Aspen Institute Returns to New Orleans to Focus on Urban Opportunity

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

Once again sponsored by the New Orleans Business Alliance, the Socrates New Orleans Salon is a two-day conference scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 27 and Wednesday, Aug. 28. The theme of the 2019 event is “Urban Opportunity, Access & Inclusion.” The New Orleans Business Alliance shared the details in a press release.

“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.”

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 opportunity, foster entrepreneurship and preserve the spirit of continual re-invention that animates American cities as they grow again. Registration is currently open.

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.

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.

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