SECRETARY BLINKEN: Hey folks, I hope you got a chance to look around a little bit yourselves.
So one of the main purposes that we have bringing all of our cities together in the hemisphere is to get an opportunity for them to be talking to each other, connecting with each other, and sharing best practices. The most powerful thing is that so many things that we’re working on at a national or even international level are actually being addressed day-in/day-out at a local level by cities and by municipalities.
But the connection is not just between cities. It’s between cities, the government, and the private sector, because most of the solutions to challenges that we’re facing are usually going to be a combination of something the government’s doing and something that the private sector is doing, especially when it comes to innovating and actually making things and providing services that are responsive to these problems.
What I just saw here just in about half an hour, you can see the power of connecting the private sector, connecting our government, in actually solving problems. Having much easier connectivity for people who are trying to access government services, we saw that. Actually taking a huge challenge in recycling, in this case rubber tires, and turning it into a useful product in a way that deals with the environmental impact, otherwise having all of these tires piling up in our cities. And of course dealing with housing challenges, something that I just saw here.
These are all challenges that cities are facing, we’re facing on a national level, and we’re finding solutions driven by innovation driven by the private sector. So being able to bring everyone together in one place here in Denver at this summit, that’s a way we actually make progress. That’s a way we actually zero in on the solutions and have an opportunity to connect people to advance them.
So to me, coming and seeing this is always – is incredibly inspiring because we’re in a growth industry for challenges right now, but when you actually see that there are solutions at hand out of innovation, out of human ingenuity, out of people wanting to try to make their communities and their societies a little bit better, it gives you a lot of hope and a lot of inspiration for the future.