Saturday, February 19, 2005
Food processors in Oregon are starting to form a cluster, but I'm not sure they're going about it in the right way. One of their first steps: Find $279,000 for a study of the cluster. Read more.
First of all, that's a lot of money for any kind of study. Second, it's not clear to me that studies are the way to start. Clusters are networks, and to form networks you first need to identify nodes and then you need to build links. Often, people don't know all the potential nodes. So, for example, in Northeast Ohio, we are spending a lot of time identifying the potential participants in different networks, like clean energy. To identify the nodes, we create events in which people can self-select to become part of a network.
We are then using social network software to understand the linkages. To surface the network and build the linkages, we move toward action steps quickly. Building trust and connections, takes action, not words.
posted by Ed Morrison |
Some Background on EDPro Weblog
The purpose of this weblog is to help economic development professionals -- EDPros -- keep up with the changes sweeping our profession. Strap on your goggles. It's a whole new game. There are no experts any more. The only place to learn about economic development is from other EDPros who are doing it.
One other point: the prevaling approach (paradigm, if you like) in economic development is shifting from competition to collaboration. There are a lot of reaasons underlying this shift, but here's the important insight: You, your community, and your region will do better by collaborating and sharing information.
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Speaking and workshops on Open Source Economic Development
As the idea of Open Source Economic Development starts spreading, more people are asking about it. Visit the I-Open web site to learn more. My colleagues and I are happy to explain the basic concepts in a talk or a workshop. E-mail Susan Alshuler if you'd like to learn more about workshops and speaking.
Background on Ed Morrison
Download some background information on me here.