Understanding Both Traditional and Innovation-Based Methods of Economic Development
In one of the very first Economic Development Navigator newsletter articles, we introduced the topic of rethinking how economic development is done given the waves of change occurring across our increasingly global economy. Since that time, the drum beats of change continue to grow louder as we focus more and more on the “innovation economy,” the “creative class” and on the opportunities and challenges of disruptive technologies.
Five years later, we have decided to revisit that theme by attempting to crystalize the essential elements of both traditional economic development as well as innovation-based economic development. To be entirely clear, we are not saying that “old is bad” and “new is good.” Each has its place in the economic development pantheon of paradigms and methods. Instead of an “either/or” situation, this falls into the “both/and” camp in that economic development professionals can pick and choose from both paradigms to fit best with their community’s profile and aspirations. In fact, one might even envision a single community pursuing economic development under both paradigms (with sufficient resources, of course) to foster bricks-and-mortar development as well as technology-led, innovation-based development.
About the Author
Michael N’dol is Vice President of Camoin Associates, a professional service firm that utilizes its understanding of the public and private sector investment process to assist businesses and developers in capitalizing on funding, financing and tax programs established to encourage private investment.