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Two business experts from Harvard will visit Columbus this week to study how Columbus is leveraging partnerships among businesses, educational institutions, government and nonprofits to strengthen the community’s economy.
Joseph Bower, Baker Foundation professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, said Columbus’ experience will serve as a case study — the basis for a graduate level class at the business school.
“What Columbus is doing looks really interesting,” said Bower, one of the two Harvard representatives who will visit Indiana.
Bower said he formed the idea of studying Columbus, and especially the Community Education Coalition, through conversations with former Cummins Inc. President Joe Loughrey, his summer neighbor on Martha’s Vineyard.
Bower said that, as he and Loughrey were discussing challenges businesses face today, Loughrey told him about the Community Education Coalition, and Bower decided he would come to Columbus to study it.
Many communities are trying to improve the competitiveness of their economies, Bower said, and the efforts in Columbus will provide an interesting case study.
John Burnett, the coalition’s president and chief executive officer, said the Harvard team will spend two days in Columbus to meet with education, government, business and other community leaders. Cummins Inc. will have a dinner with coalition board members and the guests from Harvard.
“We’re very appreciative and grateful that the Harvard Business School folks are coming to see us,” Burnett said. “It’s another ... confirmation that we’re on the right track in terms of how we’re building our community.”
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