Story Time: Help share The Local Economy Revolution at SXSW 2016

The international tech mega-conference South By Southwest Interactive has been showing more and more interest in remaking local government in recent years.  But even though conference organizers pretty clearly want to talk about it, they seem to get only a few submissions for panels or presentations on those topics. As you might guess if you've …

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How to Do Public Meetings That Aren’t Miserable — and Actually Make Your Community Better

The International Economic Development Council’s ED Now ran anarticle last week that I wrote to explain why economic development people should be thinking about how to do public engagement more effectively — and why the ways we’ve been taught (or not taught) to “engage” the public so often end in anger and misery — for the public, and 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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Unintended impacts: the 21-mile walking commute and what that really says about our decisions.

What-you-do-will-have-impacts-you-didn't-expect is probably one of the strongest themes in the Local Economy Revolution Book.  As I describe in there, one of my earliest encounters with the profession of planning resulted from being hip-deep in the aftereffects of  a massive urban renewal project in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  No matter what I did, where I was, which building I …

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Yes, we really are all confident idiots

At one point during South by Southwest, [talk show host Jimmy] Kimmel’s crew approached a poised young woman with brown hair. “What have you heard about Tonya and the Hardings?” the interviewer asked. “Have you heard they’re kind of hard-hitting?” Failing to pick up on this verbal wink, the woman launched into an elaborate response …

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A Must-Read: Ellen Harpel’s 6 steps to smart incentives use

There are very few people that I will Tweet or post sight unseen (which apparently gives me another piece of weirdness cred).  Ellen Harpel of SmartIncentives.org is about the only one for which I will do that consistently.  Her understanding of the potential and failures of economic development incentives (a topic that I gave a …

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