from BCN09: Creative Industries and Regional Competitiveness

Representatives from two Seattle employers (Microsoft and PATH), KONE Corporation in Helsinki and Fukuoka Urban Laboratory suggested the needs of creative companies to grow and attract talent.

Each discussed the need to continue investing in research, each discussed the primacy of attracting talent to their regions and companies, and each talked about the fact that intellectual companies are inherently less placebound than ‘old school’ manufacturers.

They were asked to tell us what they look for in a region. 

A welcoming business climate is a foundation – taxes, regulations, transport, etc.  But then the needs diverge.  Creative companies are highly interested in research support, good institutions of higher education, quality public schools, an understanding and protection of intellectual property, healthy arts and cultural institutions, and an embrace of diversity and multiculturalism.  These were explicitly outlined by DeLee Shoemaker of Microsoft.

The key point emerging from this discussion is that ultimately people and their ideas are the drivers.  Good thing, since that’s what the whole point of the conference 

Scott Jackson, Vice President of PATH, interviewed one of PATH’s recent recruits to Seattle on why she chose to move from Washington, DC to Seattle.  She said several factors were important in deciding to come to Seattle:

  • Professional development – could PATH and Seattle allow her to achieve the personal and economic growth she was looking for?
  • Mission – is there a way for her to impact lives in Seattle (through PATH of course that’s a yes)?
  • Acceptance – does Seattle care about global health and is her industry embraced?
  • People – does Seattle have the people she wants to be around?

Scott’s conclusion sums it up well: “Each of us is a key determinant as to whether others want to move here.”

We will soon begin hearing about how various cities perform on talent attraction metrics, and about the IRBC’s own research on why people choose where they choose and how we are doing at providing those things.


One Response to from BCN09: Creative Industries and Regional Competitiveness

  1. This post is right-on Bill. The collaborative spirit which exists in Seattle, especially within the global health sector, has a unique gravitational pull due to the city’s people. The Seattle community is philanthropic in nature and that provides a good excuse for people to live and work in this region. Young careerists are especially drawn to Seattle for the reason that in this city they can be a part of global health, education, development, and poverty alleviation which means they play a direct role in changing the world.

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