Leadership Memphis president/CEO David Williams writes an op-ed posted below in contributors posts about the importance of the Talent Dividend for our city. It reminded us of some ideas that came out of a panel curated by our colleague Carol Coletta about what cities should do to connect talent to place. We hope you’ll post your ideas as well.
Here are some big ideas that came out of the session:
Eric Avner of Haile/US Bank Foundation in Cincinnati:
* If you’re hemorraghing smart people it is really difficult to do an economic development strategy.
* Building a perception of opportunity is so important to cities. (Check out the Ignite Fund in Cincinnati.)
* Cities need distinctive places where the talent you want can say, “I see my people here.”
* There are stickier parts of every region. Recognize and amplify them.
Helen Johnson of CreateHere in Chattanooga:
* Don’t underestimate good design and good voice to accompany it in selling cities.
* Key is retention, then attraction follows.
* Google your city. Populate the web with what is authentically yours.
Todd Hoffman, Collegia on retaining college students:
* Encourage college students to create a personal relationship with the city. Get them off campus.
* Talk to students. Go after the undecided group (students who are not sure if they will stay or leave after graduation).
* Audiences need their own authentic channel.