Weekly B-MOW: Brookings’ Chicago Summit Prep Meeting

Can a meeting to prepare for a meeting be considered a “Best Meeting of the Week” candidate? It’s one of those age old ethics/taste questions that are up to the individual, like “can I wear the t-shirt of the band to their concert” or “can I post about cheerleaders on the Prosperity Blog?” Luckily, I’m like New York Times Magazine’s The Ethicist, with my clear-eyed judgment about these things, and I say you can. Which clears the way for this week’s B-MOW: Brookings’ Chicago Summit Prep Meeting.

Now, this post is probably less interesting to you unless you know what Brookings’ Chicago Summit is. So, I’ll answer that. Technically, it’s the “Global Metro Summit: Delivering the Next Economy,” a 500 person gathering of global business, government and community leaders to talk about Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program framework and share best practices in regional economic development. As you can see from the agenda, our trusty Director of Economic Development Chris Endresen will be on a response panel talking about “Metropolitan Economic Development: Global Insights on Effective Approaches.”

But that’s not what I’m actually excited about. The day before the big event, there’s going to be a smaller, 100-person high level session focused exclusively on the Metropolitan Business Plan project, where each of the three regions that developed plans – us, Twin Cities and Cleveland – will get to present. Even more interesting, the agenda is broken into three parts, and in each part one of the business plan regions will present along with presentations from two or three international regions that are doing similar or related types of projects. For us, Brookings has grouped us under the title of “Promoting Metropolitan Innovation” with folks from Munich and Barcelona. So, not only do we get to present our BETI plan in front of senior folks from around the world, but we’re sharing/comparing best practices with two regions that are already part of the International Regions Benchmarking Consortium! We’ll be advancing the goals of Brookings and the IRBC at the same time…

The point of this post, though, is that Brookings’ is only allowing a maximum of eight delegates from our region to attend the first session, as a way to keep it small and high-level, and today we had our prep meeting to ensure that our group was all on the same page. These are folks who have been very engaged in the business plan creation from the start – including UW President Phyllis Wise, McKinstry VP David Allen, and Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson (PSRC President) – but it’s still really remarkable that they’re willing to take time out of their busy schedules to join us for what could be a major opportunity to gain national and international recognition for our work. In particular, the three White House folks who heard our presentations back in DC will be there to continue the conversation, and maybe take one step closer to finalizing a response to our ask…

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