Looking Forward to 2050
When Albers Communications Group was founded in 2000, the year 2017 seemed far away. There was no such thing as a smart phone. Mark Zuckerberg was still in high school and was a good four years away from starting Facebook. Heck, even Myspace hadn’t been invented yet.
Obviously, a lot’s changed since then, and it’s safe to say things are going to keep changing. Which is why I was excited to attend the Heartland 2050 Winter(ish) Summit at the Kroc Center last week. As a transplant who plans to stick around a while, I was interested in learning what the overall vision is for our city’s future.
The first thing I learned is that it won’t take until 2050 to see some big changes. During the breakout session, Successful Startups Can Close the Gap, Nathan Preheim of The Startup Collaborative said that, by 2020, the city of Omaha hopes to see 300 locally-based software or tech startups moving toward scale, and employing about 2,000 people in high-wage, high-excitement jobs.
We’re off to a decent start with companies such as Buildertrend and Flywheel, but the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the Startup Collaborative, is actively trying to cultivate and incubate new talent.
The summit’s keynote speaker was Joe Reardon, former mayor of Kansas City and former head of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, and now President/CEO of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, who spoke about that city’s push for a more regional approach to transit. Since Heartland 2050 is part of MAPA (The Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan Area Planning Agency), a great deal of their focus is on making Greater Omaha a more walkable, livable region for the estimated nearly one million people who will call it home in the year 2050. This means closing the gap to eradicate almost $3.9 billion currently lost due to income inequality, and connecting the city through better public transportation.
As longtime members of the Omaha business community, Albers is looking forward to supporting our city as it grows and strengthens its startup environment, continues to promote a vibrant downtown and strives to create conditions in which all our citizens can thrive.