On the morning of Friday, May 15, GMF’s Urban and Regional Policy Program, in partnership with the Lugar Institute for Diplomacy and Congress, held a high-level breakfast panel discussion entitled, “Transatlantic Perspectives - The Role of Entrepreneurship in Stoking Metropolitan Competitiveness,” at the Cosmos Club of Washington. Among the panelists, speakers, and attendees were members of the diplomatic community, former and sitting representatives in the US Congress, think tank leaders, and leaders from the private sector.
The breakfast commenced with a welcome and brief remarks from Senator Richard Lugar, former Senator of Indiana and former Mayor of Indianapolis, who stressed the importance of good governance and collaboration at the local level to stoke entrepreneurship and business development. Senator Lugar then turned the floor over to Ms. Molly McClusky who moderated a panel discussion with The Hon. David H. Thorne, Special Advisor to the Secretary of State, United States Department of State, Mr. Christopher M. Schroeder, Board Member, German Marshall Fund and author of Startup Rising: The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East, The Honorable Brenda Lawrence, D-MI, Co-Chair, Mayor’s Caucus, United States House of Representatives, and Mr. Theodosios Vallas, First Counselor for Economic & Commercial Affairs, Embassy of Greece in the United States.
Each panelist discussed the importance of government at the local and federal level for support of small and growing businesses, as well as the importance of a strong transatlantic relationship for better and more coordinated markets. The leaders expressed a common call for better transatlantic best practice sharing and learning at the city level in order to boost competitiveness and help connect global entrepreneurs to a larger transatlantic market.
The United States and Europe face similar challenges in promoting economic competitiveness and prosperity within a rapidly changing global landscape. Citiess and their metropolitan regions are the economic engines that drive this growth, often through an agenda of strengthening innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems. This convening showed that many within Washington are beginning once again to look locally for economic solutions.
METROS is a peer learning initiative that explores strategies for strengthening multi-sector collaboration to manage the political, economic, and social transformation facing metropolitan regions in southern Europe. The initiative includes public and private sector leaders from four cities: Turin and Genoa, Italy, Bilbao, Spain, and Thessaloniki, Greece.