I hope you will agree with me that while we still have our challenges and occasional periods of self-centered focus, for the most part the Upstate region is better at working together collaboratively on key systemic issues than we were in 2005 when roughly 300 Upstate leaders gathered in 2005 under the premise of “Upstate Together: Growing by Choice or Chance?”
That initial discussion and additional efforts eventually led to the creation of Ten at the Top. Since being formalized in 2009, Ten at the Top has developed into a vital organization for cultivating discussion, collaboration and partnerships around issues that impact than entire Upstate region.
The premise that we are all working on similar issues and therefore need to grow our understanding of each other, identify opportunities to leverage resources and create collaborative partnerships is arguably even more critical today than it was a decade ago.
In a recent call discussing his upcoming remarks as the keynote speaker at the Upstate Regional Summit to be hosted by TATT, Geoff Colvin, Senior Editor at-Large for Fortune Magazine, said that in today’s global economy one of the most valuable assets for a region is their Human Capital.
“Growing Human Capital is crucial to the success of any region,” Colvin says. “No one institution can develop the Human Capital needed for a region individually.”
Human Capital, creating a skilled and educated workforce, is just one of many important issues that we must work collaboratively to address if the Upstate wants to continue our recent climb as a leading place to live, do business and raise a family. Whether it be transportation (moving people and goods from place to place), air & water quality, land use, child well-being, senior needs, local community vibrancy or many other areas, our region still has many challenges that are beyond the ability of one community, organization or business to fix and must, at least in part, be addressed collaboratively.
While Ten at the Top is not charged with managing programs that directly address those cross-jurisdictional issues, it has spent the last seven years serving the valuable role of convening key stakeholders to grow awareness and understanding of our challenges & opportunities, build cross-jurisdictional and cross-sector partnerships and cultivate opportunities to impact these larger issues.
Since 2010, Ten at the Top has conducted nearly 600 “regional engagements” bringing together representatives from hundreds of Upstate organizations to build regional trust and understanding, discuss cross-jurisdictional issues and build collaborative opportunities.
Regardless of whether you have been engaged in any of those previous opportunities, I hope you will join us on September 13th for the Upstate Regional Summit. This event, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the TD Convention Center, is a great opportunity to meet others from across the Upstate who have the goal of making this region a leading place for all residents to live, learn, do business and raise a family.
Held every other year, the 2014 event was attended by more than 800 Upstate leaders and we anticipate another capacity crowd this year.
The theme for the 2016 Summit is “Creating a Leading Region” and will include several sessions with executives and community leaders discussing how we can continue to collaboratively address the challenges and opportunities facing the Upstate. The program will culminate with a keynote luncheon featuring Colvin, who in addition to his role at Fortune Magazine is an award winning author and expert commentator on business issues and global leadership.
I hope you will join us on September 13 as it is when we work together as a region that we are stronger.
More Summit details and registration information is available at www.tenatthetop.org.