Portal to the world
Houston goes global with interactive website touting the city's world reach &resources
With a population of over 2.1 million speaking more than 90 different languages, and thriving sectors of energy, industry and trade balanced by world-class arts and cultural institutions, Houston has become an unmistakably global city over the past 175 years.
And now we have an outlet to prove that status to the rest of the world.
The City of Houston, in conjunction with the Greater Houston Partnership, and through funding and cooperation with the World Affairs Council of Houston, has recently launched GlobalHouston.org, an easy-to-use site and a portal into Houston's resources.
"It's sort of like a CultureMap for the international community," said Terence O'Neill director of international communities for the City of Houston. "People use this as a way to connect. . . It's a way to get people involved and interactive."
"Global Houston will be the tool Houstonians use to connect to the world and the way Houston will show the rest of the world why it is one of the best places to live, work and play," Mayor Annise Parker said in a statement. "It represents the 21st Century way of managing and pursuing new and existing international business opportunities."
"It's sort of like a CultureMap for the international community," Terence O'Neill, director of international communities for the City of Houston, told us. "People use this as a way to connect. . . It's a way to get people involved and interactive."
The website, based upon earlier examples from other cities, hosts a database of locally-based cultural, scientific, humanitarian and trade organizations that aim to expand Houston's presence in the global sphere. A calendar lists all of the international events, seminars and meetings around town.
On the site, a bank of experts from Houston's unmatched academic institutions (the University of St. Thomas, Rice, UH, HBU, TSU, Texas A&M and UT Medical Branch and Heath Science Centers) offer resources for journalists, businesses, editors and researchers. Each expert's affiliation, biography, areas of expertise and contact information are listed on the website, indicating the wealth of knowledge contained in our city.
Houston boasts the third largest consular corps in the United States. Global Houston links to all 94 consulates, from Albania to Vietnam, which can help connect local businesses to international ones, or serve as a resource to visiting travelers and resident workers.
Just months after the initial launch, O'Neill said that the group is looking to the next big thing, continuing the development of ideas and discussing how to expand the site's capabilities and reach.
We don't know how we survived for so long without it.