Dr. Walter Greason
Norristown Times Herald
30 September 2014
Ben Franklin was not just a funny, fat guy. No, he wasn’t just a guy standing out in a thunderstorm. Without Franklin, there is no United States. He literally built the ideas and institutions that made the next century of national growth possible. In 1748, he wrote a letter to the young men of the colonies to encourage them to save aggressively and be responsible with their credit. The next year, he designed the first plan to educate responsible commercial citizens. It was the blueprint for the University of Pennsylvania.
Enterprise is the heart of American citizenship. Yet, most school districts and universities do little to teach this lesson. As a result, we live in a consumers’ republic – a place where shopping, spending, and debt have replaced Franklin’s principles of saving, thrift, and wealth. The Walton family has created a 100 billion USD private empire based on this cultural shift. To reverse this trend, every young American must develop a product that they want to sell to the world. One of the easiest ways to start on this path is franchising. Finding a small franchise happens constantly for organizations like the Girl Scouts who coordinate millions of local fundraising campaigns. A new opportunity is the Slydz Eyewear company. With
Slydz, enterpreneurs have an affordable opportunity to grow a global brand. There are hundreds of thousands of stable chances to expand wealth, if someone has the courage to follow Franklin’s guidance.
The CC3DP group in New York City is another great example for families and school districts. They have organized dozens of students to learn the graphic design skills for 3-dimensional printing. These techniques will revolutionize manufacturing around the world over the next twenty years and provide billions of dollars in new enterprises. CC3DP emphasizes teaching elementary and middle school students, but there are many volunteer opportunities for high school and college students as well. There is already a framework in place for families in the Norristown Area School District, but everyone in southeastern Pennsylvania should take advantage.
For high school students looking for unique programs at the college level, there is a unique partnership between the College of Business and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Monmouth University. The “Engines of Wealth” initiative is teaching hundreds of students the principles of Asset Value Analysis. This technique expands on principles of marketing and accounting to develop entrepreneurs and leaders in the private sector to grow new manufacturing, engineering, medical, and technical companies, while they are in college. Almost two hundred students from Memphis, Tennessee, started the application process to join this program last week. Instead of seeking jobs after graduation, these students will grow companies that hire aggressively.
From October 9 to October 12, the University of Pennsylvania will host the Urban History Association meeting in Houston Hall. Hundreds of innovative educators who are pioneering new strategies to grow stable, sustainable enterprises around the world will attend. If you’re reading this column, you should be there. There will also be special seminars on entrepreneurship in Pennsylvania on Friday, October 10, in Center City. A group of Norristown students who completed projects related to the history of the community this summer will be special guests on Saturday, October 11.
In the next few weeks, local and regional leaders have several chances to meet Franklin’s expectations of global innovators. Do not miss them.
Dr. Walter Greason founded the International Center for Metropolitan Growth – a company bringing global investment to working class cities and towns in North America. He is also the author of Suburban Erasure: How the Suburbs Ended the Civil Rights Movement in New Jersey. His work is available on LinkedIn, Twitter (@icmgrowth / @worldprofessor1), Facebook, and by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). For booking information (workshops and speaking engagements), contact NJHistory350 (email@example.com).