With Wichita at what many feel is a transformative moment, the members of panel at the WBJ’s ICT summit on Wednesday discussing how we define the city moving forward believe we need to get over a fear of failure and take a page from the Nike playbook and “just do it.”
For some, the city has shown recent glimpses of what it can do.
In creating a feel akin to something like the Sprint Center and Power and Light District over that bustling weekend in March, Piros said that he hopes continued development in the city’s core — including a new baseball stadium — can be one of many catalysts around town that Wichita can build on for the future.
But, the city has also seen a recent snapshot of just what it could be up against in the wake of the challenging outlook presented by analyst James Chung.
Jeff Fluhr, president of the Greater Wichita Partnership, said that one of the good things to come from that presentation have been the number of people who have since stepped up to say that it is gonna be the people of Wichita that control its destiny rather than numbers or outside perspectives.
And the panel’s primary message to the crowd gathered at the Mark Arts center for the event was that if Wichita is going to get to where people say they want it to go and realize that destiny, then we have to get over our fear.
That means not being afraid to go after passion projects, with Neil Dickson, commercial loan officer at Meritrust Credit Union, saying passion is often a “key driver” in the success of projects he helps finance.
But it also means, said Ben Hutton, CEO of Hutton Construction, that Wichita has to get over an inherent fear that even passion projects might fail.
“I think that we need to give ourselves permission to try new things,” Hutton said, adding that it is equally important for people in the community who feel the same to become a vocal majority.
And now, he said, is the time to get on board.
“This is that transformative moment (for Wichita),” Fluhr said. “This will be part of the history of the next great American city.”