How are you spending your Friday?
We’re spending ours with a team from our Business Learning Institute facilitating an Economic Summit to create a shared vision for the future of Maryland as part of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce’s Maryland Competitiveness Coalition.
The venue is the Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Howard County. The summit will open with a keynote from acclaimed New York Times columnist and bestselling author Tom Friedman about competing in a global economy. Yes, even states need to think about competition as indicated by this recent report about the flow of people and their money in and out of states. Unfortunately, Maryland lost $7 billion in adjusted gross income to states like Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
However, this summit is much more than the same old same old conversation about Maryland taxes.
There will be a robust discussion of eight major themes:
- Job creation and retention
- Higher and adult education
- Taxation and regulation
- STEM education
- Transportation / infrastructure
- Economic diversity
That will be followed by a visioning session designed to capture the “wisdom of the crowd” with the more than 200 attendees representing over 50 organizations, businesses and legislators. We will be using a collaboration technology, ThinkTank by GroupSystems, to allow everyone to have a voice, from Q&A with Tom Friedman to individually capturing their visions. Using table discussions, we will synthesize the group wisdom to a set of “best ideas,” which will then go to the coalition for further refinement. The net effect will be to start a positive conversation about what Maryland can become and some ideas for where we can start.
This is one of our new tools for learning, collaboration and innovation talked about in our recent press release.
So how are you spending your Friday?