Natalia Martinez-Kalinina is a Miami leader convinced that we need more proactive efforts to truly engage all of our city into the conversation driving our future.
I am committed to Miami because we are a city in our adolescence. As any teenager does, we have pockets of energy, a broad range of interests, a long list of capabilities, and a lot of work to do ahead of maturing and growing into our adult self. We are a young city with an incredible fabric, a welcoming spirit, a history of survival brought by the waves of immigrants that have built it, and an evolving geographic and demographic profile. Most importantly, we straddle ambiguities and complexities and we are not afraid of change and reinvention.
In tandem, we have a lot of work to do. Our disparate elements and energies need to find a common strategic narrative, our institutions and public/private partnerships need to embrace elements of creative and people-centered problem-solving, we need to engage with the levers that will create a more civically engaged population, and we need to take the next step in becoming both an innovative and an inclusive leading metropolis.
All of these factors converge to create an opportunity that as unique as it is remarkable. Miami has all of the traits necessary to create the landmark city of the next century and we have the energy and the will to become it. I am personally motivated to stay here because I consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to work hand in hand with so many others who recognize the importance of the next chapter for Miami.
WHAT’S THE MOST PRESSING ISSUE TO SOLVE ON YOUR LIST?
WHY? HOW CAN WE SOLVE IT?
I am of the opinion that our assets and liabilities as a city are intrinsically linked. I sometimes use the phrase, “what has got us here, won’t necessarily get us there,” and firmly believe this accurately describes Miami at this moment. We are a city that bridges the Americas and that thrives in a truly diverse and plural environment. Without question, this crossroads and heterogeneity are assets and advantages, but they are also a liability if we do not learn how to bridge the gaps that still exist in those areas. As an example, we are plural but we remain demographically and geographically segregated, and although we prize diversity and inclusion, we need more proactive efforts to truly engage all of our city into the conversation driving our future. Similarly, we are already cemented as the logistics and travel hub of the Americas, but have much work to do around creating tangible and bidirectional exchange around though leadership. Our areas of overlap with other markets – such as health and biotech with Boston or Argentina – are underdeveloped and our conversations around meaningful investment exchange remains superficial. In order to be regarded seriously as a hemispheric hub, we have to define and execute a clearer vision for both exchange and inclusion.