Find a list of your saved stories here

'Our nation is starving for kindness': Cox urges collaboration, unity at One Utah Summit

Gov. Spencer Cox speaks during his monthly news conference at PBS Utah at the Eccles Broadcast Center in Salt Lake City on April 21. Cox, during a keynote speech at the One Utah Spring Summit Tuesday, discussed good and bad things taking place in Utah, and why increasing government regulations isn't the best way forward for the state.

Gov. Spencer Cox speaks during his monthly news conference at PBS Utah at the Eccles Broadcast Center in Salt Lake City on April 21. Cox, during a keynote speech at the One Utah Spring Summit Tuesday, discussed good and bad things taking place in Utah, and why increasing government regulations isn't the best way forward for the state. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)


Save Story

Save stories to read later


Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said the mishmash of speakers, ideas and themes present at the 2022 One Utah Spring Summit Tuesday was a reflection of how his brain works.

"I believe that ideas actually make and create new ideas and that it's really important to get new people and different perspectives in a room together, having conversations and listening," Cox said.

He also said he believes that the most pressing problems facing today's society can't — and won't — be solved by increasingly stringent governmental regulations.

Instead, the governor pointed to innovation and the cross-pollination of ideas as the best way forward.

"That's what we wanted to do today," Cox said. "I wanted you to hear about energy and I wanted you to hear about business. I wanted you to hear about The Point and what's happening about The Point, and I wanted you to hear about the Olympic movement and what we're trying to do here. I wanted you to hear about refugees and the things that are happening here because these are the things that matter to Utah."

Cox talked about an experience he had over the weekend while golfing with his brother-in-law, where the two were paired up with another group of two to form a foursome. Through discussion over 18 holes, the two individuals told Cox about how they'd both moved to Utah from different parts of the country and that they absolutely love it.

They said the preconceived notions they held, and things they'd heard, couldn't be further from the truth.


This ideal is that we work together, we collaborate, that we don't let our differences divide us, and that we find better ways to do things.

–Utah Gov. Spencer Cox


This interaction led Cox to reflect on some of the statistics that he's proud of, as well as ones he's hoping to improve upon.

"For the past 50 years, from the first time they started measuring this, the number of innovation jobs per capita created in a calendar year, one state has been the No. 1 state every year for 50 years, and that state is California," Cox said. "Until this past year when Utah became the state with the most innovation jobs per capita."

He emphasized that milestones like that are how "we solve the world's problems."

While he acknowledged positive statistics like that, he also pointed out that he isn't oblivious in assuming that there aren't any problems in the state. Problems, he said, need to be fixed and worked on collaboratively.

"We don't just want to talk about the good things," Cox said. "We want to talk about the hard things, the difficult things, the troubling things that we need to improve."

The specific problem Cox spoke about Tuesday was a WalletHub report from August that found the Beehive State ranked dead last when assessed on metrics measuring women's equality.

"We brought in one of the foremost leaders in women's issues here in the state, Dr. Susan Madsen, and we walked through every single one of those metrics in our survey to talk about how we could improve and do better," Cox said.

He also talked about how Utah is sometimes a victim of its own success in the sense that people are moving to the state at unprecedented levels, meaning higher inflation rates and a skyrocketing housing market.

"That growth is real, and it's coming," Cox said.

Despite the negatives that come with population growth, Cox continued to urge patience, acceptance and the "Utah way."

"This ideal is that we work together, we collaborate, that we don't let our differences divide us, and that we find better ways to do things," Cox said. "That the way we do something is almost as important as the thing itself."

Cox also touched on how divided the nation is, referencing surveys that say that since the Civil War, this is the most divided the nation has been.

"Our nation, our world, is starving for community," Cox said. "Our nation is starving for neighborhoods and neighbors. Our nation is starving for kindness."

Related topics

Utah governmentBusinessUtahUplifting
Logan Stefanich is a reporter with KSL.com, covering southern Utah communities, education, business and military news.

STAY IN THE KNOW

Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the KSL.com Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast