New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Thomas Friedman, who spoke in Chattanooga last week, wrote a column that ran Tuesday that highlighted the city’s “bottom-up” collaborative spirit that turned it from a crumbling town to a thriving technological and entrepreneurial hub.
The column-which is one of countless instances of positive national publicity for Chattanooga in the past couple of years-started making the social media rounds Tuesday night.
The local chamber, area entrepreneurs and business leaders shared the column on Facebook and took note of the positive attention.
“The fact that Tom Friedman featured Chattanooga in his column is an incredible tribute to all the many people who have worked to make this community the great place it is today,” Danna Bailey, with EPB’s corporate communications, said Wednesday via email.
Last week, Friedman spoke at the Tivoli about staying relevant in the age of hyperconnectivity.
In part, he said that the days of being successful by being average are over because hyperconnectivity raises the standards by giving so many more people around the world access to knowledge, technology and skills.
In his column, he highlighted EPB’s fiber network and used it as an example of what can be done with stimulus funds and a spirit of collaboration.
“That network was fully completed, thanks to $111 million in stimulus money,” he wrote. “Imagine that we get a grand bargain in Washington that also includes a stimulus of just $20 billion to bring the 200 biggest urban areas in America up to Chattanooga’s standard. You’d see a ‘melt-up’ in the U.S. economy. We are so close to doing something big and smart. Somebody needs to tell the Congress.”