The Business Report

Leadership, inclusive growth in the age of disruption and economic drivers are among the topics being discussed at the 2018 Statewide Economic Development Summit, which kicked off in Baton Rouge this morning at L’Auberge Casino & Hotel.

The annual conference features presentations and speakers who spotlight best practices and ideas for future economic development. Keynote presentations include “Leadership to Reinvent Transportation and Infrastructure,” “Pursuing Inclusive Growth in an Age of Disruption” and “Incentives, Trends and Realities in a New Political World.”

The conference, which draws people from across the state, opened with a session moderated by Business Report Editor Stephanie Riegel on Louisiana’s New Wave of Leadership. That session featured Mayor Sharon Weston Broome, Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker and New Orleans Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell.

Cantrell, who will be sworn in as mayor on May 7, spoke about the importance of mayors working together regionally, pointing to the recent announcement that DXC Technology will open a Digital Transformation Center in downtown New Orleans that will employ 2000 people over seven years.

“We would not have landed DXC if our attitude had not been to work together,” she said. “Working together landed us DXC and created thousand of jobs, not only for New Orleans but for Baton Rouge and for Jefferson Parish and for all of Louisiana.”

Gov. John Bel Edwards also is delivering his forecast on the 2018 legislative session, and Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson will lead a panel discussion on how CenturyLink, Sasol and DXC Technology are reshaping Louisiana’s business landscape.

Afternoon sessions will cover a range of topics, including the qualities workforce talent seek in jobs and location, and on how leadership can help reinvent transportation and infrastructure. The featured speakers are Harvard Business School Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter; Rebecca Gehman, director of talent attraction at the Development Counsellors International; and Gray Swoope, president and CEO of VisionFirst Advisors and Florida’s former secretary of commerce.

See the full agenda, and read Daily Report PM for more coverage of today’s Statewide Economic Development Summit.