Urban Innovation

Big Talk in the Big Easy

December 15, 2018  • Institute Staff

In October, the Socrates Program and the New Orleans Business Alliance partnered for a special Socrates Salon, “Change and Opportunity: The Future of Work and Learning.” New Orleans is becoming a high-tech leader; several top technology companies have made the city their new base of operations. “As a hub of entrepreneurial innovation and rich history, New Orleans is a prime location to consider the opportunities and challenges presented by an increasingly digital world,” said Connie Yowell, the CEO of Collective Shift and LRNG, companies that focus on merging education with the digital world, who led the two-day program. The salon opened with a discussion about workforce potential, featuring Ashleigh Gardere, the executive vice president and COO of the Business Alliance; Aaron Frumin, the founder and executive director of unCommon Construction; and Ashley Bell, the regional administrator for the US Small Business Administration. The next day, participants examined New Orleans’s role in a shifting education and work landscape. “Aspen’s selection of our city underscores that New Orleans is the intellectual center of the Gulf South,” Quentin Messer Jr., the president and CEO of the alliance, said. “There is a lot of brainpower here.”