#145. Five New Realities of Economic Development-Part II

Posted on | The Agurban
Five New Realities of Economic Development-Part II

Last week we began a two-part series on “The Five New Realities of Economic Development in the 21st Century”. Today we will wrap up the list, recap the Realities and conclude our series. 

  • 4. Public-Private Partnerships Become More Critical Every Day – While governments at all levels, universities and other non-profit institutions are important players, we must not forget that the private sector is the most important element of any successful economic development strategy. Unless the private sector is ready, willing and able to invest in a community, economic growth simply will not occur, regardless of how much government spends. The private sector should not just have a seat at the table, but should actively be engaged as a full partner in strategies for economic growth.
  • 5. The Ability to Innovate is the Only Sustainable Competitive Advantage – At the end of the day, it is the ability to innovate that is the only sustainable competitive advantage in the 21st century. It’s not location. It’s not even the cost of doing business. Factors such as these will continually shift in a dynamic worldwide economy. But if a nation can maintain its edge in innovation, it will grow and prosper. America is clearly the world’s leaders in innovation. The spirit of discovery is one of our national strengths. We have brought more technological breakthroughs to the marketplace than any other nation. This has made not just America, but the world, safer, healthier, more productive and more prosperous. Companies, by necessity, must continually innovate to stay one step ahead of their global competitors, especially as the pace of change in our global marketplace continues to accelerate. If they don’t, they will cease to exist. There are no pit stops in this race.
To recap the Five New Realities of 21st Century Economic Development:
  • 1. We are in a global economy.
  • 2. The pace of change will continue to accelerate.
  • 3. The components of competitiveness can no longer be pursued separately.
  • 4. Partnership with the private sector is critical.
  • 5. Innovation is the only sustainable competitive advantage.
We must consider these new realities as we as Economic Developers work to answer the “what’s next” question in the 21st century. If we can innovate as economic development professionals to address the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities presented by these new realities, our regions will succeed in the worldwide marketplace, and our communities will prosper. www.eda.gov

P.S. We would like to thank our diligent readers who contacted us after Part I of this series posted to advise us of our error in referring to Sandy Baruah as “she”, when in fact Sandy is a “he”. We apologize to Mr. Baruah for our error, and again offer thanks to our readers for pointing this out to us.