Communities

‘Knight Cities’ podcast: Campus Philly connects students—and inspires deep connections to Philadelphia

Attracting and retaining talent is at the top of the economic development agenda in many U.S. cities. And the organization that probably knows best how to do that is Campus Philly.

Knight Cities podcast

Deborah Diamond is president of Campus Philly, and she joined us this week to talk about what the organization has learned. Here are five things you should know from our conversation:

1.        The mission of Campus Philly is to connect students to Philadelphia in a way that matters to them.

2.        Young adults have twin needs. They need career opportunities and they need to love where they live. 

3.        Students don’t know what jobs are available. Campus Philly Crawls and Meet Your Industry events get students into workplaces to hear from leaders and gain insight into the city’s industries.

4.        College Fest, another Campus Philly-produced event, brings together 5,000-plus college students for a combination festival and day of exploring the city. When students see all of the other college students, they realize they are in a college town. And when they make connections with each other, they build connections to Philadelphia because that’s what they all have in common.

5.        Open Arts is a way to give free access to students to arts and culture. But students want more than free access. They want to see other students, and they want to participate in the arts, not simply observe as part of an audience.

Listen to my conversation with Deborah here. And sign up for the “Knight Cities” newsletter to get alerts as soon as new conversations are posted.

Look for new “Knight Cities” content posted every week. You can follow us on Twitter at #knightcities or @knightfdn. And if you have ideas for people you’d like to hear from, please email me.

Carol Coletta is vice president of community and national initiatives at Knight Foundation. Follow her on Twitter @ccoletta.