The University of Denver, through their "Bridges to the Future" program, recently hosted Denver’s Three Mayors. Our current mayor, John Hickenlooper, was joined by two past Denver mayors, Wellington Webb and Federico Pena, to talk about economic development in the Denver region. This was an amazingly informative and uplifting symposium. All of the mayors talked about how special they feel Denver is and how different it is from other cities around the country. There was significant emphasis on improving Denver to make it competitive and attractive to businesses in a global society. How can Denver compete with Singapore or Beijing? Federico Pena emphasized the importance of improving education and increasing the involvement of the private sector to improve US education in science and mathemathics where we are woefully falling behind other developed nations. Our entrepreneurial mayor Hickenlooper is trying to ensure that Denver has the infrastructure so that entrepreneurs can easily establish companies.
The next Bridges to the Future event is scheduled for March 9, 2005 where former Senator Alan Simpson and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich will reflect on the National economy. Further there are a number of free three evening sessions taught by DU faculty in the coming months on such diverse and important topics as "How do trade deficits and budget deficits affect the economy?" and "Outsourcing and Jobs: where do they come from? where are they going?" Since I am signed up to take my very first economics class as part of my MBA program starting on January 18th, this seminar series and focus of the Bridges to the Future symposia could not have come at a better time.