Gone are the days when we could build our economic development strategy solely around a certain sector or company. The only sustainable advantage is innovation. The Greater Louisville region is in the midst of a regional visioning campaign, which will transform the community into The Idea Capital of the World, where imaginations and individuals thrive. The process itself is a bold idea birthed from the Wired65 TIP Report on talent, innovation and place, and supported by the 2010 Competitive City Report from the Greater Louisville Project. From these studies, we know the following principles are critical to meeting the challenges of tomorrow: Greater Louisville must grow jobs. And ideas create jobs. Humana, once a small local nursing home company, has turned into one of the leading health care companies in the world, spawning dozens of businesses in the health care sector. GE has developed cutting-edge energy-efficient products, creating 800 new jobs at Appliance Park. The Elizabethtown company iPay Technologies was part of the largest technology company sale in Kentucky’s history. Signature HealthCARE and the University of Louisville have partnered to create an International Center for Long Term Care Innovation. Start-up companies abound in every part of our region. These are ideas creating jobs. And we’ll need many more of them in the years to come.We need educated, motivated people to grow and fill these jobs. And people thrive where ideas thrive. Innovation creates opportunities for local citizens. And to create innovation, we’ll need to propel our region into the top-tier of education among American cities. We’ll need to welcome every individual that wants to contribute, from across our neighborhoods and around the world. And we’ll need to become a place where people can achieve their greatest human potential. Our region will rise to its full potential by growing innovative ideas into a reality for region, its businesses and its citizens. By becoming a home for innovation, an easy place to start a business, and a locale where risk-takers are embraced, and an area where innovators flourish not only in business, but in education, government and society. By becoming the idea capital of the world, we merge our economic and social imperatives, and commit ourselves to mining every imagination for new ideas and touching every individual with the resulting prosperity.
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