innovation conversation

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We wrap up our recent week-long look at refugees in upstate New York with an hour-long conversation. You can listen to the program above, recorded during WXXI's 1370 Connection Innovation Friday.

Upstate New York’s cities take in around 90 percent of the 3,500 refugees coming to the state each year.

As refugees become more established they transform neglected neighborhoods, open new businesses and establish services to provide support for the next wave of arrivals. They also face several unique challenges.

What can the state of New York learn from its neighbors?

New York shares a lot of the same economic challenges as other nearby regions. That's why the Innovation Trail team hit the road. We headed south to Pennsylvania where natural gas is giving a boost to the economy, but not without a price.

Then we went north to Canada - a country that's emerged relatively unscathed from the recent recession. Why are Niagara Falls, N.Y. and Niagara Falls, Ontario so drastically different?

Watch the full program here:

Many upstate communities are anchored by universities.

They draw in students and breathe life into the region. But they also create jobs, fresh ideas and new companies.

The question is: How well is the upstate economy capitalizing on its academic institutions?

That's the topic of our latest Innovation Conversation: Higher Ed's Impact.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has unlocked vast reserves of natural gas once thought unreachable. This natural gas is touted as a cleaner fuel that can reduce carbon emissions. But new research is bringing that into question.

Gas Planet, a special hour of radio, explores whether unconventional natural gas drilling can help or hinder efforts to solve climate change.

On the topic of fracking, things got heated.

You can see the full discussion tonight during the premier of our latest television special.  

Innovation Conversation: New York's Neighbors airs tonight at 9 p.m. on WMHT in Albany and WXXI in Rochester. The show also airs at 9:30 p.m. on WSKG in Binghamton.

The show looks across the border - to Pennsylvania and Ontario - to see what economic lessons the Empire State should be drawing from its neighbors.