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Good Ideas for Cities taps creative problem-solvers to tackle real urban challenges and present their solutions at live events across the country. Team Brain Drain was given the privilege to participate. Here is what we came up with.
The challenge: Have an animated conversation with a young transplant or multi-generational loyalist and you will understand the passion people here have for St. Louis. St. Louis has a compelling story to tell the rest of the country about what makes this community a great place to live, work, visit, raise a family and build a business. But, too often, the message falls back on empty boosterism. Maybe we are victims of Midwest modesty. Maybe we are innately insecure. Maybe we give undue prominence to cynics, complainers and defeatists. Whatever the cause, we must understand it, admit it and fix it. How do we deepen the pool of diverse people who love St. Louis and are personally invested in its progress? How can St. Louis harness the intelligence, drive and ambition of recent graduates of the great universities in St. Louis—talented and committed people who have deep attachments to this diverse community—to improve the quality of life in the region? How do we elevate and celebrate our energy, ingenuity and accomplishments and thus render it more broadly infectious? How do we break free of the deadening inertia of naysayers and complacent non-participants in civic life? How do we build upon the preexisting store of justifiable pride in the place we call home?
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