Richard Florida a professor at George Mason University, has some very interesting views on economic development. His course on creative economic development cites Technology, Talent and Tolerance as three ingredients needed to become a center of creativity, from which will ensue further economic development.
Some major points:
- Economic development is in the midst of a revolution. The state of the art was to offer tax or other business incentives. These days its become more complex than just that.
- Today we know that in order to grow and prosper, communities and regions need to do more. Businesses are looking more and more for the right skills and talents in the local workforce.
- Traditional economic development and growth strategies have directed at attracting jobs which will attract the people. Today's approach needs to be more 'supply-sided' - Attract a knowledgeable, skilled workforce that will lure business and industries.
Many local and regional elected officials would do well to take some time and read Richard Florida's body of work on the creative class and economic development.
It takes more than tax incentives and cheap land to encourage business development. It will take Innovative Leadership to embrace new ways of building a community in which individuals flourish before development does. If you build it, they will come!