This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

Focus on future of Great Lakes

Regional Institute joins effort to revitalize region’s economy

Published: January 24, 2008

Reporter Contributor

The Regional Institute is partnering in an effort led by the Brookings Institution and the John R. Oishei Foundation to convene young leaders from the Great Lakes region, including Buffalo, to develop and implement strategies for the region’s economic future.

The Great Lakes Urban Exchange (GLUE) organizing meeting, to be held in Buffalo Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 in the Hyatt Regency Buffalo and Asbury Hall in Babeville, will promote conversation on such topics as revitalization of the Great Lakes region, leadership, regional identity, the use of new media tools and peer-to-peer education and networking. Young leaders from New York, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Pennsylvania will participate.

“The institute is pleased to partner on an initiative that draws perspectives and ideas from Buffalo Niagara’s young leaders together with their counterparts from 11 other Great Lakes and Midwestern states,” said Kathryn A. Foster, director of the institute, which will assist in administering the convention. “GLUE will help foster a valuable knowledge exchange and generate strategies for the Great Lakes region’s future.”

The discussion will build on a recent report on renewal of the Great Lakes region by John Austin, nonresident senior fellow of the Brookings Institution and director of its Great Lakes Economic Initiative.

“The Great Lakes region has been and remains a significant center of economic activity, but is making a spotty and imperfect transition from the industrial era,” said Austin. “Young talent, attracted to urban centers with a high quality of life, is essential to this transition.”

Robert D. Gioia, president of the John R. Oishei Foundation, said it is critical to engage young leaders in envisioning and planning for the future of Buffalo Niagara.

“This effort not only links emerging leaders in our own region, but connects them to a body of experience and knowledge in other Great Lakes cities dealing with similar challenges,” Gioia said.

In addition to fostering sustained dialogue across the Great Lakes region, the GLUE network, inaugurated with the Buffalo meeting, will build a repertoire of documentary material about Great Lakes cities and create a forum and infrastructure for change-agents across the region, in part through the use of a GLUE Web site.

The Brookings Institution is a private nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and innovative policy solutions. For more than 90 years, Brookings has analyzed current and emerging issues and produced new ideas that matter—for the nation and the world.

The John R. Oishei Foundation is committed to enhancing the quality of life for Buffalo area residents by supporting education, health care, scientific research and the cultural, social, civic and charitable needs of the community. The foundation was established in 1940 by John R. Oishei, founder of Trico Products Corporation.

A major research and public policy unit of UB, the Regional Institute plays a vital role in addressing key policy and governance issues for regions, with focused analysis of the Buffalo-Niagara region. A unit of the UB Law School, the institute leverages the resources of the university and binational community to pursue a wide range of scholarship, projects and initiatives that frame issues, inform decisions and guide change.