Resilience. Look it up in the thesaurus and you will find words such as spirit, hardiness, toughness, strength and buoyancy.
Hoosiers are resilient. Sure, some of us make questionable lifestyle choices that impact our health. Too many are lacking the proper education or training for today's job market. And we all face a number of challenging external factors on a daily basis. But present a problem or offer an opportunity and many will rise to the occasion.
We've written previously about the Indiana Chamber-led Indiana Vision 2025 plan. The mission: "Indiana will be a global leader in innovation and economic opportunity where enterprises and citizens prosper." In other words, what can be done to produce the best possible climate to allow businesses, employees, communities and individuals to succeed.
The 24-person task force of statewide leaders that developed the core of the plan over a 15-month period was resilient. It was not an easy task to narrow down and prioritize goals and measurements that are part of the initiative. But neither this task force nor Indiana Chamber staff working on the project claim to have all the answers.
That's why we embarked on a five-region listening tour this summer. Indiana Vision 2025 will not become reality without a lot of Hoosiers working to achieve its goals. We asked representatives of business, education, government and the non-profit worlds to analyze the 2025 plan, prioritize it for their region and help develop strategies to achieve some of the most universally accepted initiatives.
We took the Indiana Vision 2025 plan to Merrillville and Fort Wayne one week, Sellersburg the next, and wrapped up with events in Evansville and Indianapolis. What we found was a whole lot more resiliency. Specifically, we saw and heard:
-Nearly 180 community leaders more than willing to leave any preconceived notions at the door, roll up their sleeves and do the planning necessary to help set the stage for future success
-Ideas and initiatives that have already taken hold in some cities and regions
-An enthusiasm that makes one optimistic about the days, weeks, months and years ahead
The updated plan, with reports from all five regions and a statewide summary, is now available online at www.indianachamber.com/2025. Indiana Chamber policy committees are working to develop specific strategies to achieve the goals. Indiana General Assembly officeholders and candidates are receiving one-on-one briefings on Indiana Vision 2025.
The candidates vying to lead our state for the next four years have reviewed the plan and weighed in.
Vi Simpson, seeking the lieutenant governor's role with Democrat John Gregg as her running mate, told the Chamber's BizVoice magazine: "I really appreciated the fact that the Chamber is stepping up and doing these long-term plans. If we want to be competitive, we've got to be thinking about what we want Indiana to look like 20 years down the road opposed to 'what's going to get me re-elected in the next term.' "
Sue Ellspermann, running with Mike Pence on the Republican ticket, says, "I'm thrilled to hear the Chamber speak as much to small business and entrepreneurship. Why not have a renaissance of entrepreneurship in Indiana? Why not here? We have a lot of the beginnings of it."
Each issue of BizVoice contains stories related to the Indiana Vision 2025 drivers of Outstanding Talent, Attractive Business Climate, Superior Infrastructure and Dynamic and Creative Culture.
Among the next steps is a statewide summit in early December. That will allow even more Hoosiers to have a direct impact on not only the Indiana Vision 2025 plan but, in reality, the future prospects for their families, communities and businesses.
We know that resilience is widespread. Everyone is encouraged to follow the stories in BizVoice, check out the updated plan at www.indianachamber.com/2025 and ask yourself: What can I do to help make Indiana the absolute best it can be?
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