Keep up or be left behind – Early experiences

I have been to New York city quite a few times starting from my early twenties. While I can’t claim to have developed a deep understanding of the city, due to my periodic visits from either Europe or China, I could bare superficial witness to the city changing in the past 18 years.  Or was it in fact not NYC, which was changing, but rather the world around it? Could be so… or maybe NYC wasn’t changing as fast as the world. The city, which twenty years ago was exciting and a testament to the ultimate modernism, is now, how to put it, feels a bit run-down and left-behind compared to the upcoming cities like Singapore, Shanghai, Dubai and Beijing. The old buildings, the aged skyscrapers, the outdated subway system, the huge cars burning far too much petrol give a feeling that this city is a “must-see-once”, like a museum, but no longer a “I-wish-I could-live-here” (which most New Yorkers would assume the whole world would want).  These were my first impressions, but since through the years I have also developed an attachment to the city, I was happy to hear from the Acceleration group, that NYC have realized, that it was falling behind in the competition and have made steps to alter its course. Indeed, a new angle was highlighted, which I haven’t thought of before. I learned about how badly 9/11 and the financial crisis impacted New York city’s economy and competitiveness. The city was too dependent on the financial sector and now it realized it had to diversify in order to assure alternate source of income, thus the setting up and support to New York’s own “Silicon alley” and special attention to entrepreneurs. The city has also realized that it needs to attract fresh blood, new talent, who would inject new energy into its system to drive innovation. And while Mr. Kulper pointed out honestly, that chances are rather slim for foreign nationals  to be hired in NYC, however as the city does need international talent , which is the strength of our CEU colleagues, our odds are not that bad either to find a position and help to turn this city around.

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