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A good start

Yeah, yeah, I know, another summit about saving Western New York. The reports could overwhelm a land fill. But the one held today at Buffalo State College on green economic development was different.

Gundersenforblog_2This one wasn't driven by the usual suspects offering the usual solutions. Some 300 people, many drawn from the grass roots, spent the morning in small groups brainstorming ideas on a range of topics. That was after hearding Dan Gundersen (left), the upstate economy czar, tell them our region is particularly well suited to grow a green economy.

"We have the most potential to jump on the trend to transform from the Rust Belt to the Green Belt," he said.

This was not a tie-dye crowd. From the looks of the crowd, there were a lot of professional people, and government was well represented. The brain-storming sessions showed they know their stuff. The agenda that developed from their skull sessions focused on the practical. No calls for granola bar stands.

Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, who sponsored the summit, said he was impressed with both the ideas and energy behind them, and told summit participants that follow up is the key.

"This is just the beginning," he said.

Organizers over the next week will be updating their wiki with the hundreds of ideas generated at the summit. Someone's got a lot of typing to do.

Already, there's a report with ideas pulled together in the weeks leading up to the summit.

I'll have a story with more detail in Sunday's paper.


Economic Development | Green Jobs
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