Engage Dallas: Cuban, Mayor Urge Young Professionals to Have Impact

Mark Cuban and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings imparted knowledge of leadership and dealing with community challenges during Mayor's Star Council event.

engage dallas

All it takes is one step.

“There’s always a place to put yourself where you can have an impact,” said Mark Cuban to a room full of young professionals Thursday.

The Dallas Mavericks owner and entrepreneur joined Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings for a lunchtime discussion touching on social impact, education, and the future workforce — all in the context of becoming more proactive citizens. 

“… lead with passion, make sure you have all the facts, and then turn that passion into engagement and bring a lot of other people along with you.”

MIKE RAWLINGS

It was one part of Engage Dallas, the Mayor’s Star Council‘s daylong leadership summit, designed to get participants beyond talking about issues and stepping into action with solutions in the community.

Other discussions included a civics lesson on government while another gave an overview of how groups such as nonprofits, businesses, and the media work together to serve the city. 

“To me, [it’s] this notion of picking out the issue that you care about, lead with passion, make sure you have all the facts, and then turn that passion into engagement and bring a lot of other people along with you,” Rawlings said of beginning the process of community involvement.

The mayor cautioned attendees to not “reinvent the wheel.”

“One of the issues in the social service and the public sector is everybody tries to create new organizations, then they fight for funding,” Rawlings said.

Cuban suggested volunteering at existing organizations would be far more impactful. In the business world, he’s learned the most — what to do and what not to do — from companies he got fired from, he said.

“Volunteer for an organization, learn what they do best, what they do poorly, and help them get better. Then, you can see where that takes you,” Cuban said.

NATURE OF WORK IS CHANGING, SO MUST EDUCATION

And speaking of learning, Cuban said it will be an invaluable skill as technology transforms the nature of work.

In the next five years, technology will go through a greater amount of change than it has in the past three decades, he said. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks are all terms people will need to understand. 

He predicts the changes mean fewer jobs at bigger companies, but more opportunities on the community level and a greater need for interpreters of information.

“More so going forward than ever, you will always have to continue to learn. You won’t be able to say this is my job, this is what I do, and this is what I’m going to do forever,” Cuban told the Engage Dallas audience.

Because of that, Cuban said instilling the “thirst for knowledge” in schools will be critical.

“More so going forward than ever, you will always have to continue to learn.”

MARK CUBAN

Rawlings foresees a huge disruption in what the physical classroom will look like, possibly breaking away from the traditional sit-and-lecture format that has dominated education for centuries.

“I’m excited about that because I think we can J-curve our performance a lot better,” Rawlings said.

Following the discussion moderated by Trey Bowles, co-founder of The Dallas Entrepreneur Center and the Mayor’s Star Council, participants broke away for smaller sessions keying in on possible solutions for specific issue areas from food desserts and urban revitalization to health care and the arts. 

“I’m not saying what decisions to make, but be intentional about it,” Rawlings advised the group before they left. 


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