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Huffington tells summit, data is overrated

Thursday, September 12th, 2013 by John Kennedy

Huffington Post founder and president Arianna Huffington on Thursday told a Florida Leaders Summit of 300 state and local elected officials and policyshapers in Orlando that data is overrated when it comes to effecting change.

“If Henry Ford has asked (people) what they wanted, they would’ve said they wanted a faster horse. He gave them a car,” Huffington said.

Huffington, who started the aggregating web site in 2005 which later won a Pulitzer Prize for its reporting on U.S. war veterans, was among the opening speakers at the summit organized by another news aggregator, Florida’s Sayfie Review.

Much of the focus of summit panel discussions is on the concept of disruption, what trends and events may shape such issues as energy, education, transportation and tourism in Florida in coming years. But Huffington urged those gathered not to be overly reliant – or daunted — by research that may suggest an idea isn’t worth trying.

Huffington also said business and political leaders need to be willing to disconnect from technology and, basically, think. The Huffington Post has installed two nap rooms for staff, with a third on the way, to allow workers to relax and reflect.

That, in itself, is a disruption in our technology-tethered workplace.

“The more ability we have to disrupt, the better we are as leaders,” Huffington said.

Gov. Scott to blog for left-leaning Huffington Post

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012 by Dara Kam

Gov. Rick Scott is adding a stint as blogster for a liberal online news site to his resume.

Scott, a Republican with strong tea party ties, will blog for the left-leaning Huffington Post, Scott’s spokesman Brian Burgess confirmed today.

Arianna Huffington, the founder and editor-in-chief of the widely-read news site, sent Scott an e-mail this week inviting him to contribute to a pre-convention blog aimed at highlighting successes in turning around the country’s economic morass.

The goal is to shift “the narrative from a fatalistic acceptance of our unemployment crisis and what’s going wrong with the country” and instead “spotlight on what is working,” Huffington wrote in her message to Scott sent Monday.

That should be right up Scott’s alley. He’s continuously boasting about how unemployment has dropped under his watch – now at 8.6 percent, down from 12 percent when Scott took office in January 2011. And the former health care executive frequently brags about how new private sector jobs are blooming while government jobs are shriveling since he moved into the governor’s mansion.

Details of how frequently Scott will contribute are still being worked out with Huffington’s aide, Burgess said, but he won’t be blogging on a daily basis. Still, HuffPo will provide Scott with a platform to spread his story about what he’s doing to help Florida – and elevate his national exposure, not that he needs any assistance with that.

Even so, why would Scott, who had an icy relationship with the Florida press corp when he first took office a year-and-a-half ago, want to be associated with the liberal outlet?

“There’s a lot of different writers. A lot of folks have participated,” Burgess said. “It’s another channel to communicate with folks. It’s not strictly liberal. And I think it’s important that we take advantage of opportunities like that. It has a lot of reach.”

Read Huffington’s entire e-mail to the governor after the jump.


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