In 2017, the City of Clermont-Ferrand launched the International Network of Michelin Cities (INMC) with a mission to foster collaboration and innovation among cities and communities worldwide where there are Michelin plants. The recent INMC Conference in Anderson, South Carolina, brought together cities and communities from around the globe to share ideas and forge a path toward a more sustainable and prosperous future. The Valley Regional Enterprise Network (Valley REN) had the chance to be a part of the Kings County delegation. Two representatives from the Valley REN, along with several municipal partners participated in this inspiring event, gaining valuable insights into the network’s focus on collaboration and innovation. Kyle Walsh, Economic Development Officer with the Valley REN shares his top five take aways and important themes from the conference which include:

  • Sustainability
  • Innovation
  • Collaboration
  • Culture and Mobility
  • Michelin Cities

Sustainability at the Forefront

Prioritizing Sustainable Development Goals and Inclusive Growth, emphasized the leadership of Michelin Cities in sustainable urban development, aligning perfectly with the need for environmentally responsible practices. For instance, the Annapolis Valley’s implementation of renewable energy projects, like wind farms and solar panel installations, promoted by Glooscap First Nations, underscores this commitment. 

Innovation Ignites Economic Growth

Beyond sustainability, the conference highlighted the role of innovation in economic development. From fostering business incubators to supporting entrepreneurship and leveraging technology, cities within the network are actively pursuing strategies to drive economic prosperity. This is exemplified by the Valley Regional Enterprise Network’s efforts in fostering collaboration between farmers, researchers, and tech startups to drive advancements in precision agriculture and agricultural automation, thereby contributing to economic prosperity in rural Nova Scotia.

Collaboration is Key

With a commitment to knowledge sharing and collaboration, the conference aimed to accelerate progress across the network, echoing the collaborative partnerships formed by local governments, businesses, and community organizations in Nova Scotia, exemplified by the Valley Business Hub, which witnesses firsthand the power of collective initiatives in infrastructure development and tourism promotion. 

Culture and Mobility Matter

Conversations highlighted the transformative role of culture and mobility in thriving urban centers, evident in the vibrant cultural scene of the Annapolis Valley, enriched by the contributions of First Nations communities and historical sites like Grand Pre, exemplifying the region’s commitment to cultural preservation and urban livability. 

Michelin Cities: Leading the Way

Emphasizing the leadership role of Michelin Cities in addressing global challenges, the conference highlighted the Valley REN’s alignment of tourism initiatives with diversity, equity, inclusion, and cultural awareness initiatives regionally, provincially, and globally, showcasing the region’s commitment to driving positive change through collaboration and innovation.

The INMC conference serves as a powerful reminder that by working together, cities and regions can create a more sustainable and prosperous future for all. Through partnerships with industry, academia, and each other, the Michelin Cities network is paving the way for a brighter future where every community thrives. The takeaways from this inspiring event will undoubtedly guide the Valley Regional Enterprise Network and Kings County as we continue our journey toward economic development and a more sustainable future.


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