By Binsen J. Gonzalez
It was bound to happen -- the clash between ideologies for what Miami is and what it is not, over what it is becoming. The comments made by Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine published in a Washington Post blog not only sparked heartfelt sentiments among those in the blossoming tech community, but made us realize that the “American Riviera” is no longer just the sexiest place on the planet.
Like all entities, Miami has a global name that carries a great deal of brand equity. Value that is shared by multiple stakeholders trying to use it to advance their objectives. The reactions over the WonkBlog story that quoted Levine as saying, under the headline “Miami Beach mayor: Take your tech start-up gospel, and shove it.” was, to say the least, inspirational. Passionate entrepreneurs took to Twitter and voiced their opinions to directly confront the community leader, thus starting an even bigger conversation.
No longer can the Miami reality be defined by one single entity, be it Hollywood, the beach, or politicians. Hence, making this one of the most exciting times for our community, where public leaders must realize that regardless of what segment of Miami they live in, they must be holistic ambassadors for a region that is speedily becoming more and more global rather than just international.
This is a very important takeaway from the whole story. Regardless of the frustration from what Mayor Levine may have said, globalization and technology should make us rethink who we are as one Miami. As a region we have a consistent challenge brought by the segmentation and isolation of one area to another. As we evolve and become more sophisticated in the dealings with government, the public, and private sector, do we not want the appeal of a greater lifestyle and forward thinking innovation? Do we not want to evolve as one community?
What we have in our hands is an opportunity, that if it was not evident before, it now is. The future of Miami and where the core of progress will blossom is on the mainland. Like Dave Lawrence says in our Our City Thought’s first video of the year “Everyone needs to care about these sorts of issues to prosper in America”. We the people who are creators, entrepreneurs, and dreamers have the power to redefine Miami, more than ever before.
Binsen J Gonzalez founded Our City Thoughts Inc (OCT), the organization aims to give a voice to Miami’s emerging community of startups and entrepreneurs with thought-provoking content and inspire individuals to access, connect and redefine the city.