Sponsor Shout-Out to Perkins Coie
ULI Arizona thanks our Leadership Circle Sponsor Perkins Coie for their continuing support!
Moderator and keynote speaker Tom Murphy put it best. “In chaos is opportunity. Nimble. Curious. An appetite for risk. Even before the pandemic and the protests, the world was changing quickly.”
ULI Arizona’s virtual event focused on how visionary public, private and civic leadership in Arizona has made an impact on our metro areas over the past two decades. There is a need to re-orient the region’s traditional real estate, retail and business economic drivers.
The solution? Innovative public-private partnerships that spur high levels of economic growth in research and development and science, technology and engineering firms. Faced with a global health pandemic, how will we sustain this impact?
Murphy, the former mayor of Pittsburgh and a senior resident fellow with ULI since 2006, was joined by Dr. Diana Bowman, Professor of Law, Associate Dean for International Engagement, and the School for the Future Innovation in Society at Arizona State University; Steven Jo, Head of Talent Insights and Solutions, Silicon Valley Bank; and Neil Giuliano, President and CEO, Greater Phoenix Leadership and former mayor of Tempe.
“For communities to be successful, the new technology and how people want to live and the globalization of the economy will change the rules for cities,” Murphy said. “With the pandemic we are seeing existing trends prior to January and February. This includes working from home, school from home and a changing work force.
“There is more in-home entertainment. The trends happening prior to COVID-19 are accelerating now. There is a difference how we live, work, play. The big question is, what will be the impact on trade? Density? Large events? Travel.”
Murphy pointed out elements of change that we’re now seeing:
>> The most powerful person in a community is a translator. As a society, we are equally divided by class, race, occupation. We have seen in the past 8 months that the person who can serve as translator is the one who bring the community together.
>> Cities that will succeed need public-private partnership leaders that are nimble, curious and have an appetite for risk.
>> Putting land back into public use will help with the reimaging of outdoor spaces.
Insight from the panelists:
>> Dr. Bowman: “We have so many people working on parts of ‘the smart city.’ This has allowed us to better align with the community, The livability with the city. Smart parks. The city of Phoenix growing out and having green spaces where people can gather and play. For us as well, the resilient side, what climate is like when it comes to issues like urban heat islands.”
>> Jo: “We noticed that the last few years, the innovation sectors have broken away from the geographic centers. There are 37 markets across the globe that are all significant. Now, cities like Phoenix, Denver and Salt Lake City can access great talent outside of those geographic centers. We are seeing Arizona State University invest in research and be an innovation center. We are talking to ASU to see how we partner on the success of that.”
>> Giuliano: “How does Phoenix move into that top tier? How does it play out that aspiration? It’s important to remember that Arizona’s economy is 73 percent in Metro Phoenix. We have seen 3 or 4 years of fast growth. Think about this – 65 percent of kids in elementary school will be working in jobs that don’t exist today. Pulling all those minds and actions together will position us for that change. We are one of the fastest growing regions in the country.”
When it comes down it, all agreed that bold leadership – from government to the tech sector to the educational sector will get us there.
“The old adage used to be location, location, location. Now it’s leadership, leadership, leadership,” Murphy said.