Posted by: in Regional Thinking on May 14, 2009
Tagged in: Untagged
As before, the groups are not necessarily consistent from provocation to provocation.
Provocation 1: In the next economy, place matters more than transactions
Group 1: Confirm: place matters, but table has different perspectives. In regard to the competition of places. "Competition contributes to growth." Place is very good predicter of health outcomes, points into so many other spaces - economy, culture, etc. Question of taxes: cost vs investment.
Group 2: Mixed reaction - Challenge importance of place: internet drives placeless society. Confirm: some people need to try on their shoes, won't buy online. People want experience. The more diverse people we have, the better the quality of life. What is 'whole'? A situation where the various parts - culture, economy, ecology, arts, etc. - are working together.
Group 3: Confirm: concept of 'happiness' studies - trust is crucial. Trust in RI is very low, esp in government. Even people in government say "It's RI. It's screwed up." As if it's our natural, inevitable state. -- Discussion of how difficult it is to do something that make Providence more 'whole'. But are we really that different from other places? New Orleans, Chicago, New Jersey? Formerly, an ombudsman helped manage regulatory environment for developers, but she died and was never replaced.
Provocation 2: There is no separate creative economy
Group 1: Discussion - Industrial mindset destroys creativity countered with comment that manufacturing is still as large as ever in the US and in RI.
Group 2: Add to: entrepreneurs need to find new ways to get things done, high level of creativity is a requisite, not an option.
Group 3: Confirm: every economy has to be creative to survive. Also Challenge: is 'creative' really the best metric. Slave economy was 'creative' but didn't work for everyone.
Group 4: Challenge service 'with grace and in community': service sector is not in a creative place, especially in terms of front line workers. In some orgs/companies, the closer you get to the customer, the lower your pay.
Provocation 3: We are already at the beginning of the next economy
Group 1: Partial challenge: How high can RI build given geology? More constrained by zoning, but zoning will have to change to meet growing infill needs?
Group 2: Challenge infill needs: do you need to build more infill or save that for greenspace?
Group 3: Challenge regionalization: how far down the specialization chain can you go before regionalization breaks down?
Group 4: Challenge: Should we be talking about 'next' economy or the 'inclusion' economy? Manufacturing vs service economy - as if the one dies and the other is all that's left.