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
Fourth Economy welcomes Pia Bernardini to our team in the role of Operations Manager.
Pia oversees operations and administration for Fourth Economy. She has many years of experience in operations, marketing, and communications in the educational field in Washington, DC, and has been a key member of executive leadership teams, contributing to the development of strategic priorities and annual operational plans. Pia has strong project management skills and has had responsibility for operations, admissions, marketing, and data management. Her day-to-day tasks are focused on efficiency and consistency. She also has experience working at companies in periods of tremendous growth and change, including venture capital initiatives. She understands how to operate effectively in a start-up environment, developing creative solutions.
Pia holds a BA in Art History and Italian and Art History from the University of Virginia and an MA in Linguistics from Georgetown University.
To many Americans, Canada is our friendly neighbor to the north, known for an affable attitude, a passion for pucks and a penchant for strong beer. What is perhaps less known is how critical trade with Canada is to the economy of the United States. Consider:
- Nearly 9 million U.S. jobs depend on trade and investment with Canada
- Canada is the top export destination for 35 states
- Canada is the number one supplier of crude oil, refined petroleum products, natural gas,
and electricity to the U.S. as well as a
leading supplier of uranium
- 400,000 people cross the Canada–U.S. border daily
Posted in Blog, Businesses, Canada, Collaboration, Economic Development, Energy, Entrepreneurs, Event, Growth, Innovation, Innovation Based Economic Development, Investment, Investment, Jason Bernard, Leadership, Programming & Events, Reflections & Takeaways, Research & Development, Science & Technology, United States
Tagged Collaboration, economic development, Energy, government, Growth, investment, manufacturing, regional, technology, Transformation
While research and data can often predict trends in our economy, large, disruptive changes can have signifiant impacts on how we live our lives. The economy is changing rapidly, growing more interconnected and dynamic. Now more than every past trends do not indicate future performance. Unfortunately, the tools of economic analysis are much better at predicting stable patterns than at predicting significant inflection points and transitions. The data and methods of economics tells us about the past, so even when we do it well, it helps us to predict the stable patterns – it does not predict big disruptions like the housing collapse of 2008. In a recent webinar for the University Economic Development Association (UEDA), I discussed three areas of disruption that will have a major impact on most of our communities. 1) System Disruption, 2) Environmental Disruption, and 3) Cultural Disruption.
You can view the webinar here. This blog post is the first in a series that will explore how a specific community is preparing for one of these disruptions. Milwaukee has taken the issue of water head on. In 2009, a group of Milwaukee-area businesses, education and government leaders formed The Water Council as a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission of aligning the regional freshwater research community with water-related industries. The Water Council links global water technology companies, innovative water entrepreneurs, government, nonprofits, and researchers with a shared commitment to finding innovative solutions to critical global water issues.
At this point I think we are all familiar with the struggles facing Detroit Public Schools, at least on the surface: mushrooms growing in schools, teacher strikes, financial crisis. However, as detailed by this incredibly thorough and thoughtful report by LOVELAND Technologies, 200 years worth of poor decision-making led Detroit to where it is today. This speaks to the need for a new approach to public accountability in our education system. Recognizing the critical role of public education to economic development, in Nashville, it has been the Chamber that has been stepping up to provide that platform for accountability by conducting annual holistic assessments and concrete recommendations for improvement.
Posted in Chelsea Burket, Deep Thoughts, Economic Development, Economic Development, Elements of the Fourth Economy, Higher Education, Innovation, Innovation Based Economic Development, Investment, Reflections & Takeaways, Research & Data, Talent, Thought Leadership, Uncategorized, United States
Tagged Collaboration, community development, education, higher education, talent