Monday, June 19, 2006

Improving City's Brand Experience With Social Innovation

Constantly assessing a brand’s quality offering and quality experience is key to growth on so many levels. In light of Chicago being recently outbid by Indiana, Michigan, Montana, and California for a 3-year grant to study the state of regional innovation, a new program is gaining strength. It’s called “Innovate Now!”

Lance Pressl, president of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Foundation, is organizing 80 businesses and community leaders from across our region to assess Chicago's economic potential and facilitate the spread of innovation. He thinks that, "it's time for Chicagoland to take a hard look at where the region stacks up against others and identify opportunities to embrace innovation and maximize our region's assets."

While I firmly believe that innovation is the key to continuous growth, I can't help but think about what social innovations we could also champion – like improving the living experiences of underprivileged people who live in this city. It's through this kind of innovation that the city could create new value, new offerings, new products, new services, and new tools to improve lives. The city's plan to convene innovators from across the Midwest is exciting to me, and I will keep eye out to compare the rate of innovation to the rate of tearing down affordable housing.

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