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October 1, 2015

Our Time Is Now

Calling All Wichita Young Talent

Suzy Finn - YPW Executive Director

Young Professionals of Wichita - James Chung - Wichita Community Foundation

Photo credit: Wichita Community Foundation/Andy Kim

According to data analyst James Chung, the Wichita region has a bleak future if it stays on its current trajectory. At least, that was the message at a presentation he did last week for a group of young professional leaders as part of the #FocusForward project (funded by the Wichita Community Foundation).

The problems fell into four buckets – business cycles, keeping talent, entrepreneurship, and perception – which you can read more about here. The key take away for us YPs, though, was that it doesn’t have to stay that way. And we can choose to be a leading voice in creating the solution.

We have the choice to take our talents to the bigger cities or we can be excited about growing our careers and companies here. We have the choice to contribute to the “nothing to do” chorus or we can celebrate the exciting developments happening downtown. We have the choice to wait for the old guard to take action on Chung’s message or we can develop and implement the visionary ideas needed to move the community forward.

The Wichita Eagle editorial board listened to Chung’s message. And I believe they issued us a challenge: “But more energy, ideas and visionary leadership are called for, especially from the young adults with the most to gain or lose as Wichita tries to change its trajectory. Regrets and recriminations must be set aside as the community replenishes its economic energy and rediscovers its swagger.”

We invite all young professionals who are passionate about making this the best place to live to join us in responding to this challenge. You can start by attending our Community Action Forum on Monday, October 5, at 5:30 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce. We will specifically be focusing on brainstorming big ideas that could address the topics of talent, opportunity, and place (as defined as part of the Knight Cities Challenge).

I hope to see you there, and I look forward to working alongside the amazing, talented young leaders in our community to bring some of our visions to reality.

– Suzy Finn, YPW Executive Director

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