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Mike Lee and Lane Beattie: Collaboration is our blueprint for success

More often than not innovative solutions, brilliant ideas, breakthroughs and discoveries are attributed to the work of a singular individual. But in many cases they are a result of teamwork and collaboration.

Take for example Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Even one of the greatest minds in history knew he needed to collaborate with others to find the answers. In 1913, Einstein collaborated with Marcel Grossmann to publish the “Sketch of a Generalized Theory of Relativity and a Theory of Gravitation” — the precursor to the Einstein’s final theory of general relativity.

Collaboration is a powerful tool. This is something Utahns have known for generations. Here in the Beehive State, we have learned that success truly comes when there is collaboration and effort on all sides. Our strength as a state is found in our ability to work together — that’s the Utah way.

We know that some of the best solutions come when the business community, lawmakers, and community partners come together and formulate a vision of what Utah can be. It’s the reason why we join together every year to host the Utah Solutions Summit.

This forum for collaboration has delivered tangible and real results for Utahns. In its first year, Utah’s Solutions Summit focused on regulatory reform — allowing business leaders and government officials to come together to discuss the vast regulatory state in an effort to find solutions to the government-imposed burdens on economic development.

As a result of these conversations, and others, the Salt Lake Chamber collaborated with Gov. Gary Herbert’s office, Utah League of Cities and Towns and Utah Association of Counties to produce the Utah Business Friendly Communities Starter Kit. The kit helps local cities and counties streamline and modernize their own regulations on businesses to help improve their business climate.

The Chamber then worked with the governor’s office and Legislature to take this effort a step further, and in 2016 published the Cost of Doing Business report, which found that more than 48 percent of Utah’s rules impact business but less than 3 percent of rules in 2015 had a robust analysis performed on their potential cost to businesses. This finding led to the most extensive overhaul of regulatory policy in Utah’s history.

Back in Washington, Sen. Mike Lee spearheaded the Article I project, a collaboration between 10 House and Senate members dedicated to rolling back the administrative state. This group has introduced legislation like the Separation of Powers Restoration Act and helped repeal 14 regulations this year alone.

The Second Annual Utah Solutions Summit explored “Utah’s Idea Factory,” taking a look at how businesses drive innovation and the economy. You need to look no further than the collaborative incubators we have in this state like the Lassonde Institute, Impact Hub and Silicon Slopes, to name just a few, to see the role innovation plays in Utah’s economy. Utah now leads the country in tech sector job growth and was ranked No. 1 in innovation and entrepreneurship by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Last year, workforce was the focus the Utah Solutions Summit. Business leaders and government officials took a deep look into the elements that contribute to a productive workforce and the steps needed to better prepare employees to meet the needs of industry.

Seeing the need to build Utah’s workforce and ensure our state’s future economic success, this year Gov. Herbert announced the Talent Ready Utah initiative in partnership with the business community. The initiative is designed to strengthen collaboration between industry, education and economic development leaders to create talent pipelines for high-wage jobs.

Now in its fourth year, we’re excited to focus on what Utah does best — collaboration. The 4th Annual Utah Solutions Summit — “Collaboration: Our Blueprint For Success” will take place at the Eccles Theatre in Salt Lake City on Aug. 24.

We will be hearing from a number of experts in the field of collaboration about how we can better cooperate with others to improve our daily lives, grow our economy and improve our communities.

We don’t expect to answer these questions fully at a single conference. But with a little collaboration, we’re confident we can think of new creative solutions and empower ourselves to think big.

Mike Lee is the junior senator from Utah. Lane Beattie is the president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber.