As summer BBQs turn to fall tailgates, how often do you find that neighborly backyard burger flipping leads to discussions on how great your town is or how much better it could be. Sure there is always room for improvement, but ever wonder how those opinions and impressions sync-up with the facts. Sometimes we are too hard on our own community when it may really be doing quite well, while other times it is heading for a cliff that nobody seems to notice or care. In either case, gaining a better understanding of how impressions align with the facts is a good starting point for long-term strategic planning. Continue reading “Ready, Set, Survey…”
New analysis highlights the economic competitiveness of counties across the Commonwealth.
HARRISBURG, PA – Fourth Economy Consulting today announced the release of the 2015 Pennsylvania County Competitive Analysis, an assessment of how counties across the Commonwealth are performing economically. At the core, the analysis is based on the company’s Fourth Economy Community Index, which examines both statistical and qualitative factors at the county-level across the U.S. within the economic factors of investment, talent, sustainability, place, and diversity. Continue reading “Fourth Economy Releases 2015 County-by-County Competitiveness Analysis for Pennsylvania”
One of the most influential and widely pursued theories in economic development has been the use of industry clusters, or simply clusters, to focus services in a regional economy. This approach allows communities to consider the needs of interconnected firms and define a focus. What it fails to do though is to contemplate potential impacts on these clusters, both positive and negative, by market dynamics. As a result, the practice of using industry clusters as an economic development strategy is an approach that has run its course.
The Fourth Economy team has long been involved in developing and implementing cluster strategies and we have come to appreciate the advantages and disadvantages of the cluster approach. Along the way, we have developed methods, tools, and best practices that we believe can help regions to more effectively leverage their potential for economic prosperity. In this article, we first review the pros and cons of clusters and then discuss a modern approach that we call Market Opportunity Networks, which retains the advantages of clusters and reduces the disadvantages. Since 2006 members of the Fourth Economy team have been developing this methodology and demonstrated success with a number of clients. Continue reading “Market Opportunity Networks: Advancing Economic Development Strategy”
Effectively engaging higher education resources for community is economic development is critical to success in the fourth economy. Earlier this year, the Fourth Economy team was hired by the University Economic Development Association (UEDA) to help the organization advance its strategic mission – a mission to leverage higher education and enhance our national competitiveness.
UEDA announced its 2012 Awards of Excellence winners during its Annual Summit held this October in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Awards of Excellence Program recognizes UEDA members who are transforming their campuses into engines of economic prosperity through leading edge initiatives in five categories: 1) Community Connected Campus: initiatives that promote the physical development of quality connected campuses and their surrounding communities; 2) Research and Analysis: initiatives that enhance the capacity of colleges and universities to provide new forms of research and tools for community, economic and workforce development practitioners; 3) Leadership and Collaboration: initiatives that support the development of collaborative economic development strategies and the leaders required to implement them; 4) Innovation and Entrepreneurship: initiatives designed to support startups, high-growth companies and clusters within a region; and 5) Talent Development: initiatives that promote the development of 21st-century skills. Continue reading “Best Practices for the Fourth Economy – University Economic Development Association (UEDA) Announces 2012 Awards of Excellence Winners”
By now we all know that talent, innovation and quality place-based strategies are at the heart of the fourth economy. Earlier this year, the Fourth Economy team was hired by the University Economic Development Association (UEDA) to help the organization advance its strategic mission – a mission to leverage higher education and enhance our national competitiveness.
Our first year efforts culminated in one of the largest Annual Summit’s since the organization’s founding. More than 175 delegates convened in Chattanooga, Tennessee in October for the three-day conference.
“There has never been a more important time for this delegation to convene than now,” said William Michalerya, UEDA President. “In the next few weeks, there will be a national election and regardless of the outcome, there will be a renewed discussion and interest in how best our Country should leverage its innovation assets and make key investments in those resources,” Michalerya added. Continue reading “Fourth Economy Helps Advance University Economic Development Association (UEDA) Mission and Impact”
In the countless instances where I’ve engaged others on important matters facing our nation, and especially challenges and opportunities critical to African Americans, I cannot ever recall asserting that I have “the” answer to a problem.
This instance, however, is different.
Today, I declare that I have “the” answer to a seemingly intractable problem: What must America do to ensure our continued ability to produce meaningful innovations and successfully compete in an increasingly and uncompromisingly competitive world? Continue reading “U.S. Innovation and Competitiveness Strategy: “All Hands On Deck””