Agenda 360, a plan for how we as a region move forward, was rolled out on Friday the 13th at the Museum Center. Two years in the making, the plan took Vision 2015 from Northern Kentucky as a model. Spearheaded by the Cincinnati USA Chamber, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, the University of Cincinnati and others, the work brought together political, civic, neighborhood, corporate, environmental and other leadership from the 15 counties across three states that make up our region.
The 30 page brochure looks terrific, lots of the right leaders are in place, the ideas are sound. But there was little energy in the room, and the 300 or so people gathered looked pretty much the same. A sprinkling of folk under 35, a sprinkling of folk not white, not even a sprinkling of folk without college educations and pretty safe incomes.
I’ve been mulling over what might have made this outcome different. More risk taking by the leadership, more risk taking ideas taken seriously during the many meetings, different and more fun meetings. The ideas are sound – but most civic types could have come up with them on a sunny afternoon on somebody’s deck with a couple of beers.
I’m hoping risk taking, the addition of entrepreneurs to the team now that it’s time for action, and just plain wild thinking are thrown into a cauldron, not a box – there’s no lid on a cauldron, it all just bubbles out into the air – and produce the energy to really move us forward. We’ll do fine with this plan – but we won’t get where Agenda 360 Rallying Cry says we want to go: – To transform the region, by the year 2020, into a leading metropolitan region for talent, jobs and economic opportunity for all who call our region home.
It won’t happen without a lot more energy – not a lot more work, ernest and knuckling down – but a lot more enthusiasm, excitement, fun energy.