Posted by: COSI | March 10, 2011

Doggone Midwest Humbleness: How Do We Grow Community Pride?

When I returned to my Mid-West, Ohio roots I had to become familiar again with the natural humbleness of our region.  It’s a nice personal attribute, but can be challenging as a great, on the rise community like Columbus needs to “strut its stuff” so to speak in this competitive world for attracting and retaining creative talent.

The challenge came out loud and strong when the late Jeff Swanagan, the Director of the Columbus Zoo before his tragic passing, and I had dinner with our spouses.  I loved Jeff and we were becoming fast friends and we were commiserating with each other about how the #1 rankings that the zoo and COSI had recently earned were not being picked up by the community to use as points of pride.  How many cities have both their major science center and zoo both named #1 at the same time?

So typical of Jeff, he said the heck with waiting for others to pick up on it and suggested that we do our own joint #1 billboard, which we did to great notice (and on our own dime).

Since our own, individual efforts coming out of frustration, progress is now being made.  It has been good to see more community entities pick up on this number one theme (with other #1’s being racked up, including our great Columbus Metropolitan Library).  By far the most significant, focused leadership on this has come from our community-minded Columbus Foundation under Doug Kridler’s leadership.

What follows is a link to their latest #1 video promotion of Columbus—it’s inspiring and we’re glad to see COSI contributing to that shout out of community pride—maybe we’re getting over the urge to hide our strengths.  Enjoy! 


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