Leading a conversation to fuel change in Florida

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University of Miami President Julio Frenk and Professor of Practice Xavier Cortada named to the Miami Herald’s panel of top 50 influencers in Florida.

The Miami Herald, el Nuevo Herald and the Bradenton Herald have again assembled a panel of 50 influential Floridians to provide insight and views on critical issues to Florida’s future.

University of Miami President Julio Frenk and Professor of Practice Xavier Cortada will be featured in The Influencer Series, which is in its second year. The panel of 50 influencers will offer their views through the end of the year.

In its first edition, The Influencer Series asked the panel what they think is the top issue facing Florida, and potential solutions state leaders should explore to address the issue.

Frenk believes the state needs to help equip talented residents with the capabilities to succeed in today’s rapidly changing workforce.

“The state must prioritize innovation in educational technologies, pedagogical approaches, financial support to students, and assessment of outcomes to ensure learners of all ages have the ability to meet future demands,” said Frenk.

He thinks relevant educational programs throughout evolving careers provides a passport to prosperity.

“This investment in our people will yield the innovators, professionals, and civic leaders who will grow our state’s economy by attracting more business, thereby setting future generations of Floridians up for success,” he added.

Cortada, who was recently appointed professor of professional practice in the Department of Art and Art History, expressed the importance of art funding. He said two years ago, Florida was among the nation’s top 10 state art funders. Last session, legislators slashed the state’s arts budget by 90 percent. Florida now ranks second from the bottom.

“With a $4.7 billion annual impact in the state of Florida, the arts are a full-fledged force in our economy,” Cortada said. “It is in the state’s self-interest to restore its investment in the arts. Doing so will produce millions more in matching money, support hundreds of thousands of jobs, and give our state the competitive edge for business and tourism.”

Read more about what the influencers have to say here.