The following guest column by Gulf Coast President/CEO Mark Pritchett appeared in the June 17 edition of SRQ Daily:
Today, we have more data than ever about our community and world. But how do we best make sense of it—how do we turn that barrage of information into actionable intelligence to benefit our region and residents? Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s latest regional scan is one approach.
Every few years, we analyze data and interview community leaders to better understand what’s happening in our region and what challenges we face. From there, Gulf Coast identifies regional priorities that we must address together to build a better future. For example, our last scan in 2013 led to initiatives to diversify our economy, improve the skills of our workforce and help homeless families find opportunity after the Great Recession.
What does our latest scan tell us? With our region earning individual accolades for things like “best beach,” grade-A schools and “top 10” retirement havens, you might think we’re doing just fine. In fact, we see challenges across the big picture. The strengths and assets we consider our greatest—our beautiful natural resources, reasonable cost of living, good schools and more—are at risk. Things like growth, diversity, technology, globalization and climate trends will have real impacts on our region, real soon.
Read the rest of Mark’s column in SRQ Daily...