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Houston Next

Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore, London, New York, Frankfurt...all great global cities. Cities that are beacons of commerce and prestige, drawing the best and brightest from around the world. Since its founding over 180 years ago, Houston has enjoyed a remarkable history of growth and prosperity, and that success has accelerated dramatically in the last decade. 

We are a city of opportunity. A city where business leaders step up and get things done. A city where no idea is too big to be pursued and no problem too great to be solved. Through the vision and hard work of generations of leaders that have gone before us, Houston rightfully owns a position among the world's great metros. 

What Makes a Great City

To succeed as a global metro, it is critical that Houstonians focus our efforts on three key areas:

  • Building a strong, diverse, 21st century economy
  • Offering a great quality of life
  • Ensuring opportunity for all

As we pursue these things, it is critical to view our efforts through the lens of racial equity, advancing bold solutions to strengthen Houston as a diverse, inclusive and equitable city.

These are noble aspirations, but not easy to pursue or sustain. That’s why great cities need exceptional civic leaders who guide a city to current and future success.

Houston Next empowers the region’s business leaders, through the Greater Houston Partnership, to accelerate Houston’s progress across these areas of impact to ensure Houston continues to advance as a great global city.

In adopting the Houston Next strategy, the Greater Houston Partnership is focused on continuously improving Houston’s position in the alignment of the great global cities.

We have much to be proud of and by every measure we are already a great city. But we also know that the world around us is changing rapidly, and the pecking order of global cities for the remainder of the 21st Century is being worked out right now.

Driving a Strong, Diverse Economy

The Greater Houston Partnership has long-promoted Houston’s economic growth through economic development efforts aimed at attracting leading global companies to Houston, creating jobs and growing the region’s GDP.

Empowered by the Houston Next campaign, the Partnership will embark on a more targeted, proactive effort to recruit high-impact business prospects, both domestically and from around the world.

Embolden efforts to position Houston as the Energy Capital of the World for all forms of energy including traditional oil and gas along with renewables.
Working in partnership with the Texas Medical Center, the Partnership will accelerate efforts to position Houston as the Third Coast for Life Science with a focus on increasing translational research commercialization.
Leveraging Houston’s geographic location and world-class logistics assets, we will bolster our efforts to recruit major manufacturing and logistics projects as companies seek access to the Americas customer base.
Key to establishing Houston’s position among the world’s leading cities, the Partnership will focus efforts on attracting both domestic headquarters locations and the regional headquarters of foreign multi-nationals seeking a foothold in North America.
The Partnership will develop and execute a strategic plan to accelerate the digital transition of our core industries, both through attracting disruptive companies and promoting the evolution of our existing companies.
Many of Houston’s strengths are built on our ability to easily move goods in-and-out of the region. The Partnership will work with our regional partners to ensure proper improvements and expansions of these assets.

Ensuring A Great Quality of Life

Over the last decade, Houstonians have made tremendous improvements to our quality of life while offering a much lower cost of living than our peer metros across the country.

While we must continue to make progress in these areas, a handful of challenges and opportunities have arisen that require the Partnership to help accelerate progress.

Hurricane Harvey and the preceding flooding events rapidly brought to the forefront the critical need to improve Houston’s flood resiliency infrastructure. The Partnership will work with local stakeholders to develop and execute the region’s resiliency blueprint.
While Houston’s congestion compares favorably to many of the global peer cities, Houston must pursue new mobility plans designed around new technologies and changing demographic and residency patterns. The Partnership will work with key stakeholders to inspire the development of this plan.
Harris County and the City of Houston represent two-thirds of the region’s population and present a unique set of opportunities to improve efficiencies and synergies between the two entities, saving taxpayer money while elevating the quality of services. The Partnership will engage the parties to facilitate meaningful programs to improve local government efficiency and service delivery.

Supporting Opportunity for All

As the Partnership works to support a strong, diverse economy, it is paramount that the growth we achieve is powered by Houstonians who are seeking opportunity to improve their own lives and that of their families. Our region’s human capital is the greatest asset our region possesses.

While a number of factors contribute to a system of opportunity, the Partnership believes strong education systems and career pathways are essential to ensuring everyone in Houston has the opportunity to succeed.

A strong public education system is the bedrock of long-term success of our young people. The Partnership will be a leading advocate for a high-quality public education system that is properly funded, accountable and equitably serves all students in the region.
Houston leads the top ten U.S. metros in attracting baccalaureate-degreed professionals, but we are last in producing that same talent locally. The Partnership will work with partners across the region to ensure our region develops graduates aligned with the needs of Houston’s businesses.
Since its launch in 2014, the Greater Houston Partnership’s UpSkill Houston initiative is widely-recognized as one of the top industry-led workforce development programs in the country. As part of Houston Next, the Partnership will take this program to scale, resulting in more people taking part in training programs and entering the workforce.

Ensuring Racial Equity and Inclusion

In summer 2020, the Partnership announced One Houston Together, an initiative that seeks to leverage the power of the business community to address racial inequity and injustice in Houston. This new initiative involves building a shared understanding of systemic and individual racism, establishing structural changes within our organization to ensure a lens of equity permeates our work, and developing programmatic and policy solutions. Racial equity and justice is now an integral component of Houston Next.

A Racial Equity Committee of the Partnership’s board was also established in August to steer the organization’s efforts. Following several meetings, the 30-member committee developed a set of core principles that will guide its actions and recommendations:


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