Taylor’s Visionary Donor at the Aspen Ideas Festival

Phyllis Taylor

“After Katrina, many thought our city would never come back. But 200 years ago this year, an unlikely group fought the battle of New Orleans…. a combination of pirates, regular militia volunteers, Native Americans, free men of color, and at the end, British colonialism was gone from America.

We could, we would, rebuild.

Tulane University quickly moved in, developed community clinics, entrepreneurial training, mandatory community service.

Here in Aspen, I kept hearing about social innovation, design thinking, why not put that in the Tulane mix? Today, there is such a Center at Tulane.

So, my big idea? Approach issues such as water, energy, coastal restoration, healthcare, crime, homelessness, education and everything else and bring it together with the schools of Architecture, Business, Law, Medicine, Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Social Work, Science and Engineering, the Primate Center and…the college of Liberal Arts and then engage the community that daily faces these issues.

Find out what doesn’t work, and then try to find out what will work.  Create products, programs, and practices that solve these issues with another very unlikely combination of people– bringing to everyone life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness– to the people of new orleans, to our nation, and to our world. In other words, New Orleans is the test route and we would have the second battle of New Orleans.”

Beginning at 1.04:00: Phyllis M. Taylor presents about the Taylor Center at the Aspen Ideas Festival.