug Burgum. Gov. Burgum is a former entrepreneur and started a tech business called Great Plains Software, which he later sold to Microsoft.
He began by discussing how to attract people to want to come and live in North Dakota, which is a difficult task to do when we have very cold winters and snow to go along with it. The whole point that he was trying to get across is that people don’t have to live in the same place that they work. Basically, I can work for a firm in Arizona but live in North Dakota if I want to.
Another major point he made was how we can improve our communities for the future. Right now, our communities are built for cars; however, we are seeing an increase in people wanting to use electric cars or even bikes in their communities. Gov. Burgum stated that we need to change so that we are prepared for the near future, rather than trying to build an airplane while it is in the air. This made me think about a lot of these countries in Europe and how they built their towns for horse-drawn carriages and crammed their buildings close together. But as time went on, we moved away from horses and moved to cars, tractors and semi-trucks and the roads couldn’t be changed to fit big vehicles (so the vehicles had to adapt to the roads). I felt like this was what the Governor was thinking about. We need to start looking for ways to build for the future, rather than having to adapt on the spot.
Governor Burgum had many interesting points and forced me to think about what he was discussing. While I understand that not everyone who reads this will live or even visit North Dakota, I feel like the key takeaways apply to all of us. We should all be welcoming to others who we don’t know and be open to living in a different place from where we work. But we should also start prepping for the future, now!