Can we shape a future for the Tetons region which complements our values, character, and resources? If so, how?
These two fundamental questions underlie our annual 22 in 21 conference. To learn more about our annual conferences, and to see the videos taken at each event, please follow the links below.
22 in 21: An Overview
We who live in the Tetons region enjoy an embarrassment of riches. Simply put, no other place in the world shares our extraordinary combination of human, financial, and environmental resources.
Today, we also enjoy a once-in-generations opportunity; an opportunity which, paradoxically, has arisen from the recession.
The 2008 recession marked an inflection point in the local economy. For two generations, the Tetons region enjoyed a thriving real estate and development industry. In return, the building trades formed the bedrock of the region’s middle class, supporting the community as the community supported it.
The building trades have been the biggest casualties of the recession, though, and it’s unlikely they’ll ever regain their long-held prominence.
This reality begs the question of “What next?” Going forward, what – if anything – will fill the void left by the collapse of the building trades and, with it, the core of the region’s middle class?
This question has no easy answers. But therein lies the opportunity, for it has been at least two generations since Tetons-area residents have had a meaningful chance to think about what they would like their economic future to look like, or how they might bring that future about.
Hence “22 in 21: Jackson Hole in the 21st Century.” 22 in 21 gives residents of the Tetons region – not just Jackson Hole, but the larger community spanning two states and three counties – the chance to consider and begin answering a question fundamental to the region’s future: “Can we identify and begin to craft a future which complements our values, character, and resources?”
The key word here is “begin.” Communities are always evolving, always engaged in an ever-changing process which is never complete. But the recession has presented the Tetons region the opportunity to begin asking itself what kind of community we want in the 21st century. By extension, we can also begin asking what steps we can take – both today and over the longer run – to start creating a future which complements the region’s extraordinary human, financial, and environmental resources.