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City Government / Pacers / Government & Economic Development / Economic Development / Sports Business

Two recipes to improve Indy

January 26, 2010

In order to prosper in the long term, Indianapolis must master two things, contends long-time city father and Jim Morris, president of Pacers Sports & Entertainment. The city must nurture children well, and it must connect thoroughly with the rest of the world.

Morris, whose most recent job was as director of the United Nations World Food Program, says children who receive good educations, eat nutritious food and grow up in stimulating environments not only will thrive as adults but will also draw attention to the city as a good place to do business.

Youth organizations ranging from the YMCA to scouts to the Indiana Youth Institute must be top rate, he said. So do sports organizations and any other group that touch children’s lives.

“We all need to be consumed with the notion of ensuring the people who grow up in Indianapolis have the best opportunities of any city in the world,” he says. “Those places that focus on children having really a good base of opportunity and experiences and education and good health from the beginning—generally, everything else will take care of itself.”

Indianapolis’ future will also depend heavily on connecting with the world, Morris emphasized. Manufacturers in the region, indeed the state, draw their lifeblood from exports. And cities that thrive will attract investment and the best minds from wherever they can. That means making Indianapolis hospitable to internationals, whether they’re university students or workers showing interest in jobs or investors.

Morris won’t opine on how well Indianapolis cares for children or connects with the world, but you can. How is Indianapolis doing?

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