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Aspen Institute Returns to New Orleans to Focus on Urban Opportunity

As New Orleans experiences downtown residential growth and urban economic resurgence, the timing is perfect for the Aspen Institute Socrates Program to return to the Crescent City and examine why residential and job growth in many cities often results in less diversity and inclusion.

Aspen Institute New Orleans Socrates Salon

Second Year for Two-day Conference Includes Employment Access and Inclusion

Sponsored again by the New Orleans Business Alliance, “Urban Opportunity, Access & Inclusion” is a two-day conference scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 27 and Wednesday, Aug. 28.

“With cranes dotting the New Orleans skyline, this year’s Socrates Salon wisely focuses on the paradoxes of demonstrative economic growth combined with shrinking housing affordability and slow wage growth,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., president & CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance. “We are delighted to welcome the Aspen Institute’s Socrates Program for its second year in New Orleans. As the Business Alliance reimagines economic development, we seek to engage with national and international thought leaders to help us make the local economy work for all New Orleanians, especially those residents who have not fully experienced the tangible economic growth our city is experiencing.”

Lyneir Richardson to Moderate the Socrates Salon

Lyneir Richardson Aspen Institute
Above: Lyneir Richardson

The seminar will be moderated by Lyneir Richardson, the executive director of The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, a Rutgers Business School research and practitioner-oriented center. The salon will examine ways to expand urban opportunity, foster entrepreneurship and preserve the spirit of continual re-invention that animates American cities as they grow again. Registration is currently open.

Opening Reception to Feature Walter Isaacson, a New Orleans Local

Walter Isaacson Aspen Institute
Above: Walter Isaacson

In addition, Walter Isaacson, Aspen Institute Distinguished Fellow and professor of history at Tulane University will offer insight in a panel discussion at the opening reception. A native New Orleanian and Rhodes Scholar, Isaacson is a former chairman of CNN, editor of TIME and past president of the Aspen Institute.

“The Aspen Institute Socrates Program is honored to partner with the Business Alliance to bring a national leader on equitable economic development and the entrepreneurial experience, to New Orleans, a city that is the source of so much creativity for our nation said Socrates Program Executive Director Cordell Carter. “As a city that is experiencing rapid growth, while having a population that is majority African American, what better place to launch an exploration into the challenges of equitable economic development?”

The Socrates Program provides a forum for emerging leaders from various professions to explore contemporary issues through expert-moderated dialogue. It also creates a unique professional network and engages people with ideas to move into action. Seminars are designed for optimal balance between serious content and cross-disciplinary thought for busy professionals.

Reception & Seminar: Two Opportunities to Engage

The two-day program offers two different opportunities for professionals to engage:

  • Private reception featuring a panel discussion the evening of Tues., Aug. 27 at 7:00 p.m at the Windsor Court.
  • Moderated seminar with peers on Wed., Aug. 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tickets to the evening reception may be purchased separately, while participation in Thursday’s seminar includes a ticket to the reception. Purchase tickets here.

In hosting a Socrates Salon, New Orleans joins the ranks of other cities including: Aspen, Colorado; Oxford, United Kingdom; Kyiv, Ukraine and Kazusa-Kamatari, Japan.

The New Orleans Business Alliance thanks local sponsors Baker Donelson and The Windsor Court for making the 2019 Socrates Salon possible.

About the New Orleans Business Alliance

One of fewer than 70 Accredited Economic Development Organizations worldwide, the New Orleans Business Alliance is the official 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit economic development organization created as the partnership between the City of New Orleans and the business community to enhance the economic security of all New Orleanians by accelerating the diversification of the local economy, developing local talent and expanding entrepreneurial opportunity. By pursuing an inclusive economic development strategy, we will create the perfect intersection of culture and commerce resulting in more equity and greater prosperity for all. Visit nolaba.org for more information.

About the Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.

About the Socrates Program

The Aspen Institute Socrates Program provides a forum for emerging leaders from various professions to convene and explore contemporary issues through expert-moderated dialogue. Socrates also provides the opportunity for participants to enter into a diverse professional network, and into the broader range of the Aspen Institute’s programs. The seminars are designed as values-based Socratic explorations to facilitate the exchange of ideas. Socrates programs include day-long salons in major US cities and weekend-long seminars in Aspen and abroad. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org/socrates.


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