Experts: Puerto Rico needs ‘attitude change’ to get ahead

Written by  //  October 11, 2013  //  In-Brief  //  No comments

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Luis Andrade, president of the National Infrastructure Agency of the Government of Colombia

Luis Andrade, president of the National Infrastructure Agency of the Government of Colombia

A group of private sector representatives, headed by Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, is banding together to come up with a strategy to encourage a general change in attitude, place education as the epicenter of that change, and develop the business sector as an emerging paradigm for the island.

That is the first phase of the plan behind the initiative Popular has dubbed “Echar Pa’lante” (“Moving forward”), which seeks to inspire an individual and collective responsibility to work to prop Puerto Rico back up.

On Thursday, several group members — Luis Andrade, president of the National Infrastructure Agency of the Government of Colombia; Laura Herman, managing director of FSG, Social Innovation experts; Danielle Goonan, group manager of the Clinton Global Initiative’s workforce development programs; and Popular Inc. CEO Richard Carrión — gathered in Santurce to brainstorm.

While Andrade gave an overview of the factors that are necessary to ensure that Puerto Rico is competitive worldwide using Colombia’s action plan and learning process as an example, Herman presented the collective impact initiatives model being used to facilitate the integration of efforts to make Puerto Rico more competitive.

“We have an individual and collective responsibility to work to lift Puerto Rico. The ‘Echar Pa’lante’ initiative has excellent players, but the team is not complete,” Carrión said. “If each of us and our organizations are committed to contributing in the areas identified, I have no doubt that we will improve matters of great concern to the island.”

This meeting was held to identify solutions that have worked in other countries with problems or situations similar to Puerto Rico’s.

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