Monday, December 05, 2005

In Search of Excellence

John-Kelly Warren is the chairman of the William K. Warren Foundation here in Tulsa. He wrote an interesting and insightful column for the paper. He looks to the future of Tulsa with a vision of excellence.

To reach that lofty goal he says we need to shift our focus away from the physical capital economy to one that stresses intellectual capital.

To compete Tulsa must replace physical capital with intellectual capital. People, knowledge and communication are the new basis for a competitive advantage. So, what must we do to become a city that attracts these jobs and workers? Interestingly, knowledge workers first choose where they want to live and then choose a job that allows them to live there. So, Tulsa must offer a quality of life like no other. It needs good schools, good higher education and ideally, a research university. It needs creative minds to inspire innovation. It must be a community that offers healthy living, physically and intellectually. Most importantly, we need to accept the new paradigm whereby employers follow the knowledge workers. This has happened in Silicon Valley and Austin. A company or two lay the foundation, other employers follow and the cycle begins.

Tulsa has some fantastic schools. But it also has some of the very worst. It is that disparity that we the citizens need to address. Talk to each other about the need for really great schools, ones that will inspire and educate our kids and arm them with the things they will need to build the city of excellence envisioned by Mr. Warren and others.

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