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Our Love Letter to Springfield, Missouri – How We Know Our Community is Primed to Embrace Innovation, Boldness, and an Exciting Future

Thinking About Our Future

They say with every crisis comes opportunity. 

As our city, state and country wrestle with the coronavirus pandemic, economic slowdown and issues of systemic inequality, it is clear that a lot of things are broken. But they don’t have to stay that way. The “new normal” can look any way we want it to. 

Thinking about the future has always excited us. Our community has a rich history of entrepreneurship, innovation and economic vitality. We truly believe the very best days are ahead of us. And we know Springfield has more opportunity now than ever before.

Make no mistake – we have a lot of work ahead. But it’s important that the size and scope of these problems (and opportunities) doesn’t prevent us from starting. 

The goal is not to be perfect tomorrow. The goal is to be better every day

Resisting the Temptation of ‘Good Enough’

When it comes to building the next version of Springfield, we think it’s important to resist the temptation to leave things ‘good enough’ or ‘the way they’ve always been.’

With two large metros dominating most conversations about Missouri, our community has always had to work a little harder. And there’s something to be said for being a little bit scrappy. We’ve had to “get creative” to get things done. We’ve had to work together from day one. We’ve learned to do more with less and collaborate for the greater good

This scrappy, collaborative spirit will be what helps us transform now into the very best versions of ourselves.

Springfield, Missouri’s Chance to be the City of Choice for Entrepreneurs, Innovators and Trailblazers

Everyone has seen the headlines about remote work, urban exodus and the opportunities presented to workers in a post-Coronavirus world. Newly remote workers from across the country will have the opportunity to live and work from anywhere. Experts have already suggested many of them “may end up in Springfield, Missouri.” 

We truly believe Springfield, Missouri is positioned to become the city of choice for entrepreneurs, innovators, trailblazers and generally cool and interesting people. Why couldn’t it be here? We’ve got all the right ingredients and plenty of exciting things on the horizon.

Momentum is Real, and Springfield Has It

Intentional relationships and quick pivots mean we can move quickly to make things happen. The Jordan Valley Innovation Center and CoxHealth’s commitment to partnership and innovation meant critical PPE for healthcare workers moved from prototype to production in less than 48 hours.

Public-private partnerships mean Springfield gets the best of both worlds in many cases. Springfield City Utilities and SpringNet, our municipal utility provider, are partnering with CenturyLink, an industry-leading private company, to bring high-speed gigabit internet to all of Springfield’s residents. The partnership is catching the attention of national groups, including the Brookings Institute who says the model could be the missing piece in America’s struggle for widespread high-speed internet access. 

Our region’s natural resources are beautiful and accessible. Our network of parks and trails continues to grow, and big plans are in the works to transform a portion of Grant Avenue into a pedestrian parkway that will connect downtown Springfield to the award-winning Wonders of Wildlife

Not long ago, IDEA Commons and a downtown innovation district was only a dream. Today it’s a reality and stands as an example of what is possible through successful public-private partnerships. The district continues to grow, with expansion of the efactory and MSU’s cooperative engineering program nearly complete. Expansion is also underway on the Jordan Valley Innovation Center, a hub for high-tech research and development. Daylighting Jordan Creek isn’t just an idea – it’s slated to become a reality. ForwardSGF and our community’s new strategic plan will create a blueprint focused on people, place and prosperity.

Community is Who We Are

There’s a line that seems apt for the situation we find ourselves, our communities, and our organizations in right now. It said: “Opportunities are rarely offered; they are seized.” 

We’re committed to seizing every opportunity. And we’re committed to helping the rest of our community do the same. As the world continues to change we will be here to help businesses respond. Give us a call if we can help your company innovate or imagine “what if.” After all, Springfield is where dreams really do come true.

Community is who we are. Forward is where we’re going.