There’s been an ongoing debate over openness and tolerance in Baton Rouge led by local business leader and former Chamber of Commerce Chair Joe Traigle. This story provides a candid report on a community struggling with a critical issue (hat tip: Rod Frantz). I know Joe and other concerned folks in Louisiana are searching for levers and solutions. Care to join in the dialog and suggest some ways Baton Rogue and other communities can begin to make headway here.
Archive for February, 2007
According to this story in Business Week:
“Over the past few years, co-working facilities—both grassroots,
co-op-like versions and for-profit models—have started popping up
across the country and the world, from Seattle to Copenhagen. A co-working wiki
hosts pages for dozens of other cities with co-working initiatives in
progress. And while the concept of shared office space is nothing new
to entrepreneurs, an increasing number of them are signing on and
finding that the community-building and networking benefits outweigh
even the virtues of a shared fax machine.“
Be sure to check out the slide show. For a long time, I have said that we need new kinds of “third places” geared to the realities of flexible virtual work. Part coffee shop, part hotel lobby? The right space is hard to describe. Love to hear what you think.
I’m not a big fan of the term “new economy” – it’s a bit of an “empty” term. Still a new Kauffman Foundation report provides some interesting data on America’s states. Ranking first on Kauffman’s State New Economy Index is Massachusetts, followed by New Jersey, Maryland, Washington and California.Virgina ranked 8th. Our own State Creativity Index has Massachusetts first followed by New York, California, Connecticut and Washington.
Update: This is a nicely done study. But the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that the state is simply the wrong unit of analysis. The natural economic unit ala Lucas or Jacobs is the region – the metro and the mega.
Anyone else out there been thinking about this?
Yesterday, I linked to this Business Week story which identified some leading cities for artists and talked about the effects of artists on housing values and economic development. So I worked with Charlotta Mellander to look at the data and get a better sense of what’s going on. Highlights after the jump.
Our findings are preliminary. There’s lots to control for and lots more to do. But they certainly suggest that Business Week is on the money. Arts and culture – the so-called bohemian factor - matter a great deal to housing values and regional income. As much or more than some other key economic clusters – and a whole lot more than sports. Still high-tech and bioscience are what regions seem to want. And sports teams and stadiums continue to command special treatment and big subsidies. But the more we look into it, the more it becomes evident that arts and culture may well be the smarter bet.
- Arts, design and related occupations are very highly correlated
with regional wages, income and housing values. They are more closely
correlated with income than life scientists, engineers, and management
occupations. Only two occupations – computer scientists and business
and financial professionals – outperform them.
- The core arts occupations of fine artists, musicians, dancers, and
so on are most important of all. The correlations between them and
regional wages, income and housing values are far far higher than for
designers and decorators, entertainment and media, and sports where the
correlations are low or insignificant.
- The top 10 regions for core arts occupations are: New York, DC, LA, Honolulu and San Franciso.
- Santa Fe tops the list for fine artists.
- LA leads in actors with Orlando second.
- Honolulu, San Fran, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City top the list for dancers.
- Honolulu, New York, San Fran and Nashville lead for musicians.
- Cedar Rapids (the Iowa writers project?), DC and New York top the list for authors.
- For athletes and sports occupations, the leading places are Eugene
Oregon, Cincinnati Ohio, Hamilton Ohio, Philadelphia and Phoenix.
Here’s something I wrote on the subject several years ago.
In a fascinating discussion of the Indian IT industry, John Hagel writes:
“Rather than continuing to focus on attracting and retaining talent
within their own companies, these firms could create enormous value by
developing the management techniques required to mobilize and leverage
specialized talent wherever it resides. … This would require
mastering open innovation management techniques to attract and mobilize
talent, focus the innovation initiatives across multiple participants
and accelerate commercialization and learning from these initiatives.”
Amen! The whole thing is here.
Last night in my seminar on creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, we were discussing Jane Jacobs and Robert Park who invented the field of urban sociology a century or so ago at the University of Chicago. One of my students who happens to be Chinese mentioned Park’s construct of the city as a place for the gifted and the “marginal.” That led us to a discussion of China’s Creative Class and its major creative urban centers. So I was pleased to come across this post by Alain Truong:
“Working over the last several years from the ‘‘Alternative Archive,’’ a
townhouse in their native Guangzhou, Ou Ning emerged as the éminence
grise of China’s burgeoning graphic-design and alternative-media scene
and Cao Fei became a globe-trotting young artist (she is 28) on the
biennial circuit. … Together they have
documented China’s rapidly regenerating cities in strangely lyrical
urban research projects about Sanyuanli (a migrant neighborhood in
Guangzhou) and Dazhalan (a poor enclave in Beijing’s old city). Last
summer, this one true power couple of the Chinese art world made a
surprise move from Guangzhou to Beijing, trading local prominence for a
perch in the capital.”
“Want to know where a great place to invest in real estate will be five or 10 years from now? Look at where artists are living now.”
So why would Google, the quintessential Stanford spin-off and Silicon Valley company, make the Big Apple its second home? It’s not cheap real estate and low taxes, that’s for sure. Access to talent, lead-users and customers – says this report from Information Week (hat tip: Kevin Stolarick).
“Proximity to Madison Avenue and the media companies — the four major TV networks,
Time Warner, Viacom, News Corp., Hearst, New York Times Co., Bloomberg
– is only part of the answer. The New York metro area is emerging –
or re-emerging — as one of the hottest technology centers in the
world. Silicon Valley and Redmond, Wash., may spring to mind as the
software havens of the United States, and new hubs like Bangalore,
India, are flourishing overseas, but the New York area employs more
technology people than any place in North America. “
Brian Holmes who describes himself as interested in “geopolitics and geopoetics” has an interesting essay on the Research Triangle and its general model of high-tech development.
“We’ve heard a lot in recent years from urbanists and economic
planners about the ‘creative city’, the ‘creative class’ and the
‘creative industries’. To compare facts with fictions, I decided to
take a little tour of one of the urban areas that have been specially
designed to put the creativity into industry.”
The concepts and writing are at times dense. And while there are things I might want to debate, there’s no doubt that he’s providing a different and useful window into the cutting-edge of global capitalism. The full essay is here.
Mark Kuznicki writes:
I dream of a future where every individual has the power and ability to
discover his or her creative passions, and to resolve their
multi-dimensional identities into a coherent whole through their
interaction in open community with others. The holy grail is the
unification of one’s practical needs with one’s hopes, dreams and
aspirations. It is a universal desire, and it is the most powerful
force in human civilization.
The entire essay is a MUST READ.