Yeah, that pesky tax cut impact data: the long term view from Brookings

The Brookings Institution delivered another blow to the received wisdom that tax cuts generate economic benefits the other day, with this post examining the long term impacts of the federal deals that set the ground work for similar programs nationwide.  Here's a selection: But the record is clear that tax cuts have not boosted growth.  …

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Building a Small Business Ecosystem in Montana

Two weeks ago I had the great opportunity to do an expanded version of my Small Business/Entrepreneurship ecosystem talk for the Montana Economic Development Association and for a selection of business owners and community leaders from Great Falls, Montana and surrounding communities.  With both groups, I had a chance to not only do the talk, …

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From the Good Ideas File: Good Idea Resource Checklist

I've written here before  about People's Liberty, an experiment in philanthropy though individuals that launched in Cincinnati earlier this year.  I've found lots interesting about People's Liberty to date, from their Fellowship program to the building that they have just finished rehabilitating, but one of the things that continues to strike me is how good they …

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book cover

Welcome to Crowdsourcing Wisdom!

This book is the culmination of over 20 years of my work with cities, regions, governments, nonprofits and developers all over the country. It gives you a clear, no-nonsense run down on why it is exactly that our public meetings so often end up feeling so miserable -- for everyone involved. It then gives you a step-by-step process for designing and conducting public meetings that actually generate wisdom, and it concludes with tactics for managing confrontational public meeting situations in a way that's fair to everyone involved.

From the Good Ideas File: Joining the Journey to True Transparency

Transparency has become a huge issue in parts of my circles lately, especially among people who are working with open data and civic technology, as well as my colleagues who are trying to build better public engagement.  It seems like everyone who has any awareness of how the world is changing understands on at least …

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Stores for Free? From the Not Sure if It’s a Good Idea file

We all like free.  But free isn't always good. That was one of the two thoughts that I had when I read this article from Bizdistricts.com.  On the surface, it certainly sounds like a good idea: The CreateHereNow program aims to offer free rent to new businesses. It allows empty storefronts to be occupied for …

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Do Business Recruitment and Retention Right: a guide from Sara Dunnigan

My friend Sara Dunnigan just announced that she is leaving the world of consulting to become the Executive Director of the Virginia Board of Workforce Development, a job that perfectly fits the most enthusiastic Make Our Existing Businesses More Successful professional in the economic development profession. Thankfully, before she moved on, she wrote up her research …

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