Thursday, March 22, 2012 Area stakeholders discuss applicability of Global Report Columbus Council on World Affairs unveils new tool, honors regional leaders
At today’s International Awards Ceremony (Thursday, March 15), the Columbus Council on World Affairs (CCWA) will unveil The Global Report for use by public officials, entrepreneurs, business executives, and citizen ambassadors. This publication gathers regional statistics which illustrate Greater Columbus’ links to the world, and compares this data to fifteen international cities and 15 national cities. A news conference at 1:15pm at the Columbus Convention Center (Green Room behind Terrace Ballrooms 4&5) will provide an opportunity for reporters to speak to parties involved in its publication and other stakeholders who can describe its applicability.
Greif, Inc. is one area enterprise appearing in the report, ranking #1 in a list of local Fortune 1000 companies operating abroad. It will be honored as International Company of the Year, along with a course on Globalization occurring at Licking Valley High School which was named International Education Project of the Year.
ABOUT THE GLOBAL REPORT
A group of community organizations — the Columbus Council on World Affairs, MORPC, the Columbus Foundation and Columbus 2020 – invested significant amounts of staff time and dollars to produce a report they hope will both describe and shape the region’s relationship with the rest of the world. The Global Report highlights information in many categories, from religious diversity to export ties. It was authored by Community Research Partners.
Contributors to the project say it is at minimum a community “conversation starter” but they hope even more practical applications will result from its use.
“Several of the data points in the report provide detail we have not seen before and will assist our business development efforts,” said David Whitaker, Vice President of Business Development & Communications at the Columbus Regional Airport Authority. He said he knew, for example, that China sent more students to OSU than any other country but did not realize South Koreans were so well represented. “Information like this exposes needs that could ultimately guide strategy.”
Kenny McDonald, chief economic officer at Columbus2020 adds that the Global Columbus report will also help sell Central Ohio abroad. He said, “To properly understand the business opportunities of our existing companies and those companies considering the Columbus Region, our team – and the community – needs to understand our global connections and assets. The Global Report highlights areas of opportunity and growth.”
The Global Report is one piece of a larger Global Columbus initative spearheaded by CCWA.
Paul Astleford of Experience Columbus describes this as “visionary approach to Columbus’ future.” He credits the Columbus Council on World Affairs for fostering a collaborative spirit and “playing a wonderful role bringing the proper information and leaders to the table in this common pursuit.”
‘The Global Report and associated materials can be downloaded at GlobalColumbus.org. The Press Conference will feature sources who can describe its methodology and relevance.
ABOUT THE CEREMONY HONOREES
Globalization Course at Licking Valley High School – Co-taught by Licking Valley Schools Superintendent David Hile and Principal Wes Weaver, this class challenges students to think of the borders of their hometown as imaginary edges not reflective of its actual reach.
Last year, CCWA’s educator honoree was from Mifflin High School, an urban school which has at times struggled with how to manage — let alone take advantage of — its great ethnic diversity. That teacher used the theater arts to develop relationships between peers with very different backgrounds. This year, the Council has selected a project that originates in a rural area, at Licking Valley High School — a place where there is little ethnic diversity or widespread interest in global issues. The selection committee felt that both schools benefit greatly from the infusion of “International Education” concepts and methodologies the respective facilitators integrated. Though the intent was to solve very different problems, both projects yielded similar results — students who are excited and equipped with the skills they will need in a 21st Century workplace. The LVHS project requires students to identify and articulate connections between Newark, OH and the rest of the world. It allows them to practice collaboration through the use of technology.
Greif, Inc. – A member of the World Business Development Council for Sustainable Development, Greif is guided by a corporate promise to “be a conscientious global citizen, a responsive community neighbor and a responsible steward of the earth’s natural resources.” It has operations in over 200 operating locations in more than 50 countries. The company produces industrial packaging materials.
After Haiti was confronted last year with a devastating earthquake, Greif donated 40 tons of steel drum lids to Haitian artisans. Mike Gasser, executive chairman of Greif, said the company is building on its commitment to sustainable development with the introduction of the WaterWear(TM) Backpack and other products that will help people in developing countries transport and store water. The products are currently
being tested in Haiti.
CCWA’s President & CEO said this is just one reason Greif was selected as its International Company of the Year. “Their successes raise the bar for other Central Ohio industries, said Patrick Terrien. “Greif represents the best of the region, so it is a fitting honoree during the year we are also unrolling our Global Columbus Initiative.”
He also acknowledges Greif’s work with the Clinton Global Initiative and its development of EarthMinded Life Cycle Services.
For more information about The Columbus Council on World Affairs, visit http://www.columbusworldaffairs.org
– Bob Taft,
Former Governor of the State of Ohio