Facilitator of a Chamber Discussion? Not...
Weatherman in San Diego. Referee in a professional wrestling match.
It's fun to try to out-do your friends in coming up with superfluous or ridiculous occupations. I think I may have been the punch line myself a few times last week when I found myself serving as host and facilitator of three dinners for small groups of chamber executives.
Take a dozen or so chamber leaders, add a few courses at a good restaurant and a bottle or two of decent red wine. Stir lightly. From that point on, all you have to do is sit back, laugh, learn and take a few notes. Good food. Good company. A meeting with no agenda. That's a recipe for bubbling chemistry and priceless insights. Public policy, economics, business trends, national politics, international trade, demographics, travel tips and movie trivia . . . all fair game during such a gathering. And all I have to do is get out of the way.
Thanks to all those in St. Pete and Atlanta for letting me pretend to orchestrate!
US Chamber Accepting Nominations for Sustainable Community Awards
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center, in collaboration with Siemens Corporation, is accepting nominations for the 2010 Siemens Sustainable Community Awards until January 29, 2010.
The Awards recognize the nation's best public-private partnerships for successfully meeting the 21st century challenge of sustainable development by setting and achieving complementary economic, environmental, and social goals that build long-term competitiveness and success. Eligible applicants are local governments, local chambers of commerce, CVBs, economic development authorities, and other public or private nonprofit organizations representing a local initiative.
As in prior years, the Awards will be presented at BCLC's 2010 National Conference on Corporate Community Investment.
2010 Legislative Agendas Posted
Several new legislative agendas were just posted online for ACCE members at PolicyClearinghouse.org.
Click HERE to find sample legislative agendas from Greater Louisville Inc, the Greater Topeka Chamber and several other leading local chambers. Each link includes an annotated list of the issues covered in the agenda.
If you are crafting your agenda and looking for the right language to frame a position on energy efficiency or economic development incentives, look no further.
Business Community Taking on Corrections Reform
The Pew Center on the States recently released a short report highlighting reasons why the business community is getting involved in state level corrections reform. (Here's a hint, prisons are expensive and state budgets are in trouble.) ACCE Chair David Adkisson, CEO of the Kentucky Chamber, is one of the featured interviews. Our friends at the Michigan Chamber and Chicago Metropolis 2020 are also interviewed.
Click to download Right-Sizing Prisons: Business Leaders Make the Case for Corrections Reform.
The report is part of the Pew Center's Initiative on Public Safety Performance. If you are interested in learning more about smart cuts to prison spending, you should check out the initiative's thoroughly researched, practitioner-oriented reports such as One in 100: Behind Bars in America, which chronicles the swelling prison population and the unsustainable impact it is having on state budgets.
If you want even more, check out this policy agenda for corrections reform from the Detroit Regional Chamber: Download Detroit - Corrections Reform Summary
Also, this is not the first time we've discussed Corrections Reform on this blog. In case you missed it, check out this post from back in August: The Cost of Prisons
Sometimes, this job affords me the feeling of traveling...
Sometimes, this job affords me the feeling of traveling to dozens of cities without leaving Alexandria. This week, our Ford Fellowship for Regional Sustainable Development is meeting here and it brings 20 smart, cool, passionate community leaders together to share insights about their cities and regions. Few people get to hear and learn from such pros. Some are tackling problems few should have to face, but their struggles to bring towns like Fort Smith, Peoria, Tampa, San Jose and many more back to prosperity are inspiring. Ya oughta be here. Today, learning about urban education. Tomorrow about entrepreneurial innovations. Great stuff and great people with whom to be IN THIS TOGETHER.