6th Annual Madison Region Economic Development & Diversity Summit Focuses on Equity
A record crowd of approximately 600 business and community leaders joined MadREP and the Urban League of Greater Madison (ULGM) on Friday, May 17 at the sixth annual Madison Region Economic Development and Diversity Summit. The day-long event was packed with important conversations about equitable development and embracing diversity as the Region continues to grow.
Attendees enjoyed remarks from elected officials and economists, as well as business and thought leaders from our Region and beyond. Keynote addresses from former Google executive Paulita David and former NFL player Wade Davis both inspired and challenged the crowd to think about how we define “mainstream” and how we understand intersectionality and corporate responsibility.
For the first time, the conference welcomed a Wisconsin Governor to the stage. Evers affirmed his administration’s commitment to diversity, declaring, “I can tell you that if this state doesn’t actively and proactively and with great vigor embrace diversity and inclusivity, economic development will grind to a halt.”
Madison’s newly elected mayor and MadREP board member, Satya Rhodes-Conway, also took to the stage to introduce thought leader Wade Davis. She too affirmed her administration’s commitment, stating, “we have to focus on diversity and inclusion to ensure we effectively develop and retain talent before it leaves our state, as well as recruit new talent from across the country.”
This unique collaboration between the Urban League the Madison Region serves as a national model for economic growth and economic inclusion. We would like to extend a special thank you to the many sponsors who made the event possible.
Feedback from the varied offerings of plenary and breakouts speakers was very positive the day of the event, as ideas, strategies, and tools were discussed to help organizations move their diversity and inclusion efforts forward. Attendees are encouraged to respond to the follow-up survey sent out earlier, as feedback received on that form will help to drive the agenda for the 2020 Summit.
In addition, at the Summit, MadREP unveiled our 2019 State of the Madison Region Report, the sixth issue of the Madison Region Economic Development Guide, and the results of the 2019 Workplace Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) survey.
If you missed it, check out the conversation on twitter at #madsummit as well as photos from the day. We are grateful to everyone who helped make this continued collaboration a success.