Sunday, June 17, 2007

Score One for Richard Florida

One of the things that supports Pittsburgh reputation as a provincial backwater is it's tendency to ignore and ostracize people with new ideas. Richard Florida was a long time CMU professor with a way of looking at things that cut straight against the way things are done here. His Breakthrough book openly used Pittsburgh as an example of how not to do economic development.

His theory was that we were in a new age in which employers and capital chased skilled, creative people and placed issues of culture, openness, diversity and quality of life at the forefront of economic development discussion rather than government subsidies, backroom deals and sports stadiums.

One of his concepts is that regions are increasingly looked at by people as job and talent pools. Growing a new drug company would be easiest in an area with a large base of qualified researchers, investors and managers knowledgeable about the field etc.. Well anyway, here is another real life example of why he might be right.

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