SPEAKER JAMES CHUNG: Rebuilding Toward Deeper Resiliency

James Chung

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2020

7:30-8:30 a.m. — KEYNOTE WITH JAMES CHUNG
8:30-9:00 a.m. — Q & A WITH JAMES CHUNG

 

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Much has changed in the world since James Chung was here in 2018 to discuss the many ways Greater Des Moines is a statistical overachiever. Two years later – amid the global pandemic, a wounded economy and a national reckoning over racial inequities – Chung is returning to the Tomorrow Plan Speaker Series on a virtual stage to reassess the region’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.

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 help them gain competitive advantages over other cities.

During his last visit, Chung described Greater Des Moines outperforming its peers whenever compared to his client cities around the country. Chung said at the time that Greater Des Moines could break out as a city known nationally for talent and opportunity – if the region continued with its intentional planning and a willingness to take on big initiatives. A video of his previous talk is available at tomorrowplanspeakerseries.com/james-chung/.

For his upcoming visit, Chung is digging deep into data specific to Greater Des Moines to diagnose the region’s condition in the altered economy. His research leads to several challenging questions that Chung will pose to regional leaders: How much of a competitive advantage has Greater Des Moines retained and has it changed? What helped its recovery from the last recession and could those strategies work again? Can the regional economy become more equitable? How can the region maintain its momentum?

The Tomorrow Plan Speaker Series is an implementation strategy of The Tomorrow Plan, a plan for the sustainable development of Greater Des Moines.

James Chung was such an engaging speaker two years ago we just had to bring him back. To get you ready, here is a recap of his talk in 2018, along with a video and a copy of his presentation. Enjoy.

James Chung: “Next Frontiers for a Standout City”

James Chung didn’t find Greater Des Moines – 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”? Greater Des Moines, the statistical overachiever.

Invariably, when Chung compares client cities to others around the country, Greater Des Moines jumps out of the data as outperforming its peers. So much so, Chung said, that Greater Des Moines 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.

Greater Des Moines 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.