Even after being back in Miami for four years now and seeing my peers leave in a heartbeat, I still get asked why I haven’t left. My simple answer: “You can create in Miami. You can’t in D.C., Atlanta, New York, etc.”
While I love those cities and credit Atlanta for my entrepreneurial and professional development, those cities are oversaturated and everything you’re thinking about doing is already being done and dominated by someone else. So while it is true that you can easily experience a different level of living in those cities, you will just fit with the pack.
If you want to be a change agent; if you want to be part of something new and big, especially as an emerging leader, then you need to be in a city where you can create, and that’s right here in Miami.
The opening salvo in this piece is classic Rust Belt Chic migration, "Miami raised, Tallahassee educated, Atlanta sharpened, and now back in Miami using my social, business, and political capital to do good for something bigger than myself."
She went away to university and moved on to Big City before coming back to help redevelop her hometown. Brain drain isn't a problem to be solved with cool urban amenities and other boondoggles. It is the first stage in the enrichment of an individual who maintains strong ties to a community.
I think of New York and Atlanta as cities that excel in the economic development of people. Other cities, such as Pittsburgh and Boston, do a world class job of producing talent that can migrate to Atlanta to be sharpened. The best talent will spend at least part of its career in an alpha global city. That migration is brain gain, not brain drain.
But why move back home? Because "if you want to be part of something new and big, especially as an emerging leader, then you need to be in a city where you can create". That city might be San Antonio, Cleveland, Philadelphia, or (in this case) Miami. Rust Belt Chic.