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This week, more than 45 Mobile business and community leaders, along with several City of Mobile and Mobile County elected officials traveled to Toulouse, France, as part of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Leaders Exchange. For three days, the delegation met with elected officials in Toulouse, toured Airbus’s global headquarters, participated in sessions on a variety of timely topics such as greenspaces, Smart City, mobility and the arts; and met with University of Toulouse professors and research facility executives. All of this was done to learn more about Toulouse and the Airbus effect on Mobile, and to study best practices that could be implemented in Mobile.
Since 1987, the Mobile Area Chamber has hosted Leaders Exchange and traveled across the country, and once prior to Hamburg, Germany, to participate in conversations covering topics such as economic and community development, parks and recreation, tourism, K-12 and higher education and more. Highlights from the prior four years’ trips included:
2017 – SAN DIEGO
Result/Takeaway: Generated support and built best-practices knowledge for the continued growth of Innovation PortAL.
Result/Takeaway: Prompted further discussion and planning on Mobile’s hospitality tax and its use.
Result/Takeaway: Good information and lessons learned that will be applied to accommodating Mobile’s homeless population.
2016 – GREENVILLE, S.C.
Result/Takeaway: Good information and lessons learned that were applied to Mobile’s new building codes.
Result/Takeaway: Generated support and built best-practices knowledge for the building purchase/design and programming for Innovation PortAL.
Result/Takeaway: Prompted further discussion and planning on Mobile’s aerospace cluster, possible partnerships and creation of an Airbus learning center.
2015 – NEW ORLEANS
Result/Takeaway: Wrap up discussion centered on building on Mobile’s strengths. New Orleans has been successful in creating and catering to their own “flavor.” Participants discussed growing Mobile in a way that supports our unique cultural and natural environment.
Result/Takeaway: Furthered Mobile’s learning and planning for Innovation PortAL, Exchange 202 and the overall blossoming entrepreneurial ecosystem.
2014 – ST. LOUIS
Result/Takeaway: Inspired cooperative effort of Mobile Greenway Initiative, including improvements at Langan Park and the rehabilitation and development of Three Mile Creek.
Result/Takeaway: Fueled local efforts to develop Mobile’s entrepreneur and start-up community including development of St. Louis Technical Corridor and what is now Innovation PortAL.