The term “panel discussion” ranks somewhere between “fixing a flat tire” and “IRS audit” on the Fun List. You have to figure that most people dragooned into attending these events are usually on the clock in some fashion.
But a panel discussion with former Lakers star Earvin “Magic” Johnson? That’s something else entirely.
This week, Loyola Marymount University played host to one of the Urban Economic Forums being staged around the country by the White House Business Council. The forum included a series of workshops aimed at helping urban entrepreneurs expand their businesses, land government contracts and tap into overseas markets.
And there were panel discussions. Of course.
As the Los Angeles Times Business editor, I was asked to moderate a panel with Johnson – perhaps the country’s best-known urban entrepreneur – and U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.
The subject, loosely, was the role urban entrepreneurship can play in reducing unemployment, which is especially high among African Americans and Latinos.