Feb. 23, 2012 10:30 am

Economy League of Greater Philadelphia takes first steps with four local organizations in World Class Greater Philadelphia initiative

With its first business growth priority meeting out of the way and an education-focused meeting planned for Friday, the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia has helped advance the next stage of its multi-year World Class Greater Philadelphia initiative to make the city more competitive. More than two years in the making, it’s among the region’s […]

With its first business growth priority meeting out of the way and an education-focused meeting planned for Friday, the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia has helped advance the next stage of its multi-year World Class Greater Philadelphia initiative to make the city more competitive.

More than two years in the making, it’s among the region’s most referenced efforts for big planning toward the future.

World Class Greater Philadelphia held a summit put on by the Economy League, the Center City-based regional economic development research and analysis nonprofit, on Feb 2, 2012 to announce a four-way, six-to-nine-month partnership with the CEO Council for Growth, the United Way of Southeaster Pennsylvania and the Urban Land Institute. According to the WCGP timeline, this partnership kicks off the third major milestone for the initiative, which Technically Philly has covered previously.

Each organization will focus on one of the three priorities — business growth, education and talent development, and infrastructure — sketched out in a report by the Economy League, “Focus 2026: Priorities and Goals for a World Class Greater Philadelphia.” The CEO Council for Growth is working on business growth, the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania is looking at education and talent development, and the Philadelphia chapter of the Urban Land Institute is tasked on infrastructure.

The overarching goal, says the group, is to ensure that the Philadelphia region is prepared to compete globally on all three of these fronts by 2026, the 250-year anniversary of one of this historic city’s most auspicious dates — the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

But the more near term deliverable for each partner institution is the development of a Global Positioning Strategy (GPS) report, which will outline more specific short and long-term efforts that should be executed. Each group’s GPS report will be available, open source, to any individual or organization interested in seeing or building on the WCGP agenda.

Below is the trailer produced by World Class Greater Philadelphia to describe its mission:

Aside from leadership from the Economy League executive director Steven Wray, who Technically Philly interviewed in 2010, the World Class Greater Philadelphia is co‐chaired by Gerard H. Sweeney, President and CEO of Brandywine Realty Trust, Dr. Steven M. Altschuler, President and CEO of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Wendell E. Pritchett, Chancellor of Rutgers University‐Camden and Jane G. Pepper, former president of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

The business growth priority had its first meeting earlier in the month and was led by the CEO Council for Growth. The business growth initiative holds the technology community at heart in at least two of its four goals: entrepreneurship, industry strengths, innovation and international business.

The meeting Friday, led by the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, is another tangible step for WGCP, which has worked for at least two full years to reach this point. Technically Philly will continue to monitor the progress of the World Class Greater Philadelphia project as it works to move forward.

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Yael Borofsky was the lead reporter for Technically Philly from from December 2011 to June 2012 before leaving to pursue an urban studies graduate degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Previously she was an editor with the Breakthrough Journal in San Francisco. She loves hockey and coffee.

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