2018 Signature Class Explores Regional Collaboration

October 19, 2017

In October, LGW's Signature Program Class of 2018 met for their first program day, focused on achieving regionalism across the state, county, and local lines in Greater Washington.

Thank you to our host Gallup and CEO Jim Clifton for greeting the class. The day began with a presentation from Dr. Stephen Fuller of the Fuller Institute on the economic outlook of the region. Dr. Fuller’s presentation also focusedn on his recent publication The Washington Region’s Declining Economic Brand. and how the Greater Washington region stacks up against our competition in other metropolitan areas including statistics on jobs and government employment trends and a status update on the impact of federal spending. During Dr. Fuller’s examination of the job sectors, he shared a few key takeaways: 

  1. We are not generating job similar to the ones we are losing.
  2. We also need to create more diversification of jobs.

Right now, the region needs to what we’re good at within the job sector into growth for the region, using the regional talent. There is a lot potential for Greater Washington. 

Doug Fruehling (’13) of the Washington Business Journal and Robert McCartney (’07) of the Washington Post rounded out the morning with a candid conversation on the importance of regional collaboration and the issues surrounding the progress of regionalism.

Bob examined the three fundamental problems that block effective regional collaboration

  1. There is political fragmentation between the District, Virginia, and Maryland.
  2. The biggest employer in the region (the federal government doesn’t play that close attention to local affairs and is not a player in the region.
  3. The business community is split.

“In your organizations, encourage your region perspective, push the region to cooperate more if we don’t do this, other metro regions are going to surpass us.” -Robert McCartney

While systemically the region needs fixing, there is a branding issue at stake as well. Doug’s presentation focused on the 2024 Olympic bid and the current Amazon HQ2 landscaped. Right now, it appears that branding efforts for the region are on hold until regional leaders take a closer look at metro. Many of the region’s issues tie back to metro and the need for reform. The second issue that is seeming to take precedence in the conversation is affordable housing, creating inclusion in our communities, and supporting the workforce.

In the afternoon, the Signature Class tried their hand at a “Pitch-Off”, presenting competing business development bids for a panel of experts including Neil Albert (’13), President of DowntownDC Business Improvement District, Victor Hoskins (’16), Executive Director of Arlington Economic Development and David Iannucci, Assistant Deputy CAO for Economic Development and Public Infrastructure, Prince George’s County.

Throughout the planning process, teams created a unique pitched for their area (DC, Virginia, or Maryland) according to the needs of the client. Each area had something different to offer in terms of business sustainability, and quality of life for employees. The Signature Class provided excellent presentations and an in-depth conversation about working collaboratively and how we can rely on creating an inclusive region

The day concluded with an in-depth look at the impact of gentrification, led by Dr. Lisa Sturtevant. The conversation focused on the causes and consequences of gentrification, including residential displacement, higher cost of living, increased economic and racial inequality, and political and cultural displacement. Loss of population in the region means loss of human capital from the region. Dr. Strurtevant emphasized that displacement can put pressure on communities throughout the region Regions with greater income inequality are less economically resilient.

Overall, the program day provided a breadth of information regarding the success of the region and what we can do to assist in revitalizing and strengthening Greater Washington. Regionalism Day is also a perfect accompaniment LGW's Second Annual Future of Greater Washington, a Leadership Exchange presented by Accenture, sponsored by MWCOG. The event is presented in conjunction with Leadership: Arlington, Baltimore, Fairfax, Howard, Loudoun, Montgomery, and Prince George’s. The return of the acclaimed leadership summit signifies the positive impact of collective leadership and initiatives dedicated to advancing the Greater Washington region. We were honored to have some of the top thinkers from the The 2030 Group Accenture, Enterprise Community Partners, Federal City Council, Greater Washington Partnership, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, and United Way of the National Capital Area, to present on the integral initiatives dedicated to regional growth and development happening in Greater Washington.

Thank you to our featured speaks, event host Gallup and sponsor &pizza We look forward to seeing the Class of 2018 in November for Education Day.

Pictures from Regionalism Day can be viewed here

Regionalism Day occurred on Thursday, October 19, 2017.

2018 Signature Class Explores Regional Collaboration