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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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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Validation About Validation

February 11, 2011

It’s one thing to be right about something and have someone else agree with your ideas. It’s another thing entirely for someone to take your same idea and begin implementation of it! Which seems to be happening with our BETI project and the City of New York.

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It’s a(n Economic Development) War Out There

January 13, 2011

One of the slightly humorous/very telling things that happened at the Brookings Chicago Summit was a interesting linguistic choice by the folks from Munich. As I’ve mentioned, on the first day of that event, each of the three Metropolitan Business Plan regions presented on their plans paired with presentations from international regions: Ohio with the industrial economy of Cleveland, Twin Cities with the high talent/quality of life economy of Barcelona…and Puget Sound paired with the high tech economy of Munich.

It was actually a decent pairing, especially because of their focus on aerospace and clean tech. And yet, there was an important difference.  When Munich was discussing their comprehensive economic development initiative, they didn’t use “strategy” or “plan” like we do. Instead, they referred to it as the Offensive Zukunft Bayern: the “Offensive for the Future of Bavaria”!

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Here’s How I’d Like to Restructure the Federal Government

December 14, 2010

Over the last year or two, I’ve been working closely with the Brookings Institution in their efforts to reframe the federal-metropolitan relationship (which you probably know if you’ve spent any time whatsoever reading this blog). They believe that the federal government is “too top-down, siloed, and hard-to-use by increasingly creative, data-driven metro actors.” And so they promote things like metropolitan business plans and praise the creation of interagency taskforces (like TARIC: Taskforce for Advancing Regional Innovation Clusters) and funding programs (like the $130 million, seven agency E-RIC grant).

But in all my time with them, I’ve never heard them take that line of reasoning to its logical conclusion. That is, if it’s true that the federal government is too siloed, then no interagency working group is going to be able to overcome the fundamental turf wars and differing priorities that keep departments from truly collaborating.

It would require an actual restructuring of government. And here’s my plan to do that:

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Weekly B-MOW: The Brookings Global Metro Summit Was Great!

December 12, 2010

It’s been a sad, sad time around the Prosperity Blog for our loyal readers. I can only imagine you hitting “refresh” on your browsers over and over again, while you waited in vain for a new post to appear. “Why hast thou forsaken me,” you cried out (shocking your co-workers in the neighboring cubicles). My only excuse is that it’s been all Brookings Global Metro Summit all the time around here, prepping for our big moment in the international sun to show off our work on the Metropolitan Business Plan project. And I hope that you find it some measure of compensation that – although you didn’t get any blog posts in the last few weeks – the event went great, highlighting our great work on BETI and the forward-thinking, innovative nature of the Puget Sound region! In fact, I hereby dub it “The Best Meeting of the Week.

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Weekly B-MOW: Adventures at the White House!

November 1, 2010

As I mentioned in last week’s (similarly late) B-MOW, I spent last Friday afternoon at the White House, in a meeting facilitated by the Brookings Institute with about two dozen senior Administration officials. And I know that we do a lot of big time things around here, but a cozy sit down in the Old Executive Office Building? You can bet that’s going to qualify as the Best Meeting of the Week! Here’s the lowdown from the Secretary of War Suite: Read the rest of this entry »


Weekly B-MOW: Chamber Regional Leadership Conference!

October 25, 2010

As I mentioned in this/last week’s REDEW, the reason that our weekly features are late is because we were at the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce’s Regional Leadership Conference. Given that, we’ve got almost no choice other than to make it this/last week’s Best Meeting of the Week! Read the rest of this entry »


CELC Agrees: Demonstration is the Key to Energy Efficiency Business

October 4, 2010

Over the last year, the Clean Energy Leadership Council – created by the state legislature – has been working to “develop strategies and recommendations for growing Washington’s clean energy sector and positioning Washington State as a national leader in clean energy development and policy.” After lots of analysis and outreach, they’ve released their draft strategy, and it seems to be a very nice fit with the BETI business plan. Read the rest of this entry »


BETI in the News

September 2, 2010

For all you fans of the Metropolitan Business Plan work we’ve been doing over the past year, check out this article in Xconomy. The final meeting of the Metropolitan Business Plan Steering Committee is next week, and then we move into implementation mode!


Ich bin ein manufacturer

August 18, 2010

Okay, I’ll admit that I took Spanish in high school, so that probably doesn’t make any sense. But you know what does seem to be making a lot of sense these days? Germany’s focus on manufacturing—and on manufacturing for export, in particular. Read the rest of this entry »


What’s IT?

August 12, 2010

This is both a real question and a question my grandfather would ask…of course, until last year he was still using Web TV as his internet. But enough about Poppy Irv.

What counts as IT is a major question as we head into the next Regional Economic Strategy and our comprehensive economic analysis. And I’m not sure I know the answer. Read the rest of this entry »


“An Iron Hand for Energy Efficiency”

August 9, 2010

Not to be confused with Adam Smith’s invisible hand for energy efficiency, which secretly sneaks into your house at night and turns down the thermostat…or something…I probably should have studied harder in my macroeconomics class. No, no, this is the iron hand that is the Chinese government and the incredible steps they’re taking to reduce energy use in their country: Read the rest of this entry »


On Your Mark, BETI, Go

August 4, 2010

It seems hard to believe that it’s been months since I posted on the progress of one of the Prosperity Partnership’s signature initiatives: the Metropolitan Business Plan for Energy Efficiency!

Last time, I posted a relatively comprehensive overview of what we thought the Building Energy-efficiency Testing and Integration (BETI) Center and Demonstration Network did. I ended with the disclaimer that “You’ll notice that there’s a lot of detail missing, including revenues and expenses.”

I’m pleased to say that we’ve addressed some of those issue and more in this second draft of the business plan. I encourage you to take a look, share comments and help us refine even further.

We’ll have a third and final draft in early September, and then on to implementation!


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