hosts economic summit, round 2
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[January 27, 2010]
At the Economic Summit -- Round Two on
Saturday, as LCU President Keith Ray led the group through the book "Caught in
the Middle," by Richard C. Longworth, he divided the book into three
segments. the bad news, the good news and making news.
1, posted Monday)
2, posted Tuesday)
Longworth's book poses a question and then answers it for
the reader: "Who does the future belong to? It belongs to the
unorthodox, the imaginative, the creative and the fresh thinker."
As Ray read the statement, he said, "I couldn't agree more. I
actually was wondering if this couldn't be the making of that group
of people who care enough to be here on Saturday morning eating
doughnuts and drinking Starbucks, to become an idea bank, almost
like a think tank. There is a group of citizens, business and
otherwise coming together and saying we want to just keep being
creative about the possibilities."
Ray said he would challenge the group to continue getting
together on perhaps a quarterly basis.
In "Caught in the Middle" the author brings up some highlights of
the communities that are making it.
Ray listed these for the group:
are linked to larger metros
Prepare for biotech
and technology jobs
opportunities of immigration
Embrace economic gardening
Ray said that in the book "Hollowing Out of the Middle," there
was a discussion on elephant hunting versus economic gardening.
Elephant hunting in the business world is basically going out in
search of those mega companies and enticing them to come to your
town. The big businesses are good if you can get them, but they are
hard to get, plus they don't always stay.
Economic gardening, on the other hand, is the practice of
planting multiple seeds, or numerous smaller businesses, and
nurturing their growth. These smaller developments are generally
much more successful over time.
Ray asked why is it so difficult to grow a community. In the
"Hollowing Out" book the answer may be found that we choose to keep
the outside world on the outside. It's easier to keep things small
Ray said that this is something that must be changed. We have to
let the outside world inside our borders if we are going to grow.
[to top of second column]
Ray ended by saying, "I have five questions for you to take with
Are you willing to
face and evaluate the perceived and real facts about the
Midwest. "Fleeing from the brutal realities will not get you
anywhere," Ray commented.
How do we differ
from Longworth's assessments?
What have you
discovered about yourself, the city, the county that signifies
Will you engage
others in this community vision? "Who needs to be in this room?"
Ray asked. "We'll get them together right here in this room."
Are you willing to put your best foot
forward and be a part of the solution by sustaining the momentum
of this group?
Ray said that he was happy to be involved in this group, and he
intended to continue committing to the mission of the economic
summits. He encouraged everyone in the room to continue their
commitment and to encourage anyone who might be interested to get
As a reminder; it takes only 2 percent of any population to start
a revolution. Ray hopes to see a revolution in Lincoln and Logan
[By NILA SMITH]
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