DU Helps Denver Tackle Its Biggest Challenges
Daniels College of Business hosts Executive Summit
Housing, transportation and workforce development. These are the three big challenges Denver is focusing on to ensure future growth and development. Last week, the city of Denver and the Daniels College of Business partnered in an effort to find solutions to these challenges. Daniels hosted an Executive Summit at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. It was an opportunity for more than 100 executives from metro-area companies to work together on these challenges.
“The best thing that can happen is an idea,” said Jeff Romine, chief economist for the City and County of Denver. “I can tell you why these three questions are difficult to answer and why they are problems at the national, state and local level. I hope these people will come with some great ideas and then we [Denver city leaders] will figure out how to move them forward.”
Faculty and staff from Daniels helped guide the executives during the three-hour exercise. After breaking into smaller groups, participants worked together to define the problem and then design possible solutions.
“It’s great to have the opportunity to help the community in some way,” said Mark Bishop, a senior vice president with Terumo BCT. “If I can give back and help in some way, even a small idea or a silly idea that germinates into something bigger, I’m happy to do it.”
Romine told executives that Denver Mayor Michael Hancock discusses the challenges surrounding housing, transportation and workforce development on a daily basis. The city believes these challenges are all interconnected and that Denver is still small enough to address its problems.
“If we can find a solution here with an idea and then we start bringing academic, business and government together, that’s the right model,” Romine said. “That is something that DU has started to do much more, both within the campus itself but with cooperation with the community and with the city itself.”
Daniels’ collaboration with the city on this event represents the objectives outlined in DU IMPACT 2025, the University’s strategic plan. The vision for DU is to blur the boundaries between the campus and community and expand the University’s impact in the Denver community.
“The city is an amazing partner for us,” said Brent Chrite, dean of the Daniels College. “We want to be an institution upon which they can rely to address some of these important issues. We are excited at the opportunity to do this because it hits at the core of our mission.”