It’s such an inviting phrase … so many aspects to the thought. I like it because it encompasses many of the opportunities we have as a community to become more than what we are, without losing what we love.
In addition to Janine’s talk, here are several ways I’d like to see Maine going global over the next few years:
- More global diversity. We can be a welcoming destination for hard working, well educated people from all over the world. We’ve already got a start, and our demographics make a compelling case to do more to attract and retain immigrants from all over the world.
- More global art. Maine has contributed mightily to the world’s great art. Let’s do everything we need to do to continue that tradition into the future by recognizing the central place art occupies in our communities, our economy and our culture.
- More global talent. Maine needs knowledge workers. Innovators. Entrepreneurs. People with the skills, vision and courage to make Maine a global resource for the next generation and beyond. We’ve been that in the past, and we can be again.
- More global tourism. Maine is the Costa Rica of the northern hemisphere, we just haven’t embraced it yet. When we do Maine will become the most sought-after destination in North America. Right now Maine generates over $5 billion dollars annually in tourism income – think what it’d be if we tried as hard as Costa Rica does!
- More global education. Maine already has some of the best schools in the world. Now it’s time for our state to become an international education destination for youth and adult learners. It’s a challenge public and private education leaders can embrace, and fulfill.
- More global investments. Maine needs financial and human capital to grow. With strategic policy choices and smart marketing efforts we can grab a much bigger share of global investments, opening the door to better jobs and better futures for us all.
- More global trade. The infrastructure is in place, from ports to rail to highways. Eimskip has opened European markets to small Maine businesses. China beckons. It’s time Maine reasserted its place at the global trade table, not with only traditional exports, but with new goods, services and knowledge to serve the world.
- More global citizenship. Maine thought leaders have set the tone for international progress for generations – George Mitchell is just one example out of many. Maine’s next generation of leaders can help brand our home as more than a pretty place with cool people – we can help take on the hard issues, and find solutions. It’s what we do.
I could go on, and I bet you’ve got a few of your own – leave your thoughts in the comments. But however you’d like to see Maine go global, let’s dream big, set ambitious goals, and make it happen!