Do We Want It Badly Enough?

Richard Florida a leading economist talks answers the question “Will Phoenix rise from the ashes?“.

I am a firm believer that in fact we do need to build on our assets.  I say this every chance I get.  I often wonder if anyone is listening.

He lists some of our assets as follows:

  • We are big. [My assertion is that we need to focus on getting those here skilled]
  • Reasonable Universities. [My assertion is we need to add smaller private colleges to the mix see item above]
  • Technology to build on. [My assertion is we need to invest heavily in seed funding technology]
  • Has to want it. [ I can rant on this forever]

The last point is the one that imperative.  Do we want it badly enough?  If we do, we need to mobilize, unite and most of all raise the bar.  Mediocrity can no longer be accepted and a push for excellence needs to begin.  It’s time this city grew up and got real.  We need to look long and hard in that mirror and decide what we want to do to set ourselves up for a prosperous future.  It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.


  1. A lot of us really do want it. I have observed with some surprise that a lot of the people who want the most for Phoenix to become better are people who aren’t “from” here originally. Now, when I say better, I don’t mean “like their home city”. I mean better for real.

    I don’t know why that is. Maybe there’s just a natural cynicism in people about the place they’re from, but when you move to a place willingly, you “adopt it” in your heart to some level so you care more? Who knows. But a weird side effect of that may be that Phoenix may have a long-lasting benefit DIRECTLY AS A RESULT of the recent rapid growth, in the sense that you have a lot of people who moved here because they CHOSE TO. People like me.

    And I care a lot. A whole hell of a lot.

  2. I 100% agree! The components you listed above are key ingredients to allow Phoenix to do what a Phoenix does – rise from the ashes.

    I work at ASU SkySong for an innovative healthcare technology company, and we’re seeing each one of these pieces/parts slowly coming together, a large university, technology/innovation and a large hub. I feel that people are “wanting” it, it’s just a much slower process that we’d like.

    At the end of the day, Phoenix will make it back to having a thriving economy. One that is based on technology and innovation rather than real estate.

  3. I, too, would love to see Phoenix make better use of what we’ve got and raise the bar. A decade removed from the midwest, I’ve been through a couple economic hiccups (I originally moved out here in order to advance my tech sector career. Oops!), but we always bounce back.

    Summer might seem hotter and longer every year, but I’ve lived all over the world and there really is no place which compares to Phoenix. This is home.

Comments are closed.