What is our Next Alaska (v3)?

Ky Holland – Originally posted 11/9/2020, updated 1/25/2021

Alaska has always been built upon a legacy of innovation. From the subsistence economy pioneered by Alaska Natives since at least 8000BC to the extraction economy that exploited opportunities for pelts, fish, copper, oil, and even tourism, we have always thrived on the richness of our state.

But with 2020 demolishing what we know of our tourism industry and oil prices not looking much better in the oncoming decades, what is our next Alaska?

We don’t have the answer for this yet, but consider this your open invitation.

An open discussion to all Alaskans

Next Alaska 3.0 (rebranded to Alaska Version 3 [AKV3] since the release of this video) is an open discussion to all Alaskans to help answer this question.

The dialogue must be started—and it seems it must be started by us while politicians and policymakers continue to stay stuck in the here and now.

Creating our next economy won’t happen by individual force; rather, it’ll be built upon our current—but unsustainable—economy by community groups that both honor the past workers who got us here and create opportunities for the future generations to come. Ideally, the Alaska V3 will support both our civic and market economic activities, all while building internal legislative resilience such as bigger savings and budgets.

Unlike other conversations focused on our current problems and budget crisis, this conversation is about opportunities, solutions, and new ventures.

It’ll answer important questions such as:

  • What will our next economy value? (Sustainability? Work-Life balance?, Personal Wealth?, Environmental Stewardship? Job expansion? Equity?, Global markets?)
  • What does a vibrant and healthy Alaska look like—both in its urban communities and rural villages?
  • What market economy will support the broader civic economy of Alaska while still investing in opportunities for the generations to come?
  • What is the unique contribution we will make to sustainable global development?
  • How will the challenges, opportunities, and values of the Last Frontier inspire people around the world?

Alaska V3 can’t wait

Our future economy cannot abandon supporting our current economic engine. But we cannot ignore that our current state’s economy is not sustainable.

Whether you’re in favor of massive cuts, spending our savings, or taxing the current economy—the paradox of the high costs of energy and declining oil revenue has accelerated the maturing of our oil dependent extraction economy.

And it’s accelerated the need to build our next Alaska.

For those who are here to maximize their return on investment of extraction activities, a discussion about our next economy may have little interest and may even be threatening to their current profits.

But for those who call Alaska home—the place you expect to be buried—and want this to be a sustainable and vibrant home for many more generations to come, the discussion is needed now.

As we prepare for another legislative session, decisions made will further undermine our investments towards our future. The choice was ours at the ballot box in November, and the choice is ours to help create in the future.

Next Steps

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Who could host discussions? An existing group?
  • What platform could we use (or create) for a sustained engagement?
  • What questions need to be asked in order to attract progressive individuals, new thinking, and collaborations?

For those interested, here is an outline of the project (version 20201026) you can download.

Want to learn more and get involved? You can visit our new website at http://akv3.com/ where you can link to our Facebook and Linkedin Groups, sign up for updates; and, join our effort as an organizer, partner, sponsor or participant in the journey of exploring ‘What’s Next, Alaska?’!

Examples of “Next” Economies

Charleston Digital Corridor – https://www.charlestondigitalcorridor.com/

Shoals Shift – https://una.edu/business/JEPP%20Paper%20for%20Publication%202.pdf#JEPP

Thank you for the many ways you support Alaska, Alaskans, and our state’s future.

Ky