Disaster Preparedness • Economic Recovery • Resilience

Island Economic Resiliency at the 2018 Annual Conference

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) organized the “Island Economic Resiliency Roundtable,” a special event for island-based economic developers, community leaders and subject matter experts that took place in Atlanta, Georgia on October 3, 2018. As an event that took place after the IEDC Annual Conference, this forum was organized as part of an effort to promote inclusive economic development and recognize the unique characteristics of island economies and the challenges faced by island-based economic developers. More than 50 people from 12 jurisdictions attended the event. The moderator for the session was Paul Raetsch, former Regional Administrator for the U.S. Economic Development Administration-Philadelphia Region, who previously had oversight over Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as states from New England to Washington DC during his career with EDA. The event was organized by Lynn Knight, CEcD, Vice President of Knowledge Management & Development at IEDC, who spent more than two decades of her career living in or working on behalf of U.S. island jurisdictions in the Pacific and Caribbean.

This document summarizes the considerable insights offered by subject matter experts and representatives of multiple island jurisdictions during the forum with the goal of serving as a basis for future discussions and collaboration.

The roundtable consisted of keynote presentations and four panel discussions which focused on:

- Building the competitive strengths of island jurisdictions

- Challenges and opportunities in diversifying island economies

- Growing from within to strengthen local economies

- How to shorten the learning curve and build capacity for recovery after natural disasters