Columbus CEO is rolling out a new awards program celebrating the people who promise to make this the Great American City of the Next Century.

My house turned 100 years old last year, and I keep thinking of what life must have been like for the people who first lived in it—and how similar we probably are. In 1919 Columbus, the city was recovering from the influenza epidemic that began the year before. We were fresh out of World War I. The city's Democratic mayor was defeated by a Republican Party candidate in a bid for re-election. Prohibition took effect. Women were campaigning for the right to vote, and they won. One such suffragette lived at my address, I discovered in old newspaper stories.

The upheaval must have carried with it a wonderful sense of promise. The promise of a better life for the city's residents, for their children, and for all the people who would live in Columbus 100 years later—us. Just as they must have experienced a sense of shared purpose in many respects, so do we. We're coming off a decade of robust economic expansion. Our landscape is rich with investment. People are enthusiastically moving here, with a million more projected to arrive in the coming few decades. The city is brimming with new energy and new ideas.

But as we chronicle in this month's inspiring profile interview with Franklin County Job and Family Services Director Joy Bivens (Page 10) and in the Breakdown graphic (Page 12), not all our neighbors are better off than they were a decade or two ago. Persistent poverty grips some neighborhoods, while others flourish, and many times the underlying factor is race. That disparity is of concern to many in the business community, which is working alongside government, nonprofit and faith groups to make a dent in a problem that's so old, it makes my house seem young.

Speaking of new ideas, I'm excited to share we here at Columbus CEO are launching an initiative to bring the city's up-and-coming talent together to effect positive change in the community. Future 50 is more than an annual awards program. We think of it as a fellowship of people who are doing innovative things in their careers or otherwise with the goal of helping others (and there is no age limit). Think of this group as the people who are going to help make Columbus the Great American City of the Next Century—a place that embodies the Future 50 core values of achievement, altruism, boldness, creativity and inclusivity. If this reminds you of someone, we'd love to meet them. Please nominate them at columbusceo.com/future50 by Aug. 15. The inaugural class will be featured in a special 13th issue of the magazine early in 2020.

And, speaking of awards and great places to live, our annual Top Workplaces nominations are now open. Find out how your employees are doing and whether your company is a sought-after place to be.

Visit topworkplaces.com/nominate/columbusceo by Aug. 9.

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Future 50