It’s always a good day to get out of the office and learn something new. It’s especially a good day when you’re learning about something that is creating huge economic impact for our region’s economy. And it’s a real winner when something that’s creating lots of new jobs in the region is also cool and fun…like video games. Put that all together and what do you get? Seems like a Best Meeting of the Week to me. Join me for a tour down memory lane of last Friday’s fantastic Interactive Media Industry Cluster Tour!
When we started doing the Prosperity Partnership “industry cluster tours” three years ago – every three months, getting 30-40 business, government and community leaders on a bus for a day-long exploration of a different industry in our region – I had a key organizing principle for how I selected our tour stops: the “I’ve Always Wanted to Go There” rule. It was under the assumption that everyone knew about our various assets in clusters like aerospace, IT and life sciences, but had never had the opportunity and/or the access to go see them. And so, we got behind the scenes tours of Boeing factories or Seattle BioMed’s “insectarium” or REI’s logistics center in Sumner.
But now that we’ve done tours of the major industries in our region, we’ve moved into a new rule of thumb: the “I Had No Idea This Was Here” principle. That was the case back in December when we did a day-long bus tour of the specialty foods industry (stopping at places like Green Mountain Coffee’s robotic coffee packaging facility). And it was absolutely the case last week when we did our latest industry cluster tour…on the stunningly significant fashion & apparel cluster in our region.
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:
Every year, the Seattle Chamber does an “intercity study mission,” bringing regional business, government and community leaders to a peer city for a three day exploration of similarities, differences and, most importantly, the best practices that we can take back and copy in our own region. This past week, a group of us traveled for this year’s trip to San Jose for an Intercity Study Mission to Silicon Valley.
The reason to do a study mission to Silicon Valley is obvious: as much as we fancy ourselves as a leading region for innovation, we pale in comparison to the sheer breadth and depth and magnitude of what has come out of that region – HP, Google, Adobe, Apple, Yahoo…the list goes on and on. So, what are those things that we can take from them?
Here are my top three takeaways:
I go to a lot of events. Many of them are boring. But I put my neck out a few weeks ago and said that the Washington Innovation Summit would not be. And I was right. I mean, really interesting panels, very forward thinking topics and some great keynotes. If you haven’t heard Geoffrey Moore speak on the transition in enterprise IT from “systems of record” to “systems of engagement,” then you don’t know what the next major business opportunity in the global economy will be.
Apparently, the whole day was video recorded, and will be available on the Technology Alliance website. And you can follow the audience’s questions and comments on Twitter via the hashtag #WAInnovation (including several insightful tweets from yours truly and a back and forth on how funny Bill McSherry is).
But if you want an immediate taste, I took a video of the opening panel, featuring some of the state’s economic development luminaries talking about how we continue to invest in economic development in a time of scarce public money.
I’ve bent a lot of rules with this feature. Some of the “Best Meeting of the Week” posts have been post titles made up entirely of acronyms. Some B-MOWs are ties between two meetings. There’s even been a B-MOW that’s a prep meeting for another B-MOW. But this is a new horizon: the Best Meeting of the Week that hasn’t even happened yet! How do I know it’s going to be so great? You’ll have to read below to find out…in the Weekly B-MOW: Next Week’s Legislative Session.
Back and better than ever, loyal readers, it’s your weekly look at the glamorous comings and goings of the humble economic development staff here at the Prosperity Partnership – a little segment we like to call “Best Meeting of the Week.” Now, this week’s B-MOW is a tie, which reminds me of the jazz album my friend Dan always joked about making, entitled “In the Event of a Tie.” There would be a picture of a necktie on the album cover, but with the clever double entendre of the sports reference. Of course, in the sports world, a tie is “like kissing your sister,” but here at the Prosperity Blog we have no such resistance. If two meetings are equally great, we’ll B-MOW them both. Which, without further ado, is exactly what’s going to happen now with “Weekly B-MOW: Legislative Hearings on Higher Ed & Clean Tech.”
For this week’s installment of the “Best Meeting of the Week” feature, we’re going to talk about what I like to call “the most depressing day of the year.” Or at least, it has been over the last few years. I refer, of course, to enterpriseSeattle’s annual Economic Forecast Conference, which starts each year with a panel of local and national economists talking about their predictions for the economy over the ensuing twelve months. As you can guess, those forecasts have mostly been bad…and those bad forecasts have been pretty accurate, as we all know.
But this year, the Economic Forecast Conference had a theme – a focus on a part of the economy that is and will increasingly be a bright spot for job creation and prosperity. And that theme was global health. Which definitely makes it the Weekly B-MOW.
I did it! I finally did it! A blog post title made up entirely of acronyms! Wow, what an incredible sense of accomplishment and relief. It couldn’t have been done without all of you, our loyal Prosperity Blog readers. Wait, what? You have no idea what I’m talking about? Ah. Well then, I’ll explain.
I know that you all know about the weekly Best Meeting of the Week (or B-MOW) posts that we (try to) do every Friday (or so) to give you some insight into the exciting lives of the Prosperity Partnership’s economic development staff. But you may not be aware of the RESTAG: the Regional Economic Strategy Technical Advisory Group that we’ve formed to help us in our work to develop the region’s next long-range, collaborative economic development action plan. The RESTAG met last week, and two things in particular happened at that meeting that got me really energized for our work ahead:
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.”
Can a meeting to prepare for a meeting be considered a “Best Meeting of the Week” candidate? It’s one of those age old ethics/taste questions that are up to the individual, like “can I wear the t-shirt of the band to their concert” or “can I post about cheerleaders on the Prosperity Blog?” Luckily, I’m like New York Times Magazine’s The Ethicist, with my clear-eyed judgment about these things, and I say you can. Which clears the way for this week’s B-MOW: Brookings’ Chicago Summit Prep Meeting. Read the rest of this entry »
Two weeks ago, the B-MOW involved hanging out at the White House (technically, the Old Executive Office Building) with senior administration officials. This week, it’s chilling with the Governor and a Microsoft VP. Which is cooler? And by cooler, I mean more important to regional economic development policy. You decide, after reading this week’s Best Meeting of the Week: Governor’s Higher Education Task Force. Read the rest of this entry »
“Government should operate more like a business!”, they say. Maybe yes, maybe no. But one business-like area that it is always exciting to hear government talking about is customer service. Whether you’re at the Department of Motor Vehicles (trying to get a driver’s license) or the Small Business Administration (trying to get a low-interest loan), you want a quick, clear response from a friendly, professional staff person. For those of us in the economic development world, the thing we want from the government is often grants, and so it’s pretty cool when a federal agency revises their funding process to be more responsive and faster. Which is why this week’s Best Meeting of the Week is “The Improving EDA’s Investment Approval Process Webinar.” Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
As we just mentioned, Prosperity Blog is all about regularity these days, giving you something to look forward to in your otherwise dreary days and weeks. Much like Random Economic Development Email of the Week, this new feature – Best Meeting of the Week – chronicles our adventures in the world of economic development, sharing the most interesting, exciting or unique things that the Prosperity crew is doing. This week’s B-MOW? Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Read the rest of this entry »