Fourth Economy Consulting Analyst
At Fourth Economy Consulting we envision a world where people are empowered to be co-creators of a sustainable future. We equip change agents with the tools to build better communities and stronger economies. Our clients include community and economic development organizations, local and state governments, innovation intermediaries, colleges, universities, and businesses.
Fourth Economy is looking for a new member to join our dynamic team of consultants. We are especially looking for individuals that are interested in regional economic development, the intersection between community and economic development, and/or the innovation economy.
Recent podcasts about the benefits and drawbacks of nostalgia got me thinking about this human experience, its influence on communities, and what this means for community developers. I believe nostalgia can help create community, but prolonged nostalgia can be detrimental to a community’s ability to adapt and thrive. Community developers should recognize the value of a community’s collective nostalgia, but they should also work with communities to build upon this legacy and develop an inclusive story of the future. Pittsburgh, like many communities across the U.S., may benefit from this approach.
Posted in Ali Mabel, Communities, Community Development, Economic Development, Economic Development, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, Reflections & Takeaways, United States
Tagged Ali Mabel, American Enterprise Institute, community development, Dr. Steven Schlozman, economic development, James Pethokoukis, John Hodgman, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, nostalgia, nostalgia economics, Pittsburgh
It’s All About the Distance. Or is It?
Sure, power contributes to your ability to hit a home run, but it’s also the mechanics of how you swing that can take the ball farther. Many community and economic development initiatives throw a lot of money (power) at an issue without an understanding of the underlying issues and opportunities. A better approach is to use community input combined with real-time data to better understand the current local mechanics and what forms of investment (money and time) it will take to support change.
Posted in Blog, Collaboration, Community Development, Deep Thoughts, Economic Development, Growth, Innovation, Innovation Based Economic Development, Introspective Economic Development, Investment, Leadership, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, Public-Private Partnership, Reflections & Takeaways, Rich Overmoyer, Thought Leadership, United States
Tagged Collaboration, community development, economic development, Growth, innovation, investment, Rich Overmoyer
Guest Blog by Sarah Treuhaft, Director of Equitable Growth Initiatives, PolicyLink
It is another summer in which America’s deep racial fault lines are being painfully exposed. Following the horrific violence in Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights, and Dallas, in a July 8 poll seven in ten Americans said race relations are “generally bad.” A National League of cities analysis of one hundred “state of the city” speeches from 2016 found that mayors increasingly view racism and inequities as major threats to progress in their cities.
Posted in Blog, Collaboration, Communities, Community Development, Deep Thoughts, Economic Development, Economic Development, Guest Posts, Introspective Economic Development, Investment, Investment, Leadership, Pennsylvania, Pioneer Thinking, Pittsburgh, Policy, Public Policy Analysis, Public-Private Partnership, Reflections & Takeaways, Thought Leadership, Transformation, United States
Tagged community development, economic development, equitable growth, equity policy, inclusiveness, investment, National Equity Atlas, PolicyLink, Portland, racial inequity, Sarah Treuhaft, sustainable communities, Transformation
What do Baltimore, MD and South Bend, IN have in common? While it seems like the two could not be more different, both are noted for their data-driven blight and vacant property strategies. Baltimore, for example, uses a GIS system to complement streamlined disposition processes with strategic code enforcement. South Bend maps property information including planning and code enforcement details at a single location. While the connection between vacant property, blight, code enforcement, and planning are all closely related, it is not always easy to connect the data behind these issues.
As part of our work in our hometown of Pittsburgh, we have been digging into all of the plans that have been created over the past five years or so. So far, we’ve found around two-dozen plans, reports, or studies on all manner of community, workforce, and economic development topics. Of those, about five have well-articulated goals, actions, responsible parties, though the form and detail of those components varies from plan to plan. And even with detailed actions, the degree to which those plans are being implemented varies a great deal. Our experience in Pittsburgh is not unique – we see the same trend in the other places that we work. So why is it, that despite our best wishes and intentions, it is so hard to create actionable plans?
Posted in Blog, Chelsea Burket, Collaboration Facilitation, Communities, Economic Development, Economic Impact Analysis, Innovation, Innovation Based Economic Development, Investment, Leadership, Market Intelligence, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, Project Management, Public Policy Analysis, Public-Private Partnership, Real Estate Analysis, Reflections & Takeaways, Site Selection, Strategic Planning, Thought Leadership, Transformation, United States
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has implemented new guidelines for disclosing tax abatements with the requirements taking effect for financial statements for periods beginning after December 15, 2015. These new regulations will require a significant change in the operating procedures and record-keeping of many economic development organizations and local governments. Chances are many are not ready to meet the requirements of the new GASB standards.
The ripple effect of big data and analytics is hitting economic development. There has been a resurgence in new tools that package economic data to make it more accessible to a wider audience. A lot of these tools are using aggregated data that is useful but it is often not granular enough to inform an individual EDO or city about how to improve its economy and what is working.
To do that we need better data that is more granular with details about specific projects and specific companies. Big Data relies on and pushes for this kind of transactional data. Much of this kind of economic data does exist but it is walled off by various bureaucratic walls. We are a long way from incorporating Big Data into economic development, and there are real risks with a pure Data Analytics approach to understanding economies and creating development strategies.
Recently, The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced the competition to award its first National Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NMII). Proposers may focus on any advanced manufacturing technology area not already addressed by another institute or open competition. Seven institutes have been funded to date with two currently moving through the review and negotiation process. After attending the Proposer Day session on March 8, 2016, it is clear that many proposal teams have already been formed.
Posted in Blog, Communities, Economic Development, Economic Development, Elements of the Fourth Economy, Entrepreneurs, Innovation, Innovation, Innovation Based Economic Development, Investment, Investment, Jerry Paytas, Policy, Public-Private Partnership, Research & Development, Science & Technology, Talent, Transformation, Uncategorized, United States
Tagged economic development, government, innovation, manufacturing, technology, workforce development