Reviews of the Local Economy Revolution

I’ve posted a couple of the reviews that the book has received on Amazon here before, but I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the whole collection.

Here’s what your colleagues have said (names removed to protect the innocent!)  If this piques your interest, you can get your own copy in digital or hard cover right here.  

 

I have heard Della speak as several conferences and will always go to one of her sessions if at all possible. Now you know my bias. I have only met her at conferences though.I saw that her book had come out and I needed a book to read while traveling to a meeting. I read the book on the flight and thoroughly enjoyed it. I look at several things that are going on in my own community and I can see how it would be very useful to share this book with the new director of the Economic Development Corporation, or maybe members of the City Council. The Mayor and City Administrator could benefit from the ideas expressed here. Other City Department Directors might grasp where I am coming from if I could get them to read it. Maybe we should do a book club around this.This is not a how to book unless you are looking for a book on how to adjust your view point. Della explains why we need to make those adjustments but doesn’t try to tell us what those adjustments will be. Each community will have to determine those on their own. Her use of common language and metaphor should make it possible for those of us who are professional planners and economic developers to explain the concepts and why the change is necessary to those we work with.
If you’re passionate about making better places, especially places that have seen better days, you’re going to enjoy this book. Della’s a triple threat with experience in planning, economic development, and public engagement and the book provides valuable perspective on all three fronts. I finished feeling reconnected to the “what” that is the work, the “why” that it the purpose behind it and walked away with some new ideas on the “how” front. Most importantly, I finished feeling pretty brave and ready to tackle the hard stuff.
Most such attempts in creating a new future start on the far side of the chasm providing some vision of a shiny city on a hill, too often with no real means of crossing the span and, more often than not, no real grounded connection with this side of the chasm. This is where Della excels by taking what could be multiple complex concepts and making them not only more comprehensive, understandable and approachable but also initially, potentially addressable. It will get more complex and difficult but Della provides a good foothold to begin the ascent.
First let me get my bias out of the way. I have known Della for about 15 years and she has shaped many of my own thoughts regarding economic development in our many conversations.I found this book easy to read and more importantly an easy tool to communicate with people who may not be focused on economic development every day (i.e. politicians, city managers, other departments, community residents). You will find in this book many ideas and concepts that will challenge you to think differently and help others to think differently about your local economy.The book doesn’t sell snake oil or other one time fixes. That is the central point. One time fixes have had a poor record and in some cases cause more harm.For anyone wishing to explore a new perspective regarding economic development, or needs a tool to help communicate a shared perspective to others this book is a must read.

Economic development is the heart of urban planning–cities live & die as their economies change & adapt. Yet the soul of economic development is the unique spirit of your city. Della Rucker gives us a conversational series of essays–part blog, part extended TEDx–challenging us to look more clearly at planning & development in the trenches.
Do you have a review of the Local Economy Revolution?  Be sure to channel your inner Roger Ebert!

Another great Amazon Review: “A book for people who give a damn”

So wonderful to read that your book not only appealed to someone enough to lead them to write a review, but also gave them a shot of encouragement.  If Sara Dunnigan, a well known and highly respected economic development professional, found a renewed connection and a dose of courage in this book, then I know that I have done something worthwhile with my time.

Here’s what Sara wrote:

If you’re passionate about making better places, especially places that have seen better days, you’re going to enjoy this book. Della’s a triple threat with experience in planning, economic development, and public engagement and the book provides valuable perspective on all three fronts. I finished feeling reconnected to the “what” that is the work, the “why” that it the purpose behind it and walked away with some new ideas on the “how” front. Most importantly, I finished feeling pretty brave and ready to tackle the hard stuff.
 Go get ’em, Sara.  You kick butt.  🙂

More kind words about The Local Economy Revolution

One of the neat things about writing a book is that sometimes you discover that your message resonates with people that you didn’t necessarily think would be all that excited about it.  People in the online public engagement world are sometimes pretty tightly focused on technology, so it was a real delight to get this note from Jean-Daniel Cusin, Chief Solutions Architect at e-deliberation.com:

Thank you for writing this book! It is very entertaining, it reads like a story, has kept me on edge, and despite the fun, reveals the somber realities of community development, how badly 20th century thinking has crashed and where things are headed. The false assumptions, the unintended consequences… she also gives hope and many really good insights on community development. She’s been around the block once or twice already. She knows. Refreshing, original, real thinking. Thank you.

Thanks for making my day. Jean-Daniel.  🙂

 

A very kind Amazon review of The Local Economy Revolution

We’re up to four reviews of The Local Economy Revolution… not quite up to the Three Wolf shirt (look it up — you won’t regret it…) but not too shabby.

Here’s the latest.  Thanks, Brian!

Most such attempts in creating a new future start on the far side of the chasm providing some vision of a shiny city on a hill, too often with no real means of crossing the span and, more often than not, no real grounded connection with this side of the chasm. This is where Della excels by taking what could be multiple complex concepts and making them not only more comprehensive, understandable and approachable but also initially, potentially addressable. It will get more complex and difficult but Della provides a good foothold to begin the ascent.

Holy mackerel… another kind review from New Community Paradigms.

Some days a little encouragement that you might be doing something that matters…well, matters.  What a pleasure, then to discover that Brian Dowling  of Pathways to New Community Paradigms had written such an insightful review of The Local Economy Revolution.  You can read the entire review here — and Brian’s deep dive, systemic analyses are worth acquainting yourself with, if you haven’t done so before.  But here’s a taste of what Brian had to say:

Della takes the ideas contained in the book beyond its covers in particularly meaningful ways.  What I mean by this is that she connects with a recent history that we all share, she understands the effect it has on communities and the people living in them, not only on institutions and related professionals.  She does so in a personal, accessible fashion that can connect with everyday “citizens aiming to make their communities more robust” at the same time “condensing complex ideas while not oversimplifying”, as was observed recently by Wayne Senville, editor of PlannersWeb.  …

It is one thing to show that you understand the problems facing people, it is another to show that you understand the people themselves.  It is one thing to demonstrate you understand how to achieve economic success, it is another to demonstrate that you know the effect of failure. Della has lived up close, personally and professionally through the changes we created for ourselves over the last few decades which have brought us to our current fork in the road and has learned those lessons deeply enough that she can speak truth to the imposed challenges that must be faced.

Della’s writing style strikes me as being conversational in tone making her critiques more like advice from a neighbor.  She demonstrates that she understands what individuals from different sectors of economic development, politicians, public sector management, professionals, specialists, advocates and constituents are going through trying to cope with the complex, often termed wicked issues, we are all facing regardless of what side of the table we are sitting on.  She doesn’t take a pundit’s perspective on issues making a laundry list of mistakes made by others but instead considers them as missteps made in common and that must be addressed collectively.  I never got a hint of blaming anyone more than anyone else, more of we all need to get up and across the same chasm….

Most such attempts in creating a new future start on the far side of the chasm providing some vision of a shiny city on a hill, too often with no real means of crossing the span and, more often than not, no real grounded connection with this side of the chasm. This is where Della excels by taking what could be multiple complex concepts and making them not only more comprehensive, understandable and approachable but also initially, potentially addressable.  It will get more complex and difficult but Della provides a good foothold to begin the ascent.

What I was trying to achieve with this book was a lot of things, but some of the words that I would have used were personal, compassionate, encouraging, and, although I probably wouldn’t have been clever enough to put it this way, a “foothold to begin the ascent.” I’m grateful to know that I might have met that goal.

Thanks, Brian!

Whoa. Kind words from PlannersWeb’s Editor

Positive feedback is always great, but when you get it from someone whose writing chops you deeply appreciate, that’s a whole ‘nother level of awesome.

Wayne Senville, the longtime editor of PlannersWeb, has dealt with my writing for years, crafting and refining my often clunky submissions as a columnist for Planning Commissioner’s Journal and its online incarnation, PlannersWeb.    Since I knew how much better my writing was after he got done with it (and since he hadn’t had any part in editing The Local Economy Revolution),  I was thrilled when he wrote the following:

It’s rare to find a book that so clearly and insightfully explores the close relationship between economic development issues and local planning — and pays attention to the very critical need to understand what residents want for their community’s future. What’s more, Della Rucker is a terrific writer — who can condense complex ideas while not oversimplifying. I strongly recommend The Local Economy Revolution not just to professionals working in planning or economic development, but to citizens aiming to make their communities more robust.

The part about the “condensing complex ideas while not oversimplifying” and writing something worth reading for “citizens aiming to make their communities more robust”…that’s what I was going for, and what I think I had to work hardest to achieve.

Thanks, Wayne!

Get a Taste: Selected Readings from the Local Economy Revolution

In case you missed it, we’re collecting short readings from The Local Economy Revolution to give people a taste of what the book — and the approach are about.  You can find links to the audio selections on this page, and you can stream it or download it on about any internet-enabled device.   If you follow Wise Economy Radio on SoundCloud, you will find the audio there as well.   Just click the “Selections from the Local Economy Revolution” playlist.

Is there a part of the book that has particularly resonated for you?  Would you like to do a reading?  Send me an MP3 file of you reading your favorite selection at della.rucker@wiseeconomy.com and you can be on the radio!  Well, such as it is….

Don’t know how to record an MP3?  I use free piece of software called Audacity, or pretty much any digital recording tool will do the job.  Have fun!