In the recent ACCE spring "Chamber Executive" newsletter, the Chambers 2025 Report provides us with insights on the eight influences shaping the next decade for Chambers of Commerce. A key theme that emerged is that Chamber staff, members, investors and volunteers must align efforts and messages to become bridge builders, change agents and rain makers for our members and communities.
This has never been more true and relevant within the Quad Cities community, and the outcome is transformative. The Quad Cities region is undergoing a cultural shift, one that recognizes that what's good for one community is a win for the entire region. Within this cultural shift is the Quad Cities Regional Vision, a movement that reflects and leverages our strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities.
For the first time in the history of the Quad Cities, hundreds of leaders from both sides of the Mississippi River, representing Iowa and Illinois businesses, governments, non-profits, education institutions and trades have bridged past road blocks and forged an alliance through a shared vision for our region's future. Together, we understand and appreciate the power of alignment, collaboration, partnerships and civic leadership. United, we are fueling a movement that has this region taking control of our future by identifying our challenges and leveraging opportunities that best position the Quad Cities for prosperity.
The Quad Cities Regional Vision isn't the only bridge we're building, but it's symbolic that it's happening in tandem with the single largest investment ever made in our community; over $1 billion has been committed to the replacement of the I-74 bridge that spans the Mississippi River and connects our bi-state region. Couple that with the immeasurable asset of aligned and like-motivated regional leaders, delegates, partners and stakeholders who are traversing into future ensuring a cool, creative and prosperous Quad Cities and we've got transformation underway.
In today's world of dramatic and accelerating pace of change, the Chamber must find our sweet spot. While our region has made immeasurable progress, the work ahead will continue to require leadership with focus, commitment, collaboration, and alignment.
"We're competing with an infinite supply of information, networking opportunities and service providers to choose from outside our chamber. At the same time, when it comes to entities dedicated 100 percent to helping their companies and communities succeed, the choices are extremely limited." The Chambers 2025 Report noted and goes on to recognize, "When it comes to business and community advocacy, place making and business problem solving, we [Chamber] are in a unique position to be of value."
Our worth is found when we are bridging challenges with resolutions, convening stakeholders to identify shared goals, modeling collaboration, connecting specific needs with resources, forging partnerships that result in efficiencies and enhanced impact, leveraging collective expertise and talent, identifying risks, and building [sometimes begrudging] consensus on those things that influence our community's economic well-being and image.
Who, other than the Chamber of Commerce, could successfully convene such diverse opinion leaders and influencers to inspire and own catalytic change? If you haven't had the opportunity to review the Chambers 2025 Report, make it a priority this month. The future is now. What bridges will you build to position your members and community for the future?
Go here to learn more about the Quad Cities Regional Vision.