The path to a circular, renewable resource-based economy will be long and difficult. But I am optimistic that the seeds of change have been planted, and the generation-long process has begun.
If we are successful in modernizing our economy and greening our infrastructure, and if we do this in a way that expands opportunity, then New York City should seamlessly regain its symbolic and actual place in our economy and in our consciousness.
Authoritarian and nationalistic forces may be seizing on COVID-19 as an opportunity to restrict people and businesses to stay within their borders, but in the long run, the forces of technology, economic development and human curiosity will not be contained.
We need to develop public policies designed to deal with the impact of automation on people.
We need fresh thinking and creative problem solving to generate the revenues, programs and institutions that will continue New York’s tradition of opportunity coupled with compassion and a measure of equity.
As the economy demands new knowledge and as professionals seek to meet those needs, new forms of formal education and non-degree training will be required. It is the civic responsibility of America’s best universities to learn how to meet these needs.
America didn’t declare independence in 1776 to hide from the world, but to establish a free society. A positive, welcoming approach to immigration is a key part of our relationship with the global economy.
o many different types of skills are needed to transition to the renewable economy, some element of our educational process should be devoted to identifying what children like to do and what they are good at. Those may not be the same thing, and it is important for people to identify the useful skills they possess.
In the process of changing the economic role of the city, we need to pay more attention to the impact of our production and consumption on the environment and on all elements of the supply chain that bring goods and services to us. Building systems that reduce environmental impacts is more important than individual consumption patterns.