Weather Forecast


Governor's summit on ND's future to feature 3 national speakers

Gov. Doug Burgum talks with North Dakotans at the State Capitol. Forum News Service file photo

BISMARCK—Three speakers will be featured at the 2018 Main Street ND Summit, which will be Feb. 12-13 at the Bismarck Event Center.

The Main Street ND Summit is intended to bring together local and national community development experts and advocates to share best practices and engage community leaders, entrepreneurs, students and interested citizens in envisioning North Dakota's future.

"North Dakota has roughly 13,000 job openings, and we are competing with every other state for 21st century talent," Gov. Doug Burgum said. "The way we will win that competition is by building smart, vibrant, healthy communities where people want to live, raise families or retire."

The Main Street ND Summit, hosted by Burgum and the North Dakota Department of Commerce, is open to the public. Cost for the two-day event is $100 and interested persons can register at

Here is a listing of the featured speakers:

• Charles Marohn is the president and founder of and lead author of "Thoughts on Strong Towns." He'll be providing thoughts on incremental development and showcase how so many American cities found themselves in decline after decades of "growth." He has presented Strong Towns concepts in hundreds of communities across North America and in 2017 was named one of the 10 Most Influential Urbanists of all time by Planetizen.

• Robert Gibbs is considered one of the foremost urban retail planners in America and will bring his insights into essential planning and design management concepts. He has been profiled in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Urban Land. Gibbs has, writes The Atlantic Monthly, "a commercial sensibility unlike anything possessed by the urban planners who usually design downtown-renewal efforts." Gibbs is a professional urban planner and author who has contributed to more than 300 master plans across the United States.

• Roger Brooks is one of the one of the most recognized and frequently quoted experts in destination management. He will bring his thoughts on creating differentiated communities to attract a 21st century workforce to North Dakota. He has assisted more than 1,500 communities and travel industry organizations around the world with their branding, product development and marketing efforts and has appeared on every major television network and in dozens of other media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.