It happens here: Consumer-centric Innovation in Charlotte and beyond

A viewpoint about Charlotte by Nheeda Enriquez

flickr photos combined: ioupioute & jameswillamor

flickr photos combined: ioupioute & jameswillamor

“Wow! You’re practically a native,” is a phrase I’ve heard (and stolen) about the few individuals that have lived in this transplant town for over five years.  Natives have seen Charlotte’s role as banking center transform the city, and they often describe Uptown as a center of crime and tumbleweeds just ten years ago.

I assign the “Native” label to Charlotte Viewpoint, an arts + culture publication where a smattering of leaders and local visionaries contribute thoughtful columns and stunning photos.  It definitely stands out in an era of fragmented new media and 140-character upstarts.  CV’s founder and publisher Mark Peres says this is intentional:  “When everyone else goes wide, you have to go deep.”

The magazine’s mission is to spread ideas so that Charlotte leverages its own creative class to define its future, rather than continuing to consume the outputs of other cities.  We’re all wondering what lies ahead in the next chapter: will we fall into secondary-city status or become a new hub of energy/medicine/transportation/new business model innovation?