I was born in the beautiful state of Idaho, and lived there the first decade of my life. Consequently, I always look forward to opportunities to work with consulting clients in Idaho as I feel an affinity for the place.
This year one of my major projects involved assisting the State of Idaho Transportation Department in a long-range planning effort that they will complete toward the end of 2010. My assigned task was to produce a report in late summer on the future economy of Idaho as it interacts with transportation infrastructure, with a 20-30 year time horizon.
To conduct this study I enlisted the assistance of two colleagues, Art Hiemstra who has decades of experience in investment banking in early stage companies, and Dennis Walsh, a Canadian environmental futurist who was the first publisher of Green at Work.
The result was comprehensive and forward looking, a report that sets the stage with the evolving economic environment shaping the future of Idaho, the necessity of competing on a world class level, opportunities we see for Idaho, risks to the future, strategic implications for transportation planning, and several case studies of other regions that have envisioned their futures for comparison.
I think the most intriguing idea suggested is that the state of Idaho, known historically for agriculture and outdoor recreation and more recently as a center for technology, has the opportunity to position itself for leadership in next generation energy development. We in fact proposed the establishment of the “Sunrise Energy Corridor” stretching across most of the southern area of the state, where there is respected national lab, great university resources, entrepreneurs in solar and wind, and, lots of sunshine.
The full report, “Growing the Idaho Economy, Moving Into the Future” can be found here on their website. We invite you to take a look. (It is a large pdf file, 20+MB.)