PIKEVILLE – Over 1,100 people from across the country came to the SOAR Innovation Summit to hear about what our 54 county region is doing to shape our future. The focus of the day was about innovation and how SOAR could help these people connect, inspire, and shape the region.

Among the dozens of booths showcasing the best of the region was Operation UNITE’s Hope Wall and information about the many youth prevention/education initiatives.

Click here to view photos from the Summit.

Connect: The day was about connecting the innovators leading action in their community with people who could help them. As Congressman Hal Rogers said “It’s amazing what’s going on, there are ideas bubbling up all over the place. People are absolutely doing things. SOAR gives us the umbrella to talk about our region and the things we can do across county lines.”

With hundreds of innovators, federal partners, community leaders, and individuals with ideas together in one place, everyone had the opportunity to find people who could help support them.

Inspire: Everyone came to the Innovation summit with ideas, with solutions, and with their story. The summit gave everyone a chance to share them. In addition to the networking opportunities for sharing stories in person, with the #SOARinnovation and other similar hashtags we showcased ideas online and you can see everything people said online here.

Shape: With both physical commitment cards available at the summit and a commitment card available through the summit mobile app and here, people were able to take what they learned and focus it into action-oriented goals. As Governor Matt Bevin said, “History looks back on the people who, in hindsight, were visionaries, and what’s the primary difference between somebody who is a visionary and somebody who is just a dreamer? It’s action. And now is the time for action.”

This event is designed to be the catalyst for change. By uniting people and having these important discussions together, we are all able to benefit from getting new and unique perspectives and shape our region. Strong, meaningful leadership leads by example and breaking down barriers to collaboration. By doing this, we can give the region a unified direction, and we can all focus on action.