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Speaker James Chung: Next Frontiers for a Standout City?

September 20, 2018

James Chung didn’t find Greater Des Moines (DSM). Greater Des Moines found him.

Chung is the president of Reach Advisors, a strategy, research and predictive analytics firm. Among his clients are U.S. cities wanting to peer deep into his datasets — he says he extracts data even the U.S. government doesn’t have — to flush out weaknesses, identify opportunities, and gain competitive advantages over other cities.

And among those “other cities”? DSM, the statistical overachiever.

Invariably, when Chung compares client cities to others around the country, DSM jumps out of the data as outperforming its peers. So much so, Chung said, that DSM could break out as a city known nationally for talent and opportunity, following the pattern of Nashville, Tenn.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; or Boulder, Colo.

DSM is approaching a decision point, Chung says. The region has been in a period of exceptionally rapid growth, and it is well positioned to ride that momentum for some time. But if the region wants to continue growing at the same ambitious pace, it will require intentional planning and a willingness to take on big initiatives.

This line of research leads to several challenging questions that Chung will pose to regional leaders: Can DSM protect its recent growth from another recession? Should future growth be slow and steady? Or does DSM want to turbo-charge its growth and seek out new frontiers, even if new challenges emerge?

Ultimately, how much can DSM capitalize on its momentum?


Thursday, October 4
11:30 a.m. — Lunch
11:45 a.m. — Historical preview with Leo Landis, State Curator
12 – 1 p.m. — Keynote with Chung
1 – 1:30 p.m. — Q & A with Chung
State Historical Building
600 E. Locust St., Des Moines

Please RSVP.
Bag lunches from Cafe Baratta’s available for purchase.

Tomorrow Plan Speaker Series

The Tomorrow Plan Speaker Series is an implementation strategy of The Tomorrow Plan, a plan for the sustainable development of Greater Des Moines. New this year is a partnership with Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, which is hosting the series and enlisting experts from the State Historical Society of Iowa to present brief historical preview talks before each keynote presentation. For more information, please visit dmampo.org/the-tomorrow-plan/speaker-series.


Capital Crossroads

Polk County

Greater Des Moines Partnership

Science Center of Iowa

Business Record

Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs

Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization