Governor, industry leaders laud collaborative innovation at 2012 State of the State Luncheon
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper on May 11 praised Colorado’s collaborative spirit and innovative nature as buoys that have boosted the state amid, and out of, economic downturn.
“In the last year, we saw a clear turn in the state’s fates,” Colorado’s 42nd governor said while addressing nearly 500 business and civic leaders during the Denver Metro Chamber’s annual State of the State Luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Colorado Convention Center.
The event was generously sponsored by United Airlines.
Hickenlooper pointed to recent collaborations including the Colorado Innovation Network (COIN), a public enterprise that works to elevate the state’s reputation for innovative industries and to increase jobs and money flowing to related companies, and TBD Colorado, an effort designed to create informed and constructive non-partisan conversations among Coloradans about big issues facing the state.
“The key is making sure everyone is at the table and taking advantage of their creativity,” he said.
A key ingredient in Colorado’s success is entrepreneurs, he said. They, and teachers, are two of the most undervalued groups in the state, he added.
Collaboration led to the passage of some key pieces of legislation during the 2012 session, Hickenlooper added, identifying HB12-1001 Rule Review Evaluation of Educator Effectiveness, which will implement rules attached to revolutionary education reform legislation passed in 2010, as a potentially controversial measure that passed with 99 of 100 votes.
“It’s a hard duty to measure student improvement… and our collaborative efforts have helped us,” he said.
The governor also recognized HB12-1238, Ensuring K-12 Literacy Education, as another bill that garnered approval because of bipartisan efforts.
He lauded the Denver Metro Chamber and the business community at large for its efforts and support on both proposals.
The genesis of the upcoming special session – which will include business bills that failed due to inadequate time to complete the legislative process during the regular session – was “surreal,” he said.
He noted that the failure of a number of business bills due to debate over civil unions encouraged his decision to call for the extra legislative time.
Bills to be debated include unemployment insurance reform, a series of water projects and development of benefit corporations in Colorado.
Prior to Hickenlooper’s address, experts in health care and aerospace participated in panel discussion with Chamber President and CEO Kelly Brough about innovations in their industries.
Dr. Jay Want, chairman of the Center for Improving Value in Health Care and an innovation advisor for the Center for Medicare and MedicaidInnovation, and Michael Gass, president of the United Launch Alliance, also pointed to collaboration as the secrets to their success.
“Colorado is a state of opportunity,” Want said, pointing to the state’s unique spirit of interdependence and shared ideas as the key to success. “Our network is something valuable,” he said.
Gass echoed Want’s comments, saying, “We are a unique community in Colorado to adapt and learn from each other.”
Brough agreed. “Colorado is known as a center of innovation and creative thinking, and much of our state’s success hinges on new ideas and new approaches to old problems,” she said.
Special session will benefit business, Colorado governor says - Denver Post
Hickenlooper stresses collaboration, support of civil unions in chamber keynote - Denver Business Journal