Imagine 2016 recommendations released at briefing with Mayor Barry

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Lipscomb University officials released four major recommendations for how Nashville might emerge as a global metropolis that will make a positive impact around the world during a briefing with Mayor Megan Barry today.

The findings and recommendations were developed over the course of the past five months as the result of a series of six community meetings held across the city as part of its Imagine 2016 initiative considering the theme “Nashville: An Emerging City with Global Significance.” Lipscomb brought together hundreds of community leaders to take a hard look at the current movement in Nashville’s business, health care and entertainment sectors and to discuss opportunities to make the city an international leader. This interchange was created not to be a data-heavy analysis, but to be a kick-starter of ideas for action.

IMAGINE BR_2“Nashville has been called the ‘Athens of the South,’ ‘Music City, USA’ and the ‘It” city by the New York Times,” said Lipscomb University President L. Randolph Lowry. “While these are all noble accolades, Nashville has the potential to do so much more beyond our state or national borders. Nashville is a vibrant city on the move, and the potential is here. The work of the Imagine series is to serve as a conduit for this synergy to make a difference.”

Among the experts in the fields of business, health care and entertainment, there was consensus on key needs and the major recommendations that emerged from these strategic conversations. Lowry shared these ideas with Barry at the briefing. They include the need for:

  • A global center for trade and innovation that would be a hub for international start-ups, the transaction of trade negotiations, improved collaboration that could result in more effective international exchange and a resource for leaders across the United States.
  • A new, high-level branding campaign and marketing strategy that would reinforce the “Music City” brand but also promote the important health care, technology, fine arts and film sectors in the city.
  • Structured coalitions for nonprofit and for-profit entertainment organizations to offer economic benefit as well as to help foster the creative advantages that come from the synergy of like ideologies or aesthetic views.
  • Strategic collaborations and alliances in trade and modernization that bring public and private agencies in all sectors — business, entertainment and health care — together.

“As we move forward in our ambition to make Nashville a global leader, it is vital to continue these conversations, always discovering new ideas,” said Lowry. “Lipscomb’s Imagine will continue to serve the people of Nashville by facilitating this dialogue to realize our impact on the world.”

Barry said continuing to build Nashville into a city that is more globally connected is a high priority as it becomes an increasingly diverse community. The Nashville population is over 650,000 with more than 100 languages spoken, the nation’s largest Kurdish population and one of the fastest-growing Latino populations in the U.S.

IMAGINE BR_1“I want to thank everyone who took the time to be involved in this process,” Barry said at the briefing. “One of the things that strikes me so much is the involvement the Lipscomb has in our community. This is just another great evidence of that. I am so grateful for that and for how you step up and bring so much to the Nashville community. You are thinking big about Nashville’s future. That’s what all of us have to do, especially those of us who are in leadership positions in Nashville. It is our responsibility to make sure we’re thinking not just about today but tomorrow and 10 years and 20 years and 30 years from now. I think these are all great ideas when you look at this as a whole. These are not just great ideas for metro government. They are great ideas for our entire community.”

These conversations were part of Lipscomb’s Imagine initiative, launched in February as a new program designed to convene conversations of significance that will bring leaders from around the world to Nashville to engage the community in topics of local and global importance and to share their stories and unique perspectives. Imagine is a series of discussions that will take place over the next five years to examine critical issues and develop solutions to impact communities around the world. President George W. Bush was the featured speaker at the initiative’s kick off Feb. 29 on the Lipscomb campus.

Just last month Lipscomb University officials announced that Magic and Cookie Johnson will be the featured guests at Imagine 2017 “Nashville: Prosperity for All Corners of the City” on April 3. Through the Imagine 2017 theme— “Nashville: Prosperity for All Corners of the City”— the Lipscomb community will begin to examine the ideas of faith, redemption, entrepreneurship and community transformation.

Imagine 2017 is by-invitation-only for Lipscomb Associates, donors of $1,000 or more annually. Donors may participate at the Associate, Catalyst Associate, Leadership Associate or Avalon Associate levels. Each level includes various membership benefits including exclusive access to the April 3, 2017 Imagine event. To become an associate visit or call 615.966.6232.

— Photos by Kristi Jones