Raimondo lauds innovation in Rhode Island at World Trade Day
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo H ’12 and Bryant University President Ronald K. Machtley discussed global trends to build, innovate, and create jobs during the 31st annual World Trade Day. Joining them in the engaging executive panel were John Hazen White, Jr. of Taco and Navyn Salem of Edesia Nutrition
“We feel we have to make it easier and cheaper to do business in Rhode Island,” the governor said. “We need to have a skilled pipeline of students that have the talent that is needed in the workforce.”
“Innovation happens because people come together as a group where they can collaborate and bounce ideas off each other.”
Machtley highlighted Bryant’s efforts to teach students to think differently, noting the Innovation and Design Experience for All (IDEA) program and Bryant’s new Academic Innovation Center, an immersion into design thinking and rapid prototyping.
“Innovation doesn’t happen because one smart person has an idea,” Machtley said. “It happens because people come together as a group where they can collaborate and bounce ideas off each other.”
Raimondo praised Bryant for encouraging innovation.
“Innovation can be taught,” she said. “We want our students to learn how to problem solve, how to be collaborators and how to be team players… The growth at Bryant University under (Machtley) is just phenomenal. I can’t say enough about what they are doing.”
More than 600 people attended World Trade Day, one of the largest international trade conferences in the Northeast. The event brings together business people, government leaders, trade experts, and international diplomats to discuss global trade issues and opportunities.
This year’s theme was “Global Trends Impacting Local Decisions,” and topics ranged from technology in manufacturing and global economics to global market opportunities and the challenges of managing a global workforce.
Keynote speakers included:
- Scott Aughenbaugh, Deputy Director of Strategic Futures at the Center for Strategic and International Studies;
- Brett Bruen, president of the Global Situation Room;
- Frank Days, vice president of marketing at Tesora;
- Anika Khan, director and senior economist at Wells Fargo;
- Darrell West, vice president of governance studies and director of the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution.