public policy poetry

Lunchtime yesterday was a refreshing change from my usual peanut butter and jelly on wheat. I attended the Washington DC Economic Development Partnership Expo at the DC Convention Center. For the most part, it was suits and smiles, handkerchiefs and handshakes. The intent of such a meeting is to gather all the players in the current and future economic growth of the city under one roof for a couple of hours... let them talk and network... entertain and feed them... and then go home.

I was fortunate enough to have two delightful experiences back to back. The first was an inspired lecture from Richard Florida.

I am very familiar with Richard's work, which studies the need and methods of harnessing human capital in urban environments. The Creative Class, as he defines it, is the conglomeration of diverse peoples with diverse skills in a given metropolis and how that critical mass is the most powerful engine of creating phenomenal places to live, work, and grow.

Even back in Pittsburgh, he was always a bit of a rock star in the otherwise dry realm of economic development. Yesterday, he did not disappoint. Having moved from the 'burgh down to DC a few years ago... his insight on the climate of Washington was fresh and inspiring... I believe that I will write him a letter and tell him about the house progress. I am going to need some advice as to the next evolution from growahouse to growavillage.

The second takeaway from the meeting yesterday was a young spoken word poet that graced the stage after Richard's lecture. She had a line that stuck with me and I feel it is worth while repeating.

"I realized that I have to change the way I look at things until the things I look at change."