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Short cuts August 7, 2006

Posted by Tom in Community, Economic Development, Education, Innovation, Media, Technology, Workforce.
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I miss my regular blog-scan. I’ve been swamped and it’s been too long since I surfed my favorite sites for the latest. So I’m hanging out late tonight to get caught up on the thoughts from around the web. Here’s the latest:

  • Don Iannone unearths a great op-ed from Evansville, Indiana that answers the question: “Why Economic Development?
  • Knowledgeland reports that Imagine Toronto has unveiled a collaborative strategy to capitalize on and strengthen its position in the creative economy. (From a graphic design point of view, it’s one of the best white paper reports that I’ve seen in a long time. Very simple, very profound.) While agricultural and industrial economy communities are still working to align themselves with long-term economic growth, in part through innovation and creative economy drivers, the leaders are plowing ahead. It’s a tough, tough game when you’re playing from behind.
  • The Intangible Economy tells us that the numbers in self-employed are rising. 19.5 million Americans are self-employed, and it’s not all eBay auctioneers. What are the workforce and/or economic development incentives to help these people to grow their small businesses in my town – or yours? That could be one of the most profound questions of our day.
  • 21 Apples introduces us to EducationBridges.net – kind of like a MySpace for educators. What a great idea – sharing best practices with your peers around the globe. Education can only improve from this common-sense technology application.
  • On the peer-to-peer networking front, Principled Innovation introduces us to IBM’s InnovationJam. Again, powerful social networking to leverage the world’s creative minds to solve incredible problems. How might these social networking venues be leveraged to innovate in the worlds of workforce or economic development? Do we NEED conferences or summits – or are they meetings for the sake of holding meetings? In this digital world, there are other means to convene, other manners of problem-solving (and those approaches generally work better for peoples’ schedules!). We need to continue to look in this direction.
  • The BostonWorks HR Blog links to an NPR piece on the “3rd Act” – what retiring Baby Boomers are trying to do for work…and some of the challenges that they face. With the contraction of the workforce due to Baby Boomer retirements, this is not just their individual challenge – it’s the challenge facing every community, workforce planner and economic developer who is serious about wanting to keep their community sustainable past 2020.
  • Another BostonWorks HR Blog entry – this one indicating that the “glass ceiling” for women may be more real than we thought.
  • BostonWorks Job blog indicates that now is a good time to be a newly-minted MBA grad. And the competition for BizSchool seats is getting tougher.
  • Yes, yes, yes! From the Performance & Talent Management blog: Fortune Magazine suggests that good human resources management can be THE key to higher revenues. Finally, someone realizes that hiring good people and turning them loose to succeed is a way to victory in the business wars.
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