Saturday, March 1, 2008

Creative Region Initiative Kicks Off

Bill Pote at Dayton Most Metro reports on the Creative Region Initiative getting underway here, and there is a Dayton Daily News story, too. Both provide a list of 30 catalysts, which is sort of the local project team. Looking at the list one can see this is group that is diverse in age and gender, and also a bit in race, so there is certainly a commitment to reaching beyond what seems to be the local good old boy network.

That this list (names as well as organiztional affiliation) is public is perhaps due to Richard Florida and his consultants committment to a transparent process. Kudos to the DDN for playing ball and printing the full list vs editing down the article.

This effort is based on Florida's creative class theory of economic development, but also incorporates populist and inclusive principles.

Florida's consultancy will be coming to Dayton this coming week to lead a two day workshop. One of the products the consultancy will provide are some statistical benchmarks and rankings, showing where the region stands in various categories. Here is an example from a pdf available at the SOCHE website (SOCHE was the promoter of the effort):

Some of these I am famliar with like the Milken indexs, others I am not, so there is going to some original work from the consultant brought to the table.

Another thing is that may be provided is this analyses of occupation change, which should be quite interesting to see if made public as it shows growth and decline as well as concentration/specialization (the "location quotient").The Florida consultancy will be coming to Dayton this week to facilitate a 2 day seminar with the catalysts. Looking at this excerpt of a sample schedule one can see how this progresses from analyses to visioning (presumably based on the analyses) and then an execution plan where various projects (called "initiatives") are indentified and planned out to make progress toward the vision.
So it's a bit of data-driven strategic planning, but also working on an execution strategy, too.

Pretty neat, and I like that they are looking at execution as part of this (the "iniatives"). Apparently there will be heading checks throughout the year to measure progress, and that there is supposed to be cross-talk between the catalysts working on different initiatives.

So one can see that the catalysts will be project managers of sorts. But there is something else that makes this different from other ED plans.

Note this catalysts job description:

The red box is key. This requirment moves the Creative Region Initaitive into the realm of community organizing and social entrepeneurship. Sort of Saul Alinsky meets Economic Development, this emphasis on community engagement, volunteerism, and particpation.

If one reads the Dayton Most Metro site, one knows the board host, Bill Pote (one of the catalysts), is very much up on this aspect. In this post he calls this community participation "crowdsourcing", and he plans on using his website to facilitate community involvement.

Daytonlogy will be following the Creative Region Initiative effort as it unfolds.


Greg Hunter said...

Thanks for the info Jeffery. It will be interesting to see the intiative unfold. The participants are interesting with some ties to the local power structure.

Jefferey said...

Yes, I see some familiar names on the list, but I also see how they are brining in a cross section, too.

I see Ron Rollins is on this group. One wonders if he will blog about his experiences at his DDN blog.

Interesting to see the age ranges of some of the folks.

Joe Lacey said...

Are any people from the LGBT community in the group?

I don't recognize any names from the LGBT community and I emailed one of the organizers with the same question, no answer yet.

Real diversity for this group would include the LGBT community.

Jefferey said...

Gee, Joe are you still reading this blog?

As for the Creative Region Initiative, did anyone from the LGBT community apply to be a cataylst? I don't know the answer to that.

To be fair there there is a question at that Dayton Most Metro forum that asks questions the deal with LGBT folks input on their opinions of the area:

"Do you find the region welcoming to different types of people? (language, religious,sexual preference, immigrants, artists, entrepreneurs) To new people or ideas?"

"Is this region a good place to ‘self-actualize’? (If you are an artist or entrepreneur, are your efforts welcomed…or marginalized? If you are a gay person are you comfortable
being out in this region?)"

So they are looking for input from the community, or this one person is.

I put down a somewhat noncomittal answer, but it would be good to get other LGBT folk to input.

Greg Hunter said...

I think I could go down the list and see either kool-aid drinkers or those that will be indoctrinated in my perception of the Agenda. I post over here on this subject to avoid the squelcher motif that I so richly deserve. I want the process to succeed as I would love for Teradata to consolidate here and Lexis Nexis to expand. I also think there are some under rated/utilized talent resident in the Community, that I hope this process exposes.

Joe Lacey said...

Yes Jeffrey, I do read (and enjoy) your blog, and yes, not all of the applicants are straight.

I applaud for their attempts to get feedback from the lgbt community but the Creative Region Initiative could be more inclusive.

Their cross section doesn't seem to cross a section of the community that they want to attract to the region.

Jefferey said...

Greg I agree with the squelcher comment. Thats from Jane Jacobs and she was talking about political and civic leaders. It could be applied to regular folks, too.

And it's a real problem in Dayton.

Case in point is Canal Street Tavern. I recall reading accounts of the places opening. People telling Mick Montgomery it will never work, bad idea, itll never work in Dayton.

Squelching right there, but Mick went ahead anyway, and thank God that he didn't listen to the naysayers, to the squelchers.