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Regional Thinking Key to Quality Economic Future for National Capital Area

It’s broke and we need to fix it.

Bob Buchanan is a principal at Buchanan Partners LLC and is president and founder of the 2030 Group, an association of Washington’s top business leaders focused on regional long-term decision-making and solutions.

Bob Buchanan is a principal at Buchanan Partners LLC and is president and founder of the 2030 Group, an association of Washington’s top business leaders focused on regional long-term decision-making and solutions.

That was the crux of Bob Buchanan’s presentation on our region’s economic well-being at the annual Leadership in Real Estate Lecture this spring. The lecture is sponsored by Mason’s Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship.

And Buchanan offered a very clear solution for maintaining and improving our local quality of life: Think regionally.


Excerpts from the 2nd Annual Leadership in Real Estate Lecture

• It is increasingly hard to ignore the threats to the national capital region’s quality of life.

“The region has had it pretty good for a long time. But after years of expansion and unprecedented job growth, it appears the tide has turned and will continue to ebb. We have been too dependent upon federal funding, and according to the most recent census data, our population growth is in decline.”

Our region must work together to find ways to attract new industries and maintain its talented workforce.

“Our long-term dependence on government funding has resulted in a regional culture that lacks an entrepreneurial spirit and savvy in responding to market change. This needs to change if we are to compete in the global economy.”

• Our current transportation infrastructure is a mess and cannot be ignored.

“We need to fix our Metro system and get another river crossing. These are the kinds of projects we need to be implementing if we want to move our region forward. We need to stop thinking about what is politically correct today and start thinking about what needs to get done for tomorrow.”

Mason MS in Real Estate Development students got some insight into what a successful economic future would entail: “Our public, private, philanthropic, nonprofit and academic sectors need to come together and work together to ensure that we are setting the region up not only to survive, but also to thrive in the future,”  said Buchanan

Mason’s masters degree in real estate development students got some insight into what a successful economic future would entail: “Our public, private, philanthropic, nonprofit and academic sectors need to come together and work together to ensure that we are setting the region up not only to survive, but also to thrive in the future,” said Buchanan

We have yet to capitalize on our collaboration potential.

“Our terrific workforce, exemplary education centers and other resources set us up well to compete, but we must shift our focus from local to regional and adopt top-down decision-making over
bottom-up. ”

• More of us need to participate and speak out about what we want our region to be in the future.

“The Washington region will always be a special place to live, work, play and learn. But things are changing and we need to take action to ensure that our quality of life is maintained and improved. We cannot afford to take what we have for granted, and we must think regionally.”

 

 

 

For a complete summary of Mr. Buchanan’s remarks, visit the Washington Business Journal
(April 24, 2015)

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Janet Palmisano

Janet Palmisano is a member of the Recruiting and Admissions team at the George Mason University School of Business.

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