Northeastern Wisconsin Business Leaders Talk Innovation


Hundreds of business people from around northeastern Wisconsin are converging in Appleton Friday.Leadership from the “New North” says the region is emerging from economic uncertainties.

The New North is one of nine regional economic development organizations around Wisconsin. It covers 18 counties around the Fox Valley region and Green Bay.

Its director is Jerry Murphy. He says business owners have passed their “wait and see” phase now that the fall elections have passed. However, Murphy says the showdown between Congressional Republicans and the president over the “fiscal cliff” is the next hurdle, and that most people expect the two sides to compromise, “Everyone is sort of anticipating that they’ll do that. I think that would be the disappointment of the century if Congress is somehow stymied in their ability to get past this.”

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The theme of this year’s New North summit is “innovation.” Murphy says one breakout session will focus on ways employers can work with schools, especially colleges and universities. The session features the president of St. Norbert College in De Pere, a liberal arts school many companies may not have traditionally considered working with, “And that’s very cool because the condition of having an educational system the business community may not appreciate or may not value in terms of providing them with their next generation of workforce.”

Other sessions focus on sustainability and export opportunities. Gov. Scott Walker is also scheduled to speak.