Big Ideas of (the First Half of) 2011

June 17, 2011

I promised in my last post that I would do one final entry on the Prosperity Blog before I leave the PSRC. And, since today is my last day, there’s no time like the present to make that happen. I also promised that this last post would be entirely self-indulgent and nostalgic, and I can think of no post that fits the bill more than the annual Prosperity Blog Year In Ideas feature – the yearly tradition in which I point out to you all how good my thoughts on economic development are, in Top Ten format.

Since it’s only halfway through the year (June 30 is less than two weeks away!), I’ll cut that Top Ten down to Top Five. And so, without further ado…and with no more ado ever again by me on this blog…here are the best practical proposals for improving our region’s business climate and competitiveness (and the most impractical, sky’s-the-limit ideas) I’ve had so far in 2011.

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BETI in the NYT

May 24, 2011

In case you were hoping to someday read about our work on BETI in the New York Times, congratulations! Now you can.


Weekly B-MOW: Back from the Brookings Metropolitan Business Plan Event in DC!

April 13, 2011

I mentioned a few weeks ago that the Brookings Institution was putting on an event in DC focused on our work on metropolitan business planning and BETI. What I may not have mentioned is that the event was a packed audience of 300 economic development and policy people from around the country, as well as congressional and Administration folks.

Our region was very well represented in the agenda, and our metropolitan business plan work clearly demonstrated our depth of thinking, breadth of collaboration and specificity of ideas. Another great moment for the central Puget Sound and the state of Washington.

I know that most of you weren’t there, so I wanted to give you a little taste of what you missed:

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BETI in the Seattle Times

April 8, 2011

Thanks for the mention, Jon Talton!


DoD & BETI

April 1, 2011

One of the focuses of our BETI effort has been the potential intersection with the military. I mean, here we are as the Prosperity Partnership, trying to establish an international hug for the energy efficiency technology cluster here in the central Puget Sound. And here we are in the central Puget Sound with one of the largest concentrations of military presence in the country. And there the military is making bold public statements about how they see clean tech and energy efficiency as a key to their core mission. Kinda seems like there must be some mutually beneficial connection, yes?

Luckily for me, I don’t need to do a lot of research to understand how that might work, because ITIF wrote this lovely report entitled “Lean, Mean and Clean: Energy Innovation and the Department of Defense.”

Let’s read along together and see what we learn!

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Ms. BETI Goes to Washington

March 30, 2011

PSRC’s Communications Director liked this post title better than “BETI Does DC”…each to their own, I guess. But the point is not which movie title to reference, but rather that BETI is getting “her” big premiere.

After many, many months of work and a soft roll-out in Chicago, it’s prime time for BETI and her peers from Cleveland and Twin Cities at the April 11 Brookings Event “Metropolitan Business Plans: A New Approach to Economic Growth.” It’s a pretty exciting opportunity to present on a national stage about the innovative work we’ve done to catalyze the building efficiency cluster in our region.

And if you’re interested, you can come.

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Money for Metropolitan Business Planning

March 22, 2011

One thing that we’ve lost focus on during the two years of the Metropolitan Business Plan process is that it’s not just about BETI. Yes, yes, we love our idea for the Building Energy-Efficiency Testing & Integration Center and Demonstration Network, and its proposal to catalyze our local energy efficiency IT cluster through validating these technologies in real-world settings. But although we identified the idea of BETI through the Metropolitan Business Planning process, the MBP goals are much broader.

And the exciting thing is that one of the big goals – funding of regions through Metropolitan Business Plans – may be coming to fruition!

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