It’s been a sad, sad time around the Prosperity Blog for our loyal readers. I can only imagine you hitting “refresh” on your browsers over and over again, while you waited in vain for a new post to appear. “Why hast thou forsaken me,” you cried out (shocking your co-workers in the neighboring cubicles). My only excuse is that it’s been all Brookings Global Metro Summit all the time around here, prepping for our big moment in the international sun to show off our work on the Metropolitan Business Plan project. And I hope that you find it some measure of compensation that – although you didn’t get any blog posts in the last few weeks – the event went great, highlighting our great work on BETI and the forward-thinking, innovative nature of the Puget Sound region! In fact, I hereby dub it “The Best Meeting of the Week.”
As I mentioned, the agenda of the first day of the event was broken into three parts: in each part, one of the business plan regions (us, Twin Cities and Greater Cleveland) presented along with presentations from two or three international regions that are doing similar or related types of activities. For our section, Brookings grouped us under the title of “Promoting Metropolitan Innovation” with folks from Munich and Barcelona. It was very clear to all participants that we were really hitting a lot of the best practices that our international peers were highlighting as well – using intentionality and strategic focus to nurture a major opportunity segment of our economy, while bringing together the “horizontal alignment” of business, government and community organizations to ensure our success. There was even a fascinating discussion of the role of government vs/and business in job creation, where I think that we made a bold statement about the complementary roles that both sectors play (government creates the environment for competitiveness and business does what it does best: creates jobs through selling the best goods and services).
Even more exciting is that I got to test out the new Prosperity Partnership FlipVideo camera, which is going to start bringing you more and more video clips from around the region, including events, panel discussions and regular video blog segments (for example, I’m thinking about instituting a weekly entry from the PSRC executive director called The Daily Drewel). Anyway, point being, that I am pleased to be able to share with you a video of our presentation on BETI at the event, ably delivered by one of our Metropolitan Business Plan co-chairs – Greater Seattle Chamber CEO Phil Bussey. It’s a great summary of the BETI project, and why it could be a major job creation opportunity.
On a personal note, I’ll say that the highlight for me was the panel discussion on the second day of the event, listening to the mayors of LA, Chicago and Philly engage in a panel discussion on the major issues of the day, from taxes and deficits to immigration and K-12 reform. Fascinating stuff, and also available online for viewing. They really reminded me of why those of us in the government biz get up in the morning and go to work: to find ways of using policy to make people’s lives better and ensure long-term prosperity. And of course, a huge thanks to Brookings for putting on such a great event, and to our region’s delegation for making the trip.
There’s still lots of work to do to make the Metropolitan Business Plan proposal a reality, but this was a great step in raising BETI’s profile and building national and international interest in its implementation.