Imagine Connecticut in the not-so-distant future: a new Silicon Valley, a creative corridor whose streets are filled with a celebration of all things local. Fairfield is home to boutique hotels, New Haven is paved with Airstream pop-up shops selling local designer goods, and the whole state—thanks to the sheer growth of big cities everywhere—is a safe haven from urban sprawl, pollution, and overpopulation.
In 2020, Connecticut will be neither red nor blue but green, a place where new home and office architecture will maintain a low carbon footprint and content labs will set up shop in old churches with recycled furniture and community outreach programs. Big business will sponsor farmers markets and gardens to promote the culture of all things hyperlocal, and Connecticut will replace Vancouver as the place to shoot features that we’ll all watch in small cinemas started by creative types who left Manhattan in search of more space and a more prosperous environment for creativity and entrepreneurialism.
Design collectives will embrace our collaborative and hybrid culture and stake claim to our talent and resources. Writers will move to Connecticut to focus on the great American novel, blog piece or feature story. Our newspapers and magazines will experience a rebirth as more writers, fashion editors and graphic designers contribute to the print medium and help tell stories about our friends and neighbors. Up-and-coming chefs with backyard farms will grace our towns with local and inventive offerings to please a workforce and resident class hungry for something seasonal, homespun and unique. Artists will find many incentives to move here, including inexpensive rentals on studio space and loads of coffee shops in which to create a salon culture. And fashion designers will find a home here as “Made in Connecticut” will score big points with the WWD crowd.
All this business will also make the state a hub of best corporate practices, and social responsibility will continue to leave its mark as more Connecticut businesses contribute to our communities and the world by doing well and doing good.