This random except actually comes from the foreword of The Local Economy Revolution: What’s Changed and How You Can Help . Sometimes random takes you to the beginning. Go figure.
None of us want to live in a world where the basic assumptions that we framed our lives and work around are changing. Methods that used to do what we wanted just fine stop working, assumptions we used to be able to rely on don’t apply any more, our carefully-guarded proverbial apple carts end up dumped all over the ground.
No wonder we often want to just stick our fingers in our ears and insist that everything’s fine, we just need to wait ‘til the good old days come back.
But in our guts, I think we all know: our economies and our communities are different now. When whatever good times come back if they come back, they’re probably not going to look like what we have today.
And frankly, that sucks. And it especially sucks if you have responsibility for your community’s economic health — whether you’re a professional economic development or public administrator, an elected official, a board member or just one of those people who give a damn about the future of the place where you live.
It would be awful nice if the programs and incentives and tools and tricks we’ve been using since the 2000s, or the 1990s, or the 1980s or earlier, still worked. After all, we know what they are, we know what they do. We like being able to point at simple success stories, cut ribbons, make the Mayor happy. And that stuff makes our local economy better, right? Isn’t that what we’re all about?
But what about when it doesn’t?
What about when it’s not?
This book is about helping all of us who care about our local economies recognize what’s changed and help us make a difference. That’s scary, and yes, sometimes it sucks. We’ll try to deal with that.
At the end of the day, though, I don’t think we have a choice. As I’ll tell you in the next section, I’ve spent almost all of my life in the opening rounds of this change. It’s affected pretty much everything I’ve encountered, both personally and professionally. I think it’s past time to take the scales off of our eyes, own up soberly to the way the world has changed and is changing, and get on with the job of the Economic Development Revolution.
The good thing is that people are starting to do that — people all over the country and all over the world. You’ll meet some of them here. But we need more, a lot more.
So I hope you’ll join us and grab that change by the horns. Perhaps more importantly, I hope that by the time you finish reading this thing, you’ll know that this deep change is possible. And that you can help.
Vive la revolution. Let’s go make it happen.