In planning for its future, West Virginia should take a closer look at smaller countries like Denmark or South Korea, according to Gregory Bowman, WVU Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.Bowman spoke recently at the Create WV 2013 conference in Richwood. The annual event brings together some of the nation’s most provocative and action-oriented thinkers and doers to focus on the future of the West Virginia. Bowman was an international keynote speaker at the conference.
He told the audience that in order to “kick start West Virginia into a renaissance” we need to better understand the state’s strengths and weaknesses.
“We need to look to other places and compare ourselves to them,” he said. “And that is one of the reasons that globalization and international programs in education are so important.”
Bowman has spent a lot of time in South Korea as head of a legal study abroad program there, and he lived in Denmark as an exchange student.
“Both places offer interesting perspectives on West Virginia,” he suggested at Creative WV.
Both countries emphasize a quality education, which results in highly educated workforces that support high tech industries, solid growth, and an overall high quality of life, Bowman pointed out.
Denmark also puts special focus on small businesses development, which is something West Virginia should do, Bowman said.
“The vast majority of jobs in the U.S. are created by small businesses. Rethinking how we support small businesses would help West Virginia improve its economy, tax base, and growth rate, and make it more likely that we could attract better outside investment.”
The title of Bowman’s speech at Creative WV 2013 was “Going Global: A West Virginian’s Journey from Local to Global (and Back).”