Kelley engages business and community leaders at Economic Club of Indiana


The Economic Club of Indiana is a forum established over 40 years ago, allowing the central Indiana community to hear from prominent and emerging leaders, as they discuss important social and economic issues impacting our economy.

Held nine times a year at the Indiana Convention Center, the series attracts an average audience of 630 people for each luncheon.

The speakers have represented a diversity of backgrounds over the years, such as former President George H.W. Bush, former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman, political commentator George Will and former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, as well as local leaders like Eli Lilly’s John Lechleiter and former Indiana Governors Mitch Daniels and Evan Bayh.

The Economic Club still operates on Theodore Roosevelt’s thesis that “Indianapolis is America’s most representative city,” and speakers frequently want to test their new ideas before what many perceive to be one of America's most typical audiences.¹

The IU Kelley School of Business hosts a table at these luncheons as a way to interact with the central Indiana business community and its leaders. This important external activity provides a frequent opportunity to give business leaders insight into the successes of our school, our leading research capabilities and our programs that enable Kelley to prepare the next generation of business and community leaders for roles in the Indiana economy.

This month, Kelley was the luncheon sponsor, and I had the opportunity to host our table and hear speakers Jennifer Vey of the Brookings Institution and Betsy McCaw of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership.

Jennifer Vey is a scholar and researcher at Brookings Institution, and she discussed research on the quality of life of older industrial cities. Her research indicated among other things that urban areas are becoming hubs where people live, work and play, unlike previous models of suburbia where people come into urban areas to work, but they return to outlying areas to live and play. We are seeing this transformation in Indianapolis in areas like Mass Ave and Fountain Square.

The image caption follows
Betsy McCaw speaks to the Economic Club of Indiana attendees during the April luncheon.

Betsy McCaw serves as chief operating officer at Central Indiana Corporate Partnership. She spoke about the 16 Tech initiative, which will serve as an innovation community and global innovation hub to develop and retain talent to grow the Indiana economy.

"16 Tech encompasses several acres of prime real estate along Indiana Avenue between 10th Street and 16th Street. Although adjacent to the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus, 16 Tech is surrounded on three sides by water and trails along the White River and Fall Creek. It is ideally located next to one of the largest concentrations of research clusters in Indianapolis’ urban core, surrounded by 67 percent of the city’s growth industries and flanked by residential neighborhoods steeped in a rich history and community pride”.²

16 Tech will also be a combination of:³

• Flexible research space for advanced industries such as technology, advanced manufacturing, and life sciences
• Creative industries and the arts
• Ample public space
• Mix of housing opportunities
• Retail and office space for entrepreneurs and established companies

The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI), a $360 million industry-led first-of-its-kind institute in the nation will serve as an anchor tenant and be positioned to serve as a catalyst for the development.⁴

As we continue to enjoy the growth of our IUPUI campus, our programs and student enrollment, 16 Tech will become integral to our academic community. I hope each of you continue to stay informed and engaged in this important development in a neighboring area of our campus.

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Left to Right, Front Row: Don Palmer, Ron Brumbarger, John Egloff. Back Row: Francois Jammes, Aja May, Joe Whitsett, Mark Nottingham. Not pictured: Joanna Beatty Taft. Economic Club of Indiana luncheon, April 2017.

¹Economic Club of Indiana website
²Economic Club of Indiana website
³Economic Club of Indiana website
⁴16 Tech website