To Be or Not To Be That is The Question

On September 12th 2001, America woke up to a new normal. The previously unthinkable had happened resulting in many of us losing loved ones and friends (myself included). The outcome led to many American's reassessing what was important in life. For those of us living in or very close to New York City, this included where to live, where to work and where to raise our children. For those of us who were business owners, we also had to rethink our contingency planning strategies.

My business was based in New York City. In 1991 I had co-founded the Strategic Research Institute that over the 10 years prior to 2001 had grown in to one of the world's leading C-Suite, business-to-business conference companies. It was a great business, but it was also a company where success was 100% dependent upon people's willingness and or ability to travel. Needless to say, SRI was at a strategic inflection point when both willingness and ability were quite rightly ceded for family, and personal security.

Through the chaos, we found a way to use our business to help our clients. By November 2001 we had started holding local (around the country), reduced price events that focused on the fact that there may not have been a more important time in the tenure of current business leaders, to convene and collaborate on how to move forward. These events really did help competitors, strategic partners, vendors, suppliers, and customers come together to answer the difficult questions being asked about the future.

I sold SRI in 2006 and hoped that during the next phases of my leadership tenure I would not have to experience another "new normal" event. Well, although hope can spring eternal, my move of residency to Charleston, SC resulted in facing another event that can't be ignored. However, at least this time we have fair warning to plan.

Sea Level Rise is going to create a "new normal" for coastal business in VA, NC, SC, GA and FL. As politicians and think tanks skirt around the issue, it is time that we as business leaders, faced it head on and asked the real question, "Do we stay, or do we go"? It is for this reason that I am lending my expertise in the conference business, and experience in the face of confronting a "new normal", to help hold an imperative event called Tidal Decisions.

Scheduled for March 6th & 7th, 2018, at the Gaillard Center in Charleston, Tidal Decisions takes a realistic deep dive into the Risks, Rewards and Trade-Offs of the future economic effects Seal Level Rise on coastal municipalities and corporations in VA, NC, SC, GA and FL. To be or not to be - where we currently are.

Municipal leaders realize that if corporations leave, their tax bases crumble. CEO's realize that the costs of doing business could sky rocket, supply chains could be broken, employee access may be hampered, and current contingency plans may simply be inept. It is time to have serious conversations about the future.

The event is specifically designed for municipal leaders, CEO's and the professional service providers focused upon calculating the answer to the question, "stay or go"?

To even further support the importance of this subject, the organizers were instrumental in urging that a unique report be produced that focused on the effects sea level rise will have on the velocity of capital in the areas being affected. We have seen too many examples in America of entire communities becoming almost destitute because the a once robust velocity of capital fell to almost zero. Although not due to the effects of Sea Level Rise, the phenomenon we face today could have the same dramatic effects that the demise of the steel industry had yesterday. The difference is, we now this problem is coming.

The report (produced by some brilliant scientists at the College of Charleston) is scheduled to be presented at the conference and the results to date appear to confirm that there are risks, rewards and trade-offs. Either way, unless we convene to build the public/private partnerships we will require to create appropriate contingency plans and resiliency, we will be negligent in using the time we have to prepare.

In the fall of 2001, the mantra of the business leaders attending our events became not should we attend, but how can we not attend. Given my experiences, the same is true for the Tidal Decisions conference as this is figuratively as case of "whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a SEA of troubles.

I invite you to join numerous mayors and fellow CEO's as we come together to get real about this subject. You can register here

Kind regards, Stuart

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