Last week, the Ottawa Board of Trade and the Ottawa Business Journal along with several event partners, hosted Ottawa’s annual City Building Summit: Build Up Ottawa.
Over 260 business and community leaders spent the day networking, learning about our city and discussing emerging trends. The highest rated outcomes were getting information, making connections, and being inspired.
As the voice of business and key economic partner in Ottawa, the Ottawa Board of Trade regularly convenes decision makers and a cross section of city leaders to promote diversity in thinking, a high degree of collaboration and optimization of resources. We do this to cultivate a competitive business environment and to build a city that protects and elevates the quality of life for all residents of the capital region.
In fact, a whole of community approach, creative thinking and risk taking were key themes as we discussed on how to build forward and leverage the strengths of Ottawa. The speakers were a mix of people with a national and local lens. And we were pleased to welcome the mayor and several city council members. Some key takeaways included:
- The health of the downtown impacts the health of the entire city.
- The downtown needs to be transformed, sooner rather than later.
- The federal government could assist with a strategic disposal of assets.
- Collaboration among economic partners is critical as we move forward.
- Everyone in the city has a role to play in the economic growth strategy.
- Quality of life including health, housing and transit is a key economic driver.
- Affordable housing and supportive housing solutions are intertwined.
- We need to build neighbourhoods and a city for families.
- New infrastructure projects are catalysts for growth, can address key challenges.
- Now is the time for action. Progress over perfection. Build on our strengths.
What’s a leader to do?
- Get involved. City building plays an important role in our quality of life and the success of our businesses. It can only be done well with the engagement of the whole community. It requires calibration of the private, public and third sector goals and resources. Working together gives our community a competitive edge.
- Be creative. The vibrancy of our businesses, our communities and our downtown depend on short and long terms solutions, thinking outside the box and investing in innovative projects. We need imaginative policies and processes to achieve unusual things. Embrace new ideas and protect local businesses.
- Engage youth. The future of our city rests in the hands of the next generation of business and community leaders. Intentionally including them in visioning and decision making will maximize our outcomes and provide a stronger foundation for the future. Invite them to the table, mentor them and promote our city as the place where fun thrives.
Stay tuned for more opportunities to be a city builder. And if you missed the summit, tune into Rogers Channel 22 (the first airing is May 3rd at 9pm) or YouTube to watch the sessions. The future is ours.
Yours in prosperity, Sueling
President & CEO | Ottawa Board of Trade
About the Ottawa Board of Trade
The Ottawa Board of Trade is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan member driven business association. We are the voice of business and a key advocate for economic growth in our Nation’s Capital.
Our mission is to cultivate a thriving world class business community in Ottawa by influencing economic development through leadership and partnerships. One that drives affordable, inclusive, sustainable city-building.
We represent businesses at all three levels of government and support business growth through relevant benefits and programs. Join us today!