Governor Mike Leavitt Discussed “Finding Allies and Building Alliances” at the Common Good Awards Luncheon
At Envision Utah’s 18th annual Common Good Awards Luncheon, Governor Mike Leavitt, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and three-time governor of Utah, discussed concepts from his new book “Finding Allies and Building Alliances” (co-written with Rich McKeown).
Fidelity Investments and Guadalupe School were both honored with the 2013 Common Good Award. Since 1966, Guadalupe School has provided hope to thousands of Utah’s children and adults through the transforming power of education. Its mission is to teach economically disadvantaged children and non-English speaking adults the vision and skills needed to live productive, rewarding lives. Guadalupe’s charter school has a turnover rate of 4%, as compared with the Title 1 schools’ rate of over 50%. Its adult education program has a 68% post-test graduation rate, compared to the Utah average of 30%.
Fidelity Investments employees primarily focus on volunteer opportunities that provide students and families with an educational foundation to achieve personal and financial success. Fidelity has been a leader in education volunteerism where employees donated more than 4,000 hours of service directly to schools and through education partners, including Junior Achievement, the Salt Lake Education Foundation, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake. In addition, Utah Fidelity associates raised more than $100,000 for the Utah Food Bank during their annual summer Food Drive in July.
Governor Leavitt began his keynote by remarking on the changes he has seen in the state over the past 20 years. “I want to tell you how much I love this state and how deeply grateful I am that I had a chance to work with all of you in making it what it has become. I am so proud of what this state has become… I see highways that are in place that have become a part of our life. I see rail systems. I see education systems. I see water systems. I see a state that has emerged to a way we have always aspired. And I am so grateful to just have been part of it. I want to acknowledge Envision Utah’s very important role in that process. There’s just no question about the fact that it has been a shaping force.”
Governor Leavitt described a new era “where the world is beginning to intuitively organize itself into networks - not just the data, not just the ability to communicate, but nations, communities, businesses, and people are beginning to completely reorganize themselves into networks…”
“So why is this happening? Why is the world beginning to intuitively organize itself into networks? I would argue – and we do in the book – first, it is the technology that is beginning to enable us. Second, it is a sense of relentless global competition that is requiring us, giving us an imperative to get better, with a force that no legislative body could ever bring. It’s that sense of economic survival with global competition – with the ability of competition to move not just across states, not just across countries, but across continents. There is a requirement that we all learn to use the networks to drive our efficiency because a network will always trump a main frame.”
Governor Leavitt concluded by sharing his oft-repeated motto: “When it comes to the kind of change that we have been through and the kind that we are going to go through, there are only three ways we can deal with it: we can fight it and die, we can accept it and have a chance, or we can lead it and prosper.”
Envision Utah created the Common Good Award to recognize organizations and individuals whose values and actions benefit the community as a whole.