Economic development forum: Town invites fresh ideas

How to encourage economic development in town? The Wilton Economic Development Commission has turned to crowdsourcing. In other words, members of the community — residents, businesspeople, employees — are invited to share their ideas.
Send them to, and the three best will be presented at a community forum on Thursday, Oct. 15, 7:30 p.m., in the Brubeck Room at Wilton Library, sponsored by the commission. All are invited to attend,.
The three “best, most interesting or unique” ideas will be selected by a panel of commissioners and other town officials for presentation and discussion at the forum.
Submissions are due by Oct. 9. The authors of the three selected ideas will be contacted in advance so they may prepare their presentations.
“We want to gather your ideas,” said Commissioner David Clune. “Maybe this is the way to get the momentum to have a few of them considered on a formal basis by the town.”
A submission should consist of a brief description of the idea not greater than 500 words, along with any supplementary PowerPoint presentations, pictures and/or videos.
For individuals whose ideas are selected, presentations should be five to seven minutes long.
“We’re hoping that we get a lot of ideas from people who live in town, work in town, have a business in town or are considering moving or relocating here, and we hope this sparks a conversation about what the town can do to further economic development moving forward,” Clune said.
After the forum, there will be coffee and dessert and those in attendance will have the opportunity to meet one another and talk with commissioners.
About the commission
The commission was formed in 2012, charged with furthering the development side of the town plan of conservation and development. One of its first efforts was to create and publish an economic development website, which is now live at
Having done that, Clune said, the commission is now looking to reach out to the community.
“This is the first time we’ve ever done this,” said Clune. “We’re still a new commission, but we think this will be a good way to engage people, get some ideas, and figure out what the general sense in the town is. This is the first step in a bigger process.”
He added that the commission will be watching for themes that could potentially come through in the idea submissions, and he pointed out that even though most of the submissions won’t be selected for presentation, if a large number express the same line of thought, the commission will allow that line of thought to inform its strategic plan for the future of economic development in Wilton.