Sophie Paulos & Noah Wilson, Growing Outdoor Partnership

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Today’s First in Future podcast guests Sophie Paulos, Graham County, economic development director and Noah Wilson, Project Manager, Growing Outdoors, Mountain BizWorks are all about changing the way you think when you approach a problem. For example, the traditional approach for economic developers is to look outside of the county to big companies who you can lure into your backyard. Some people call this the buffalo hunt; others the search for the great whale. Sophie Paulos, made a slightly different argument when she went to work as the Graham County economic developer. She joined The Growing Outdoor Partnership which is an alliance of counties, companies and organizations across western North Carolina that were willing to take a chance on a slightly different approach called Asset-Based Community Development. This approach assesses what each partner brings to the table and why it makes sense for them to work together rather than apart. Sophie works with our other First in Future guest, Noah Wilson, who is at the center of making The Growing Outdoors Partnership a success. Noah, Sophie and other members of the partnership are working on innovative ways to bring rural and urban areas together for their mutual benefit. Their product – the great outdoors.

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