Potomac Index Unveiled at George Mason

Posted: December 4, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Last Thursday, George Mason was the site of the unveiling of the first Potomac Index, a new tool created by the Greater Washington Board of Trade for measuring the region’s progress on five components of success in the new economy: innovation, inclusion, education, quality of life, and regionalism. President Alan Merten was one of nearly 200 public and private sector leaders present to discuss this inaugural index, which, according to Mary Anne Reynolds, spokesperson for the board of trade, revealed several “powerful positives” about the greater Washington region along with several “red flags.”

The following are some of the key findings:

  • Private-sector-led innovation and entrepreneurship are driving the region’s economic growth.

  • The new economy is translating into economic prosperity for many, but not for all.
  • Many residents are disconnected from economic opportunity because of their low level of educational attainment.
  • The region is in danger of breaking the connection between economic prosperity and quality of life, and urgent environmental challenges place the region’s economic sustainability at long-term risk.
  • People are ready for a regional approach, and a base of regional social capital is available to be tapped.

For the region to remain economically healthy, Merten called upon the leaders to produce ideas and people, accept the reality that business failure, though unfortunate, is one part of a successful community, and recognize and promote innovation in small and large organizations, both public and private. Merten is one of nine members of the Potomac Index Advisory Board.

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