Monday, April 09, 2007
Detroit is starting to build new patterns of civic collaboration, and other cities in Michigan are starting to notice. Read more.
The challenge, as always, will be to sustain these collaborative habits past the first generation of leaders who champion them. Regional economic transformation is a generational process. Leaders get tired. Unless they have focused on building underlying disciplines of collaboration, the process can fade.
On this dimension, the civic practices of the South stand out compared to Northern states. Generally, civic leaders in the South have a better understanding of the complex dynamics underlying collaboration at a metro or regional level.
In the North, civic leaders have less experience with this practice. They are confronted, as well, with another challenge: slower economic growth. Slower growth makes collaboration more difficult.
As the most recent Census report on metro growth points out, Northern metros are caught in a pattern of slow growth. In some cases -- Detroit is one of them -- civic leaders in the North will have to figure out how to build collaboration as their cities shrink.
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.