Those who are not involved in local economic development are the Quiet Crisis

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 11/11/2004 - 21:21.

People who complain there aren't leaders in Northeast Ohio fighting each day to improve our economy and quality of life are themselves ignorant and to blame for the problems in this community. Innumerable exceptional, dedicated, capable and effective leaders fight day in and out to improve everyone's lives here, every day - it is the people who do not participate actively in this process who are our region's "quiet crisis"?. Each day we have opportunities to be solutions - visit the REALNEO calendar frequently to get up to speed and learn where, when and how to make differences in the future of this community, participate in forums on-line, find and share insight with our community leaders, and take personal responsibility, now.

Today, I was blown away by this opportunity. I attended the NEOSA/REI Futures Forum at Myers University Club and realized what a gem is that place, and how well leaders at Myers, and Cleveland State, and Case, and University Hospitals, and the Cleveland Clinic, and EcoCity, and COSE and this community all work together address the truly life and death issues challenging this region, and the world - and how big an impact each person in this region may have here and around the world, for good. The Future Forum empowered us to change the world, starting here in Cleveland, and proved that those who do not get educated and involved improving the community are responsible for causing global harm... the issues addressed today are that huge. Read the write up from the Forum to realize this is true. I left the session understanding it is the responsibility of each person in the region to save the region, and the world, and that to succeed we must include every person in an intelligent, open dialogue pursuing solutions - no adult or child may be left behind.

I then rushed a few blocks down Euclid Avenue to the Mather Mansion, another spectacular historic venue, where the Nano Network featured John Belk, of the Venture Capital arm of Boeing, and in an hour I learned more that matters about nanotech than from all the material I've read and all the meetings I've attended before. There was an ingenious decision maker from arguably the most ingenious company in the world telling Clevelanders what Boeing is doing with nanotech (and what that offers here), explaining the state of the "industry" world-wide today, and visioning on the future. This was not just a portal into an important future industry but a view through some of the world's most knowing eyes into the future of the world. One needed to be very intellectual and broad thinking to gain value from such a strategic discussion, and scores of sophisticated thinkers here in town proved up to the challenge. See my write up on this session here, add your comments if you attended, and realize you missed out on important lessons if you missed-out.

If the future and nanotech are not of interest to you, this week also offered our citizens world class knowledge on the opportunity for wind power here - see the wind power conference notes - and the economic potential of our creative industries, and historical perspectives on electric vehicles... NEO economic development leaders are bringing to you scores of opportunities a month to gain world-class insight. Those who attend end up with the most valuable knowledge about the things that matter most in this region and the world. Leaders learning these lessons today will lead our community to solutions tomorrow.

Our REALNEO calendar shows how many expert events are available in this region - generally at little cost or for free - many are also seeking volunteers to help with the events, and get involved with their communities. Clearly not everyone in NEO has the time or interest to attend every networking event, so REALNEO will serve to share insight on the virtual side of this knowledge-based community, and offer all people of NEO a free means to learn and participate more, even from home, school or work. Thus, there are no excuses for being ignorant, feeling isolated, or believing there is a quiet crisis.