Lehigh Valley

Symposium on Lehigh Valley future to focus on big, bold

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission announced Thursday it will host an all-day symposium Dec. 6 entitled "Future Lehigh Valley — Big Ideas, Bold Conversation" featuring keynote speaker Peter Leyden, former editor of Wired magazine and author of "What's Next" and "The Long Boom".

In addition to being a journalist, Leyden is an entrepreneur and CEO of Reinventors, a company he founded that gathers and coordinates top re-inventors from around the world.

LVPC Executive Director Becky Bradley said the event's official title, "Move Into The Future Lehigh Valley," is being held at the midpoint of the formulation of the region's master comprehensive plan. Information collected and the resulting discussions will become part of this plan.

Held in Bethlehem at Lehigh University's Iacocca Hall, the day-long presentation will unveil "Data Lehigh Valley," a project designed to build on the LVPC's role as the repository of regional data for the area.

"This is a really big deal not only for the LVPC but for the region as a whole," she remarked. She added that the event will conclude with a significant, facilitated discussion amongst a panel of over a dozen experts about the area's future.

The symposium will include a series of three panel discussions led by experts on topics such as the economy, energy use, transportation and resiliency. In addition, discussions will be held on driverless cars, climate change and living longer.

"It's about where the Lehigh Valley is headed and why we have to prepare," Bradley said.

Panelists include automated vehicles expert and former Toronto city manager Steve Buckley, famous landscape architect and University of Pennsylvania professor Ellen Neises and commercial freight development manager Mike Alderman of Liberty Property Trust.

Local panelists include Owen O'Neill of LANTA, Nancy Dischinat of the Workforce Development Board, Scott Fainor of BB&T bank, Joe Divis of AT&T  and Cassaundra Amato of the United Way.

Registration is online at lvpc.org, Bradley said.

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