Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Responding to ‘Think Aiken Think’

Dr. Hudson was a guest of Aiken South Carolina’s Chamber of Commerce yesterday, where he was acting as a ‘responder’ to a community leader’s think-tank called “Think Aiken Think”. The Chamber was looking for someone from outside the community but with a background in economic development and planning to come in and sum up the planning session. “My job was to listen to all the various group discussions and then give a summary based on what I had heard, reacting to the level of creativity and identifying common themes” said Hudson. Participants were asked to debate various topics including how to create a more progressive and future-oriented leadership, how to attract more investment and create jobs in Aiken, and how to improve and promote the quality of life in the city. “It is just great to see these rural communities in the state realizing that inaction is not a viable option if they genuinely want to improve local prosperity. So they are bringing leaders of the community together to create a vision for the future – such stakeholder engagement is a crucial step in the community development process.” Last year, Hudson’s team in the Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism conducted a similar project for the Town of Bluffton. Their report can be found at:

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