On March 25th, over 400 young professionals from across NYS convened at Cornell University for the We Live NY Summit. The Summit was made possible by We Live NY, a statewide coalition of young professional leaders focused on attracting and retaining talent throughout NYS. Buffalo Niagara 360 is proud to be a member of WLNY’s steering committee, representing WNY as the group implements initiatives that encourage young professionals to network with their peers, promote collaboration amongst their organizations, and become engaged in their communities.
The Summit featured dozens of breakouts grouped by Business & Entrepreneurship, Political & Civic Engagement, Cuisine & Culture, Neighborhood Revitalization, and Health & Wellness. Attendees were hard pressed to decide which breakouts to attend - from pitching business ideas to angel investors and entrepreneurs, an introduction to the Political Leadership Institute (for running or managing political campaigns), to attending a locally sourced wine and cheese tasting, the WLNY Summit aimed to satisfy everyone’s interests.
While the breakout sessions offered a wide variety of topics, the common theme was leadership. By attending the Summit, WLNY Chairman Jeremy Cooney said, attendees were “…taking a leadership role in the future of New York…we are committed to taking actionable and measurable steps in making our state a place that is innovative, exciting, and attractive for young professionals.” Innovation and leadership are key factors in the growth of the state, as stated in a letter addressed to attendees by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: “We depend upon…leaders like all of you, to invent the next wave of products, start new companies, and create the jobs that will drive New York’s economy into the future.”
After a productive day full of networking and learning, followed by a “Dine Around Ithaca” and pub crawl, attendees I spoke with left the Summit feeling engaged, energized, and ready to apply what they learned back to their own communities across NYS.