For the inaugural issue of Weld, we asked dozens of people from throughout the community — young and not-so-young; male and female; black, white, Hispanic and Asian; Christian, Muslim, Jewish and agnostic; students, professionals, artists and more — to each give us one idea for making Birmingham better. This is one of those ideas. You can read more here.
Sanjay Singh • Vice President of Business Development CTS Partners in Technology
I believe in the power of 100. That is — you influence one person, and let that person influence the next 100. So, keeping that in mind, I would require the following of our elected and appointed officials – both in the public and private sector:
Readers are leaders: Develop a reading list of 100 books that covers business, entrepreneurship, religion, societal challenges, philosophy, etc. Each of them need to summarize the book in 10 slides, with the last slide being their top 10 takeaways from the book. I would want them to present their findings in open public forums — during city, county and economic development agency meetings. These lists could be commonly used in all our educational institutions.
Leaders are travelers: All our problems have been faced by others and most importantly solved by others. There are very few original problems that affect the masses. Our leaders should be required to travel outside the U.S. as a common citizen. In other words, coach-class airfare, tourist-class hotels and public transportation for travel. Such trips could include visiting local businesses, schools, government officials, ordinary citizens and small businesses. A very cost effective way of traveling is through the study-abroad trips run by our local universities.
Whether we like it or not, the world is coming to Birmingham and Alabama. Look at the economic development success over the past decade. Germans, Japanese, Koreans, Chinese and Indians have set up shop in our state. The City of Birmingham and all its partners should establish the biggest and most comprehensive center of international trade in the Southern part of United States. All international firms and local firms that do business globally would be very interested in funding such a center as long as they are staffed with qualified individuals and provide valued added service.
Read more Big Ideas to Make Birmingham Better here.