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Regional Innovation Conference Addresses Economic Recovery Issues

Last Friday, I attended a conference sponsored by Purdue University on using innovation and regional partnerships to drive regional economic development. Richard C. Longworth, author of "Caught in the Middle: America's Heartland in the Age of Globalization" delivered the keynote address.

Longworth's basic message is '...the old days are gone and they're not coming back. So get on with the business of economic reinvention.' Tough to hear sometimes, but a necessary message for regions, organizations and individuals all to grasp.

Yours truly was interviewed for the South Bend Tribune's event coverage;
"Making this huge attitude change will require more than politicians working together, said conference attendee Steve Davis, an entrepreneur based in (Michigan.) It will require attracting young workers and venture capital to the Midwest, he said.

"Davis has two start-up businesses — one for individuals to gain online access to their medical records, and another offering guides to triathlons around the world.

"Davis said Michiana would benefit from gatherings that provide ways for entrepreneurs such as himself to network and share ideas."
For me, the conference's most thought-provoking session was "New Tools for Regional Development: Open Source Economic Development & Strategic Doing" from Scott Hutcheson, Assistant Program Leader at the Purdue Extension & Purdue Center for Regional Development.

I'm checking with Scott to see if I can post his presentation here. Open source strategy is a powerful tool for getting lots done with many, small ideas and initiatives, making it easy for strategists to tap into the power of the collective.

And as I always say, hospitals don't have an uncompensated care problem, they have a "failure of economic development vision" problem. Stay tuned for a future post on the subject.



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