Keeping Pace with a Changing Economy

Dear Tulane Community:

It’s been 50 years since Bob Dylan wrote “The Times They Are a-Changin’.” There’s no denying that they were changing in 1963, but the pace of change back then seems almost leisurely compared with 2023.

Dylan wrote the song as an anthem for the civil rights movement, and its message is still relevant today. The social upheaval of the early 1960s took place against an economic backdrop that was comparatively slow to change: the four companies that topped the Fortune 500 in 1960 still held their spots ten years later.

Today, the global economy is a moving target, and our home state of Louisiana is no exception. "Winning Strategies: Louisiana’s Next Generation Economy” is the theme of the 44th Annual Tulane Business Forum, taking place today at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The forum, hosted by the A.B. Freeman School of Business, has convened an impressive roster of leaders from a wide range of industries to examine ways that Louisiana can successfully navigate the shifting business landscape and thrive in the decades ahead.

One of these leaders is Greg Feirn, CEO of LCMC Health, whom I’ll be introducing as a keynote speaker. Greg earned his MBA from Tulane in 2006 and went on to spearhead the creation and evolution of LCMC Health, a locally based nonprofit healthcare system designed to meet the diverse needs of the New Orleans community. The new LCMC-Tulane partnership positions Tulane to become a nationally recognized academic medical center for destination health care while improving access and quality of care for our local neighbors.

Healthcare and research in the biosciences are among the fastest growing sectors of our economy. We are on the forefront as we partner with LCMC and continue the historic expansion of our downtown medical campus, including the renovation and rebirth of Charity Hospital. Yet our strategic moves in this arena are just one step toward our goal of diversifying the local economy and ensuring its long-term success. On campus and beyond, Tulanians are actively working to shift the focus of the energy industry toward renewable sources; to train professionals in sustainable urban planning and real estate development; and to effectively steward and manage our natural resources.

Our focus on strengthening the economy of the city and surrounding region is an outgrowth of our mission to use knowledge for the greater good. Yet the benefits will be equally felt by those within the Tulane community, from improved quality of life for our employees to more local job opportunities for our graduates.

The times are changing fast—and they are changing for the better.