The challenge of innovating in Cleveland

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Cleveland's civic leadership often trips over an old industrial mindset that emphasizes command and control behavior over innovation.

Here's a case in point. A local councilman does not want a new business in his district. He doesn't like the idea of worm composting (also called vermiculture), despite the fact that this business is growing segment of sustainable agriculture. (To illustrate that the idea can make sense in urban settings, here's a web site from city council in Christ Church, New Zealand. Read more.)

Apparently doing a little research on the Internet does not interest this particular Cleveland City Councilman. And his opposition is likely to squash this new business idea. According to the unwritten rules of Cleveland economic development, members of city council have a virtual veto power over business development in their districts. Read more.

That level of political interference is a surefire way to stifle innovation.

posted by Ed Morrison |

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