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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