Economy League Hosts Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange

The Economy League of Greater Philadelphia hosted the 2019 Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange from September 18 - 20 to foster business development in the Philadelphia region. Held at the National Museum of American Jewish History, the event was part of Global Philadelphia Association’s 2019 GlobalPhilly Expo and gathered local business, civic and government experts to collaborate in bringing Philadelphia’s economic vision to the global stage.

I had the opportunity to attend the second day of the conference to learn about how to implement changes in policy and accountability that will ultimately raise Philadelphia’s profile. The day began with the “Driving Change in Complex Systems” panel to address the challenges faced by Philadelphia’s public and private sectors. The panel featured emerging leaders from a variety of fields: Della Clark, The Enterprise Center President; Harold T. Epps, City of Philadelphia Director of Commerce; Dr. William R. Hite, Jr., Ed.D, School District of Philadelphia Superintendent; Paul A. Tufano, Esq., President, Independence Health Group, Chairman and CEO, AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies. Hite’s responses particularly elevated the panel’s conversation. In addressing a variety of issues, Hite advocated for the designing a new framework to tackle the accountability issues that governments face. His experience as the superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia has led him to develop this problem-solving framework, primarily by identifying key resources, using appropriate tactics, diffusing responsibility, and focusing on problems themselves rather than wasting time blaming others.

The panel also highlighted how people are shifting to view Philadelphia as a “prosperity community” rather than a “distress community.” Clark mentioned how policies have a tendency to focus on funding. For example, she pointed to how policies like subsidy housing and financial aid have been implemented to address the living problems that the minority community faces. However, on the flip side, she points to how there’s been little progress towards investing in minority businesses. Working as a minority entrepreneur, this issue particularly impacts Clark since she is facing a lack of resources for her business.

Drawing to a close, the panel concluded by reflecting on the current state of the city and Philadelphians’ next steps towards progress. After observing the pane’s atmosphere and lively discussion, it was pretty obvious that this wasn’t just a panel of experts – these were some of the most dedicated individuals in Philadelphia, and I felt fortunate to learn from them.

For more information about the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, visit the following link.

The panel ended with a good reflection on the stage Philadelphia in, what we need to do next and how are we going to do it. Observing the atmosphere and vigorous discussion at the panel, it is obvious that these aren’t just experts, they are dedicated individuals of Philadelphia. We are extremely fortunate to have these dedicated experts in the city.


Article written by Rico Le on behalf of Global Philadelphia Association