Economic Recovery, Equity, Resilience
University of New Mexico
The City of Santa Fe will be working with Nancy Lewis (Director of the Canopy for Creative Collaboration), Wellington Spetic (Director of New Mexico for Good Program), and Manuel R. Montoya (Associate Professor), at the University of New Mexico. Utilizing design thinking methodologies, the research team will study the current entrepreneurship landscape and technology ecosystem in Santa Fe to identify needs and potential solutions within the community. Along with the research team at UNM, a number of community partners will also be supporting the effort such as Santa Fe Innovates, Los Alamos National Lab, and the New Mexico Economic Development Department.
Santa Fe County serves as an economic engine for much of Northern New Mexico. Longstanding challenges stemming from a lack of innovation industries or high wage jobs, endemic poverty, tourist based economy, and consistent “brain drain” have created an inequitable place. This is exacerbated by the pandemic’s devastating effects on our region’s vulnerable residents, existing small businesses and our burgeoning entrepreneurs who struggle to find the capital and support they need to thrive.
While many communities strive to recover from the pandemic, Santa Fe endeavors to achieve more than a recovery: we aim to invest in the future innovation economy by building on our inherent tech and creative assets to “leap frog” into the industries and jobs of the future.
Anecdotally, many people feel it is a City divided between an affluent aging population and a younger, less educated population with fewer opportunities to prosper. Many businesses complain about their inability to retain and attract employees; and long time families see their young people leaving to bigger cities.
Whilst there are a vast array of local entrepreneurial support organizations, their efforts are not coalesced and there is an untapped potential in our local technology assets.
While City of Santa Fe is well positioned in the science, art, and nature, we struggle with how to resolve the following issues:
Academic research teams will be able to:
Academic teams can also access existing assets:
The City of Santa Fe is seeking to work with an academic team to understand:
Our long term goals include: