Emerging Prairie Welcomes New Teammate: Ian Carlstrom

Meet our newest teammate: Ian Carlstrom. He’s joining our team as our Manager of Operations. Be sure to welcome Ian when you see him around at 1 Million Cups Fargo and other Emerging Prairie events!

NicknameI don’t really have a nickname, everyone calls me Ian

HometownWadena, MN

Why are you in Fargo?

For me, Fargo isn’t about the beaches, mountains or forests… in fact, it’s nothing like that at all. If you want to find beauty in this City you don’t have to look any farther than the people. The people here are from all walks of life, all ages and from anywhere you can imagine. I’ve met so many transplants here from all over the world, but yet it’s so interconnected like everybody knows everybody. All these people coming together to create such an inspired and inclusive culture where people want to be, when you think about it we all choose Fargo every day. That’s powerful for a community to have so many people that want to be here and want to be a part of great things. The doers, the makers, the artists, the creative, the entrepreneurs… all these things come together and it just pulls you in. I moved back to Fargo after almost 3 years because I believe in this community, I believe in the people and the future. I’m excited about the work that Emerging Prairie is doing and I’m just so excited to be a Fargoan again!

What’s one thing about Fargo you wish non-natives knew or understood about the area?

I talk to plenty of people that admittedly had misconceptions about Fargo before they moved here. People that were scared to move here because they thought it was just barren fields, cold and boring – in fact, I’ve even heard that there are polar bears here. I love hearing those stories because those people move here and fall in love. For people that have never been to Fargo, you don’t really understand how much this community has to give and just how much love and generosity and creativity there is.

I challenge you if you’ve never been to Fargo, take the Fargo challenge: come here for the day, the weekend, a week, whatever just get here. Come to 1 Million Cups, take an Uber, hang out downtown… whatever you do don’t be a stranger, meet people and ask them why they live here. You’ll find out very soon what this Fargo buzz is all about, and soon enough you’ll want to stay here too.

One last thought on this topic: though I’ve yet to cross paths with a polar bear, we do have a few folks that say yah-sure-you-betcha and uff-da, don’t-cha-know! 😉

What do you do in your free time? 

If I’m not at work I’m most likely with my wife Kendra and our son Sylis. I love spending time with family exploring the community, entertaining friends and family, winemaking, and trying new things. We’re always in the kitchen learning a new recipe or trying unique foods. We also have a dog named Porter, who is a 100 pound Cane Corso and he rarely leaves our side. Aside from that I’ve always enjoyed getting outdoors, especially hunting or fishing. Fun fact about me: I’ve hunted alligator and wild boar in Florida!

What’s your favorite hidden gem that you’ve discovered so far in Fargo?

I’ve found so many gems in this community within the food and retail sectors, I recommend to everyone to explore the diverse options that we have for grocery specifically.

But the one thing that most people probably have never done, is taking a boat down the Red River. Whether you’re fishing, canoeing/kayaking, or just have the opportunity to take a boat ride, it’s a really incredible experience and you will not believe that you’re in the heart of the FM area.

How did you first hear of Emerging Prairie? 

I first heard of Emerging Prairie probably about 4 years ago in the context of 1 Million Cups. I attended my first 1MC and just got hooked. I’ve attended several since then, each time it’s different but it’s always valuable and energizing not just for entrepreneurs!

As a new member of the EP team, what are you most looking forward to?

We’re breaking the script! We have a really awesome team dedicated to such an awesome community and we’re doing things that maybe haven’t been done before. The best part is; I feel like it’s working, and so many other people seem to agree!