Marriott Alumni Magazine

Summer 2015

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Page 22 of 51

Suburbs may have verdant, picket-fenced lawns, but for companies seeking talent and innovation, the grass is looking greener in the city. The year is 1985, and Marty McFly is on his skateboard, zipping through Hill Valley, which features a mall with a sprawling parking lot and not much else. When Marty is transported via DeLorean to Hill Valley circa 1955, he’s greeted with a different picture: a grassy plaza, a malt shop teeming with high schoolers, and people bustling among shops, offices, and houses. These familiar scenes from the film Back to the Future happen to be a homework assignment for Christopher Leinberger’s graduate students—he’s a professor at George Washington University and author of The Option

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