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Step 1: Creating new narratives

In the world of networks, narratives provide guidance. They convey knowledge. They generate learning. They create coherence. They reflect and spread the positive mindset needed for transformation and resilience. When confronting a complex regional transformation, we often focus first on the regional narrative: The stories people share with each other. This step involves seeking out […]

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Re-imagining the economic development profession: What would it look like if…

Next week, I head back to work with our colleagues at Fraunhofer. As I prepare for the trip, I’ve been thinking about the future of the economic development profession. In the wake of the financial crisis and the near collapse of the financial system, hopes that the global economy would return to “normal” have faded. […]

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Economic Development Policy: Moving from incentives to co-investment

So much of our obsession with economic development in local and state government focuses on incentives. By some accounting, state and local incentives total over $60 billion a year, and there’s a business in enabling businesses to grab these goodies. If I were “king”, I would do away with the term “incentive” and focus our […]

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What if we can’t “fix” poverty?

Across the country, we are dealing with the consequences of the growing disparity in income between the rich and poor. How can we use new thinking about networks to address these challenges? A promising pilot project has been underway for some years in Shreveport, Louisiana. Community Renewal International takes a decidedly different approach to the […]

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Step 1: Creating new narratives

In the world of networks, narratives provide guidance. They convey knowledge. They generate learning. They create coherence. They reflect and […]

Agile Strategy is Like Ocean Kayaking

Today, organizations of all types are facing an uncertain future. While we hope for calm times in which we can […]

Connecting Collective Impact and Shared Value

Are the concepts of “collective impact” and “shared value” connected? If so, how? Consider first the case of collective impact. […]

Innovating in a world of complex networks

Betting against the U.S. economy has never been a smart idea. Time and again, our economy has shown remarkable resilience […]

Getting on with designing “What’s Next”

Sadly, the world is never quite so simple as politicians would have us believe. Our politicians have, for some time now, […]

It’s time for regions to start jumping the curve

Most economic development organizations rely on a standard pack of traditional economic development strategies: real estate and infrastructure development, regional marketing; […]